Excessive sweating reflects instability of the part of the brain called the autonomic nervous system. It affects about 2% of the population.
If you‘ve had it since childhood, it is probably genetic. If not, consider hormonal imbalances, stress, anxiety and infections.
Estrogen and progesterone deficiency
Estrogen and progesterone deficiency with menopause and peri-menopause. This can begin as much as 12 years before periods stop and your blood tests for menopause become abnormal. The tipoff is that the sweats/flashes are worse around and in the week before your period and/or having irregular periods.
(In men) Consider this if you have fatigue, low libido, difficulty with erections, high cholesterol, or depression.
Infections of many types. Sinusitis or spastic colon suggests yeast overgrowth in both men and women.
Drops in blood sugar
Caused by a low adrenal.
Acid reflux being inhaled (especially at night while sleeping). Taking 1/2 tsp of baking soda in 4 oz of water at bedtime, and using a sleep wedge can help (see Acid Reflux).
Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are associated with unusual sweats (from what is called "dysautonomia").
If racing heart, weight loss and palpitations.
Treat Underlying Causes
Treat any underlying causes discussed under Background. Begin with anxiety if sweating is worse during stress.
The herb black cohosh is very helpful for sweats/hot flashes in general (use the Remifemin form).
Soy bean pods
For menopause symptoms, soy bean pods (called "edamame" — available in the freezer section in most grocery stores) 1 handful a day can be helpful, as these naturally raise estrogen levels. Alternatively, use bioidentical estrogen from a holistic physician.
If sweating in just a small area (e.g., palms or soles), rub a regular antiperspirant onto those areas. If it persists and is annoying, see a dermatologist. They have many options including: