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Sweating: How Much is Too Much?

Everyone sweats, but if you are sweating so much that it is causing you embarrassment or interfering with your life, your sweating might require further evaluation by a health care professional. There are many different causes for excessive sweating including diet, stress and some medical conditions. Regardless of how much you are swearing, if you are sweating beyond what is “normal” for you, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Normal Sweating

Sweating is a normal function of your body. Sweating is your body’s way of cooling you off to prevent you from experiencing heat stroke and to release toxins from your body. Sometimes it can even be “normal” to sweat excessively. If you have just started working out, you might notice that you sweat more than others at the gym. This is normal as your body adjusts to the increased workload. You may also sweat excessively when you are nervous or when it is hot outside, especially if you are used to cool weather.

Excessive Sweating

Your sweating might be considered “excessive” if you sweat so much that you avoid social situations and intimacy with others, for example. If you sweat so much when you are not working out that it causes your clothes to become ruined and/or you are prone to bacterial skin infections, these could be indicators that your sweating is not normal. Some people who suffer from excessive sweating carry a towel with them at all times. If you are sweating so much that you are carrying a towel and a change of clothes, this is not normal (except when you are working out).

Common Causes

If you are in your teens or early twenties and you are experiencing what feels like excessive sweating, this is probably a result of hormone changes and it is usually not a cause for concern. Other common causes of excessive sweating can be attributed to diet (especially spicy foods, alcohol and coffee). Certain medications can cause also cause excessive sweating, especially birth control pills, anti-depressants, thyroid medications and any Central Nervous System stimulants. Psychological causes can also cause sweating, especially if you are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed.

More Serious Causes

If you are experiencing excessive sweating which cannot be attributed to any of the aforementioned causes, you could be experiencing a more serious medical problem. This is especially true if your sweating occurs only during the night and/or if your sweating has increased beyond what is usual for you. Diabetes, obesity, migraines, hypertension and thyroid disease are examples of serious medical conditions which can all cause sweating, in addition to certain types of cancers like leukemia.This is why it is important to have your sweating evaluated by a health care professional if there is any question about why you are experiencing excessive sweating.

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