I have an embarrassing problem — I sweat like crazy all the time. Even when it’s not hot, I sweat. When I’m not exercising or moving around too much, I sweat. What is most embarrassing is that I sweat so much in my armpits and even around my crotch that it soaks through my clothing in those areas, and really just all over my body. The problem even sometimes occurs overnight while I’m sleeping. I feel like I’ve tried everything to control it, but it’s only getting worse. It has gotten to the point that others are starting to notice too. I recently overheard a co-worker make a very rude comment about my “pit stains” and hygiene to another colleague. I’m sooo mortified! Since then, I’ve been wearing mainly black to work, so that when I do sweat, the stains are less visible. What may be causing me to sweat so much?
-Mortifying Sweat Situation
Dear Mortifying Sweat Situation,
Everyone sweats, and some people may sweat a bit more than others. But it seems that you are sweating quite excessively to the point that it is really bothering your daily life. Excessive sweating, known as hyperhidrosis, may sometimes occur secondary to an underlying medical condition. Meaning there may possibly be a health problem in the picture that is yet to be addressed contributing to all of the sweating.
Some conditions like hyperthyroidism may lead to the overproduction of thyroid hormone in the body, and these may cause one to sweat excessively. Other conditions such as menopause, diabetes, and even certain cancers like lymphoma may cause heavy sweating. Sometimes the culprit may even be lurking right in your medicine cabinet. There are some medications (for example, certain blood pressure and antidepressant medications) with the side effect profile of causing increased sweating.
Make sure your doctor is always aware of all the medications you are taking. There are actually quite a number of health problems that may potentially cause someone to sweat a lot. So your doctor will need to get a detailed history from you, complete with a physical examination, and possibly do some blood work and other tests. The evaluation is necessary to determine if there is indeed a medical cause for all the sweating, so that the condition may be treated and managed accordingly.