Sweating is a normal response to heat and it is actually the body’s built-in cooling system. Although it is unpleasant for us because it makes us wet and smelly, this salty liquid is how the human body cools itself and regulates temperature. It is common to sweat excessively when we are hot, when we have a fever or when we exercise, but sometimes excessive sweating can be the result of some other condition. Here are 5 of these conditions:
1. Hyperthyroidism: Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which there are too many thyroid hormones circulating through the body. Hyperthyroidism speeds up the body’s chemical processes, hence the possibility of excessive sweating. Reliable testing is available for the diagnosis and treatment of hyperthyroidism and treatment may consist of medication, surgery and iodine radiation.
2. Menopause: Seventy-five percent of women report hot flushes and sweating during menopause and the run-up to menopause. The reason behind this is hormones. Women’s bodies are being altered rapidly in unseen ways, courtesy of unpredictable changes in hormone production by their ovaries, the two main culprit hormones being estrogen and progesterone. These chemical substances travel through the blood to other parts of the body and can control how cells work. For example, estrogen can affect the cells in your blood vessels, causing them to expand. So during a hot flash, women’s faces and upper bodies get red and flushed thanks to these blood vessels expanding. The result is excessive heat and, oftentimes, excessive sweating several times an hour, a few times a day, or maybe as little as a couple times a week.
3. Glucose Control Disorders: Glucose control disorders include types1 and 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes and hypoglycaemia (abnormally low glucose levels). Excessive sweating is often a symptom of low glucose levels.
4. Heart Disease: Excess sweating could be a warning sign of heart failure in men and women. Heart attack victims are often known to sweat a lot just before and during a heart attack. A major portion of the body’s nervous system, the sympathetic nervous system, controls sweating throughout our bodies. When a heart attack kicks in, the sympathetic nervous system gets activated, causing the sweat to pour out.
5. Cancer: The types of cancer that can sometimes cause sweating include Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma, carcinoid tumours, leukemia, mesothelioma, bone cancer and liver cancer. Doctors do not fully understand why some cancers cause sweating, but it might be connected to the body trying to fight cancer.