Learn about the causes of Excessive Sweating & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome Excessive Sweating within New Zealand.
Hyperhidrosis is a disorder whereby the body sweats excessively even when a person isn't hot or exercising. Hyperhidrosis is caused by overactive sweat glands & can be primary, which causes excessive sweating of the face, hands, feet & armpits, or secondary which affects the entire body. Hyperhidrosis typically begins during adolescence with both men & women affected equally. Excessive sweating can be triggered by anxiety, heat, certain foods, & illness or can have no apparent reason.
There are two types of excessive sweating: focal hyperhidrosis whereby
specific parts of the body are affected (armpits, face, feet etc.) orgeneralised hyperhidrosis which affects the entire body.
People with either of these two types will then have primary hyperhidrosis whereby there is no apparent cause for the sweating or secondary hyperhidrosis which is caused by an underlying health problem.
Primary hyperhidrosis was once believed to be a psychological condition whereby nervousness, stress and anxiety triggered excess sweat. However, studies have shown that people with hyperhidrosis are no more susceptible to anxiety or stress than anyone else and their anxieties stem from sweating excessively rather than being the cause of the problem.
Primary hyperhidrosis may also be a genetic condition as around two-thirds of people who sweat excessively have a family member with the same condition. Healthcare experts believe the condition is primarily triggered by problems with the sympathetic nervous system which controls functions such as urine output, the digestion of food and sweat production.
The sympathetic nervous system recognises when the body's temperature is increasing and sends signals to the sweat glands to produce sweat in an effort to cool the body down. Therefore, primary hyperhidrosis may be caused by an over-stimulation of these signals.
Secondary hyperhidrosis is caused by an underlying health condition such as alcohol abuse, anxiety, drug abuse, heart disease, obesity, pregnancy or an over-active thyroid. Infections, cancer and neurological conditions can also cause secondary hyperhidrosis as can certain medications.
The main symptom of hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating typically under
the armpits or on the face, arms and feet. When the amount of sweat
produced starts to affect your day-to-day life and interferes with
social activities then hyperhidrosis is a problem.
Someone with hyperhidrosis may feel reluctant to have physical contact with another person (such as a handshake) or they may opt out of physical activity for fear that it will increase the amount of sweat produced. Hyperhidrosis sufferers have been known to become withdrawn and self-conscious.
How much sweat is deemed to be 'normal' depends on the individual but if sweat is so excessive that you feel embarrassed or ashamed, or you are concerned there may be another medical problem triggering the sweating, then the condition needs to be assessed and treated.
You should first visit your GP if sweating has become a problem for you
so they can arrange blood and urine tests to rule out any underlying
The GP will question you about the symptoms of your problem such as does the sweating occur at night and if the sweating affects your whole body or just specific areas.