VIEWS: 5 PAGES: 2 POSTED ON: 1/23/2011
For sufferers of excessive sweating, not knowing the cause of the symptoms can be a distressing part of the condition. And any sufferers who are also overweight may wonder if their weight is the cause. Whilst it is true that there is a link between being overweight and increased sweating, it is only one of a number of possible triggers for your condition. Excessive sweating, or hyperhydrosis, affects 2-4% of the population. If you are affected, you are probably already miserably familiar with the symptoms. What is often less obvious is the underlying reason for those symptoms. The fact is, there are a number of possible causes. The first thing to understand is that there are two types of hyperhydrosis. The first - primary hyperhydrosis - often begins in childhood or adolescence. One characteristic of this type is that it is 'symmetric' i.e. affects both right and left sides of the body simultaneously. It occurs on very specific areas of the body, most commonly hands, feet, underarms, head or face. Sufferers of primary hyperhydrosis don't usually have episodes of excessive sweating when they are asleep. If you believe you have this type of hyperhydrosis, the good news is that it is not usually a result of being overweight. However, the bad news is that it is an actual medical condition, usually a result of genetics. If your family has a history of excessive sweating, that could explain your symptoms. But, there is hope! There are treatments available for this type and a good resource is SweatHelp.org. The other type of hyperhydrosis is secondary hyperhydrosis. This is where the excessive sweating is a symptom, or secondary, to another issue. To help to identify this type, sufferers usually experience sweating on a larger, more generalised area of the body. They also experience their symptoms during sleep. In the case of secondary hyperhydrosis, the cause could be another health issue or a side-effect of medication. It could be the result of menopause, stress, alcoholism, hyperthyroidism etc... In fact the list of conditions that have excessive sweating as a side-effect is quite extensive. But this list does include obesity and being overweight. So how do you know whether your weight is a factor? Well, if you are overweight, the only way to know for sure if your weight is the cause of your excessive sweating symptoms is by losing weight and monitoring the effects. If you lose weight and the symptoms lessen or even stop - you will have identified the cause of your excessive sweating. Obviously then the challenge becomes to maintain a healthy weight and/or lose more weight. However, at least you have gained the awareness of your condition, which can be half the battle. Since hyperhydrosis is a recognised medical condition, if you believe you sweat more than is 'normal', it's a good idea to seek advice from your doctor. But regardless of medical advice (recommended medications and surgeries have had mixed results for sufferers), if you believe your symptoms are linked to your weight, that's a great incentive to adopt a diet and exercise regime. If you are overweight, a healthy weight-loss programme will not have any negative side-effects and it may just resolve your excessive sweating problems. But even if your weight is not directly responsible for your hyperhydrosis, by becoming fit and well, you will improve your overall health and self-esteem - which may inadvertently relieve your symptoms.
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