Did you ever have the experience that you are in a fight-or-flight condition; your heart and breathing rates go up, your pupils dilate and your hands are sweating to cope with the emergency situation due to the adrenaline release? After the emergency is over, you end up with cold hands and feet and you are very tired. If this condition becomes worse, you could constantly have sweaty palms whenever you are multitasking, rushing around or nervous about something, and you may get diagnosed as excessive sweating.
We know that excessive sweating is caused by overactive sweat glands. The sweat gland is controlled by branches of sympathetic nerves in the chest area, which are controlled by the hypothalamus, a part of the brain controlling appetite, body temperature, thirst, fatigue, anger and circadian cycles. People suffering from this condition can sweat spontaneously, even at room temperature, and excessively in a slightly warm environment. The most common parts of the body that sweat is the palms, feet, armpits, chest, abdominal area and face. Unfortunately, those who sweat excessively tend to have a special body odor, so that they smell bad- another thing to be self-conscious about.
If you have this problem, you can most likely blame your parents, because genetic make-up plays a big part. People with very sensitive sympathetic nervous systems tend to have hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating and very sensitive nervous systems tend to run in the family. Thus, you may have inherited your problems from your mom, but you do not have to accept them. You can return that bad hand you have been dealt and get a much better one, so do not worry. If you are willing to change your lifestyle a little bit, you might be able to change the gene expression.
However, you must do some work yourself. There are lifestyle choices you can make that will lessen this problem or possibly make it go away completely. You can make decisions that will change things. Start by drinking less alcohol, which can intensify the symptoms. Alcohol can produce a lot of heat inside your body and get your nervous system going. In order to maintain a normal body temperature, you have to expel extra heat through sweat and urination. That is why people tend to drink more alcohol in cold weather. Alcoholics tend to have clammy hands and feet. There are cases where people never had this problem growing up, only to have it appear later in life, usually triggered by drinking too much alcohol. So, please drink less for your own health, dignity, and peace of mind. You do not have to stop completely, just reduce, reduce, and reduce until your problem goes away.
Other things that stimulate your nervous system that you can reduce:
- Caffeine stimulates your sympathetic nerves, so your body becomes even more sensitive to temperature changes and stress.
- Warm drinks and food can make you sweat more.
- Low and high blood sugar levels can induce adrenaline release to intensify sweating.
- Stress can induce cortisol and adrenaline release to stimulate the nervous system.
- Multitasking: when you do three things at the same time, your body has to release more adrenaline, which stimulates the nervous system.
- Imbalanced progesterone and estrogen levels also sensitize your nervous system, so that your body may react very strongly to small temperature changes. That is why menopausal women sweat easily, then quickly feel chilled afterward. Men who use testosterone cream for a long time tend to sweat a lot with a special body odor.
- Obesity: Obese people have higher levels of cortisol and estrogen. They can tolerate stress better than skinny people, but they have less tolerance for heat. When obese women go through menopause, they have more hot flashes than average-weight women.
- Spicy foods also produce internal heat. People can tolerate spicy foods in a very damp and cold climate, but if they leave for warmer places, they have to change their eating habits accordingly.
Acupuncture, meditation, yoga and Qi Gong will help balance your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The majority of acupuncture points can be used to calm down the sympathetic nerves and strengthen the parasympathetic nerves. If your sympathetic nerves are in a more stable condition, your body will not respond to temperature changes as strongly. Food and herbs, such as bitter melon and dandelion, which have a bitter taste tend to help clear the body heat and reduce the sweating and inflammation. Sour-tasting food can help your body generate more body fluids so that the Yin ( the essence of the body) and Yang (the energy part of the body) can be balanced. In order to achieve a happier and healthier life, the Yin and Yang have to be balanced, so that your body will sweat properly.