What Can Cause Excessive Sweating? 2 Causes That Make You Sweat Excessively

Last updated on April 9th, 2019 at 12:46 am

can cause excessive sweatingHave you been caught by surprise that your armpits suddenly started sweating more than you ever experienced? There are certain triggers that can cause excessive sweating.

Back when I was in my early teens I realized that I would start to sweat as I had never before. It is known that the apocrine sweat glands only develop with puberty kicking in and the sweat glands start to produce a different sweat than was normal in your childhood.

I was completely caught by surprise one evening and from there on, I couldn’t stop the sweating anymore. This was a frustrating experience. It is in your teens that peer pressure is tough on you.  It is the period when you need the other’s approval and it is also that time when everything seems to go against you.

All you want is to be cool, to be accepted and have no flaws. Having huge sweat stains under my arms that left my clothes drenched was not exactly what I would describe as a pleasurable experience.

Thoughts often crossed my mind about being rejected, not being accepted, not pertaining to a clique. What would everybody think of me? Also, the bad smell of excessive sweating was an issue and I could not help but start to take 2+ showers daily. What could I do? I needed to change clothes frequently.

Finding the correct deodorant was a problem during that time. Never had I heard about antiperspirant nor active ingredients that could stop excessive sweating. Another problem that I had was irritated skin by most of the deodorants that I tried. I would buy different ones often just to find out that after 2 or 3 days of applying them, my armpits would get a bad rash, which would make me want to hold my arms up the whole day.

After time passed, I learned more about excessive sweating and found great solutions. In this article, I will describe two main causes of excessive sweating and tell you about my recommendations.

Here is my story.

Understanding Hyperhidrosis

Have you heard the term hyperhidrosis? Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. There are two types of hyperhidrosis: Primary and secondary hyperhidrosis.

Hyperhidrosis is when you sweat excessively. When you go to the gym to do your routine of workout, you will sweat. There is no doubt that working outside in the hot sun in your garden will make your sweat run along your forehead and down the nose. Also, when it is really hot in a room, there is a reason to sweat, but there are people that sweat more than the required amount.

Sweating was designed in your body as a coolant. When your body gets too hot, your sweat glands start producing sweat to maintain the body temperature. When our body becomes too hot and we don’t sweat, it becomes dangerous for our vital organs.

People that sweat excessively usually sweat when watching TV, sitting on the computer, driving the car, etc. I often have the air condition on high in my vehicle, but I still sweat very much. You see, hyperhidrosis refers to people that are sweating beyond normal in situations when you should not be sweating.

These are the 2 causes for this embarrassing problem that kicks people off guard and makes them wonder how they could disappear magically in the middle of a presentation. Let’s look a little at each one of these causes in detail.

Secondary Hyperhidrosis

Why would I start to describe this one first? If you are an adult and have never had the problem to sweat excessively and suddenly you sweat more than you thought could be possible, there are chances that you are suffering from secondary hyperhidrosis.

Secondary hyperhidrosis is triggered by many medical conditions that cause a hormonal imbalance. It also causes you to sweat abnormally all over your body, for example, sweating excessively on your back, your belly, legs, etc. Under normal circumstances, we tend to sweat more on our neck, armpits, feet, hands, and so on.

If you recently started to sweat more than you did before, you might have a serious disease or condition that could cause this problem.

There is a number of reasons for secondary hyperhidrosis, in which case you should get advice from your doctor.

Following is a number of causes that can trigger secondary hyperhidrosis.

Pregnancy

The good thing about pregnancy is that it is not a serious condition, but a joyous occasion, in which sweating is just a nasty side effect. However, it is true that many women sweat much more when pregnant than they would under normal circumstances when not pregnant.

My wife is a perfect example of it. She finally understood how annoying sweating can be. She had seen it on me and she never thought it could be so bad. When she was pregnant with our boys, she sweated much more. Never did I think she would understand how uncomfortable wet clothes due to sweating can be. Nevertheless, this problem ceased immediately after she gave birth to our babies.

What happens during pregnancy that causes you to sweat excessively?

Expecting women start to sweat more in the second trimester. The little baby inside the womb is “cooking” and is perfectly comfortable with your body temperature. However, you will feel the heat more than ever because your body is doing much more during these months than it has ever before. Your sweat reflex thinks that your body needs to cool off and the sweat glands work incessantly.

Also, we cannot forget the raging pregnancy hormones that are wild during this time. The hormonal imbalance in your body is very obvious, as things are changing rapidly. There is a huge change coming with the arrival of the bundle of joy. That alone keeps your hormones upside down, plus all the changes that your body is facing.

If you are expecting, excessive sweating is absolutely normal. However, consider staying more hydrated and staying away from the burning sun for extended times. Keep temperatures regulated as much as possible to not expose your body to radical changes.

Other than that, you need not to be worried about excessive sweating.

Heart Disease

Excessive sweating is a good sign that a heart attack is underway. If you have never experienced excessive sweating, and you suddenly start to feel dizzy, chest pain, arm pain, shortness of breath, accompanied by excessive sweating, you should seek medical help immediately.

Studies have not been able to conclude if the amount of sweating has anything to do with the seriousness of heart attacks.

Secondary hyperhidrosis (often referred to as generalized hyperhidrosis) and heart disease are closely linked to each other. When your heart has a tough time pumping blood around and keeping the body alive, it will make much more effort and work harder than ever to make things work.

Whenever your body is under stress and working hard, your body temperature goes up and that signals your sweat glands to keep the body at regular temperature.

If you have experienced excessive sweating lately and you are not so sure what it is about, why not go to see your doctor immediately and rule out heart disease. Excessive sweating is triggered by many things and it could very well be that you are having a heart condition that you didn’t know of before and get medical attention.

Moreover, if you know that you have heart disease, excessive sweating should be your sign to go to the hospital without waiting for it to go over. Serious damage can be prevented if treated in time.

Obesity and Diabetes

People that are obese commonly sweat more than people that have their recommended weight. Obese people tend to eat more fatty, processed foods rather than fresh, raw and whole food, like fruits and vegetables. Fatty foods tend to lack fibers and enzymes that help digest foods.

When these foods enter the digestive tracts, the body is being stressed because it is harder to absorb the nutrients from the ingested foods. Your body temperature rises because it takes twice as long to process these foods than vegetables and fruits.

In fact, there are foods, for example, spicy foods, that can reduce excessive sweating, but also foods that can trigger it more.

When your body temperature rises, your sweat glands are told to get to work because body temperature is too high. Therefore, obese people tend to sweat excessively.

Change your eating habits and lifestyle and excessive sweating should go away if the trigger of your sweating is secondary hyperhidrosis.

Because obesity and diabetes are closely linked to each other, we can assume that people with diabetes that are obese also are known to sweat excessively.

If your sweating problem kicked in when starting to gain excess weight, you can be quite sure that the cause is obesity. I was already overweight when going into my teenage years, which is exactly when I started to sweat excessively.

However, I have lost over 40 pounds recently and I continue to sweat excessively. Although it has decreased a little more, in my case the condition is primary hyperhidrosis, which I am going to address in a moment.

Losing weight, changing the foods you eat for whole and fresh food, can and will make a change over time.

Fever

Who doesn’t know that? Yes, fever can cause you to sweat excessively and at the same time make you feel chilly and cold.

Children and adults all can suffer from excessive sweating when having a fever. Fever is the body’s mechanism to raise the temperature of the body to kill the virus and bacteria that are invading territory. A raised temperature triggers the sweat glands to cool down.

This is another of the non-dangerous causes of excessive sweating. Be advised that you should seek medical help if things are going out of control, especially in little children when they start to appear listless, when fever stays for 3 days or more, or when the body temperature gets too high.

In adults, when fever is accompanied by chest pains, arm pains, shortness of breath and other symptoms, you should seek medical help immediately.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is when your thyroid is overactive and produces too much thyroxine. An overactive thyroid can speed up your metabolism quickly and have you lose weight unexpectedly, trigger your nervous system, cause irritability, increase your heartbeat or make an irregular heartbeat.

People that suffer from hyperthyroidism can surely experience excessive sweating since there is an imbalance in your hormonal system that can take a negative effect on the sweat glands.

Hyperthyroidism is often treated with medication and sometimes with the complete or partial removal of the thyroids through surgery.

The problem with hyperthyroidism is that it often mimics other health issues that make it difficult to identify the real problem. Excessive sweating can sometimes look like primary hyperhidrosis when it really is a generalized (secondary) sweating problem that is due to the thyroids.

Again, if you started sweating excessively later on in adulthood, be sure to check out if your thyroids are working properly.

Other Causes

There are a number of other medical causes that can suddenly make you sweat excessively. Don’t wait until you seek medical help and find out what the reason behind your sweating is.

Here are other well-known causes of generalized sweating (the list is not exclusive):

  1. Parkinson’s disease
  2. Leukemia
  3. Certain tumors
  4. Malaria
  5. Menopause
  6. Anxiety disorders
  7. Diabetic hypoglycemia
  8. Tuberculosis
  9. Medications

Primary Hyperhidrosis

As I said before, there are two types of hyperhidrosis, namely secondary an primary.  I am going to talk about primary hyperhidrosis, which is one of the reasons that people sweat excessively, in this section.

In your early teens, when your hormones start to change, you can develop what is known as primary hyperhidrosis. However, it can also start in early adulthood, but will not start when as you get older, or in early childhood.

Primary hyperhidrosis is when you sweat for no obvious reason and for no health reason. Sweat glands just don’t know when to stop producing sweat. Primary hyperhidrosis, also known as focal hyperhidrosis is when you sweat excessively on your scalp, face, feet, hands, groin, and underarms, and not necessarily on arms, legs, belly, etc.

Physicians claim that primary hyperhidrosis is due to the overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system. What happens often is that you get nervous about your sweating and therefore sweat even more. Being nervous triggers the sweat glands and you start to sweat more than you usually would.

For example, you have a date planned for the night. The first thing that crosses your mind is your sweaty clothes and how you will be sweating again. Those thoughts stress you and make you nervous about the dinner and off you start to sweat. As you sweat, you are still nervous because you are the dilemma of what you should do now. That produces more sweat.

Only 4%-5% of the population have primary hyperhidrosis. The number could be slightly higher because many people don’t think of excessive sweating as a medical condition, which can be treated.

Read more about nervous sweating here.

Is There A Cure Or Treatment For Hyperhidrosis?

Secondary hyperhidrosis will go away if the trigger is found in time and things can be taken into control. However, primary hyperhidrosis is a condition that has no “cure”, yet there are treatments that made to reduce profuse sweating, and in some cases even cure it completely.

I have found solutions to my armpit sweating problem, which do not cost very much but are highly effective. After using them for well over a year, I can testify that they really work and that you feel much better about yourself again.

You regain your confidence and can start to do your daily routines in a much better way than you can without them.

My #1 Recommendation is Sweatblock

Click for details

This is a clinical strength antiperspirant that blocks the sweat glands completely for a few days.  You will not sweat at all if you follow the instructions carefully.

Click here for a full product review on Sweatblock.

My #2 Recommendation is the Thompson Tee

Click for details

This is a sweatproof undershirt available for men and women in different sizes and colors.

Although this will not stop you from sweating in your armpits, it will definitely hide your sweat.  I wear these shirts every single day, because if I forget to put Sweatblock on, I am always sure that no sweat will show.

Click here for a full product review on the Thompson Tee.

If you found the information helpful that I provided, don’t forget to share with your friends that are suffering by clicking on the social media links. Also, if you have any questions, comments or thoughts, please leave them in the box below and I am happy to interact with you.

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Author: Oscar

Oscar has suffered from excessive underarm sweating for more than half of his life. He struggled for many years with social anxiety because of the embarrassing sweat marks that he always had on his shirts. Nothing helped. He thought he would have to live with this condition for the rest of his life. After years of struggling and even giving up on searching for solutions, he found a solution to his problem. Now he wants to help people around the world who suffer from hyperhidrosis by informing his readers about their condition and showing them what to do about their problem.

12 thoughts on “What Can Cause Excessive Sweating? 2 Causes That Make You Sweat Excessively”

  1. Very informative post on what can cause people to sweat. I do occasionally start sweating on my back but really that’s the  only place thankfully.

    I can’t imagine what it’d be like to have hyperhidrosis but sounds like secondary could possibly pop up at some point. Thanks for giving a few options though the undershirts might be something I wear anyway bc I need them everyday anyway!

    1. Hi Josh,

      primary hyperhidrosis affects only a small percent of people, but secondary hyperhidrosis can affect anybody who suffers from a medical condition that causes excessive sweating.

      The Thompson Tee undershirt is a great option for people that sweat excessively in their underarms only, because of the patented hydro-shield pads that soak up the sweat before it can run into your outer layer of clothes.

      I am glad you found this post informative and helpful,

      Oscar

  2. Hey Oscar,

    I work in an air conditioned office so I usually spend my whole day indoors with cool air and I don’t usually go out but when I do, I start to get like itchy before sweating. Is that normal? Or is it a side effect for not sweating enough because I used to exercise. The itchiness tends to go around 10-15 minutes before the sweating comes and it’s driving me nuts.

    1. Hi Riaz,

      you ask a good question.   I am trying to think what could cause you to itch before sweating.  Does it happen in your armpits, or what places are common for you to sweat.

      Sometimes clogged pores cause that itching sensation.  Sweat cannot come out properly because the pores are clogged, which can happen because of various causes.  

      For example, all beauty products that we apply to our faces do cause clogging to some degree.  Also deodorants and antiperspirants cause clogging.  What you want to do is to detox, and hopefully that will help you with this itching that happens before sweating.

      I will provide the link for a “how-to” article that describes how to detox and open clogged pores.  It is addressed to clogged armpit pores, but many of the steps can be applied to other body parts.

      Hope you find that helpful.  Waiting to hear back from you!

      How Can I Detox My Armpits? Ways To Get Rid Of Built-Up Chemicals

      Best of luck,

      Oscar

  3. I have learnt so much from reading your post. I never knew that excessive sweating could be caused by hormonal reasons, or thyroid issues. The Thompson Tee sounds like a really great invention! But I’m not so sure about the Sweatblock, my concern is whether the strong antiperspirant that blocks the sweat glands will affect our health adversely? I will have to check this out a bit more, before I I’m confident recommending it to some friends around me who sweat a lot.

    And kudos to you for having lost 40 pounds!! How did you do that? 

    Do keep staying healthy!

    1. Hey Joo,<

      The Thompson Tee is a fantastic option!  I use those undershirts every single day!  I keep a full weeks stock so I never run out of them before I can wash them.

      Sweatblock was my concern too when I started using it.  And even after I used it for some time, I sometimes just stopped using it for a period, because I was unsure whether it was good or not.

      After doing extensive research on the topic, I have found that there is actually not enough evidence to prove that it has a negative impact on our health.  Our skin was designed to protect our body from outside dangers.  Therefore, our skin is very good at getting rid of things that are dangerous for our body.

      Of course, some things will be absorbed into our body over time, but research has found that there is not enough evidence to prove health problems that come from it.If you take beauty products, for example.  Many women put on makeup and all kinds of beauty products for decades, yet there is not enough evidence that any of them has health issues that were caused by that, or?  And beauty products contain heavy chemicals, which one would think are detrimental to health.

      Contrary to beauty products, Sweatblock contains aluminum chloride, which we consume in significantly higher numbers than foods, as what we put on to stop sweating.  Research says that approximately 1.5% of aluminum used in antiperspirants is absorbed into our bodies, which indeed is very little.  I usually apply Sweatblock once a week, because I need no more.  That already stops my sweating for the whole week.  

      I’m glad you bring the topic about safety up, and I understand your concern because I had it for quite some time.  Today, I see things a bit differently, and that is exactly why I recommend Sweatblock for those that are sweating excessively.  

      Hope I was able to clear up some questions.  I’m looking forward to hear from you again,

      Oscar

      PS – I found out about Bright Line Eating a year ago. You can find it online. It is a program in which you ditch sugar and flour 100% out of your diet. There are very interesting videos on Youtube from Susan Pierce Thompson in which she explains all about bright line eating. And that is what I have been doing. First time in my life I was able to successfully shed pounds and keep them off. I am looking forward to losing another 30 pounds in the next 8 or so months. Lets see if I achieve that. Thanks for your motivation.

  4. Very interesting article on Hyperhidrosis, its causes and triggers. I have an acquaintance that has this problem and it looks miserable. He’s always looking for ways to address it. I’ve never heard of Sweat Block or the Thompson Tee. I’ll definitely be passing this information along. Thanks for taking the time to write this article. I enjoyed reading it! 

    1. Hi Holly,

      I am glad you enjoyed reading this article.  I hope your acquaintance will be able to find a solution to the problem.  Hyperhidrosis so embarrassing, and I wish everybody would regain their confidence.  I understand exactly what they are going through.

      Thanks,

      Oscar

  5. Great article, very informative.

    Although I don’t have an excessively sweating problem, a good friend of me has.

    And it is really unbelievable how much this guy sweats, and the smells that comes with it is.. way and way to hard.

    When we go out, even when I’m not in his direct area, I can still smell him and I asked him sometimes, do you use a deo my friend?

    And his reaction was that he showered just before and used deo, but nothing seems to work.

    I will show him this post, I’m sure it will help.

    About the secondary cause, now i know when my wife will be pregnant the chance will be there she will sweat a lot, at least we will know why, and the other reasons you’ve explained will make me bookmark this site and post, since it gives me a lot of info.

    Thanks for sharing it with us!

    1. Hi Emmanuel,

      I have been there!  I know what your friends is going through.  I hope you can refer him to my site. Most likely he will be able to find some valuable information on my site and learn new things about his condition.  The embarrassment that you go through when sweating excessively is awful.  Also, your self-image and confidence are very low.  

      But that all changes once you understand the problem and find the solution to it.

      And your friend must understand that deodorants are not his solution, he needs clinical strength antiperspirants.

      Thanks for bookmarking my site.  Hope to see you around again,

      Oscar

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