Sweating is your body's mechanism to cool itself. Your nervous system automatically triggers your sweat glands when your body temperature rises. Sweating also normally occurs, especially on your palms, when you're nervous.
In hyperhidrosis, the nerves responsible for triggering your sweat glands become overactive and call for more perspiration even when it's not needed. The problem worsens if you're under stress or nervous.
The type of hyperhidrosis that occurs primarily in your palms and soles may have a genetic component, because it sometimes clusters in families. If you have excessive sweating all over your body, it may be caused by an underlying health factor, such as:
Sept. 21, 2012
- Certain medications
- Menopause hot flashes
- Low blood sugar
- Overactive thyroid gland
- Some types of cancer
- Heart attack
- Infectious disease
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed July 18, 2012.
- Smith CC, et al. Primary focal hyperhidrosis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed July 18, 2012.
- Cerfolio RJ, et al. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons expert consensus for the surgical treatment of hyperhidrosis. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2011;91:1642.
- Bradley WG, et al. Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Butterworth-Heinemann Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7506-7525-3..X5001-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-7506-7525-3&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed July 18, 2012.
- Solish N, et al. Evaluating the patient presenting with hyperhidrosis. Thoracic Surgical Clinics. 2008;18:133.
- Eisenach JH, et al. Hyperhidrosis: Evolving therapies for a well-established phenomenon. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2005;80:657.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Hyperhidrosis (Excessive sweating). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2011.
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