Hyperhidrosis - What Is It?

Book Review
July 5, 2012
Stop Sweating and Start Living - Mike Ramsey

I have absolutely no hesitation in saying "Stop Sweating and Start Living" will soon put antiperspirant companies out of business.

I was reluctant at first to endorse any product but this book was different. The remedies it suggests are all-natural and target the root causes of problem sweating.

My only complaint is that it is only available as an instant access ebook. It can't be purchased in bookstores or on Amazon.com, but I'm sure the instant download feature is popular with people overseas and those who are ready to get started.

I strongly recommend "Stop Sweating and Start Living" to anyone who sweats excessively in the underarm, hand, foot, face or back areas.

- James Chambers

Hyperhidrosis affects millions of people around the world – nearly 3% of the population according to some studies. So what’s new you might ask. Well this is no ordinary sweat problem; we are discussing a scenario in which your hands feet or underarms are damp sticky or even drenched with sweat from morning to night through to the next morning. In other words you are sweating excessively at all times in different external conditions.

If you display these symptoms it is probably time to read up on hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). In simple terms hyperhidrosis is a medical disorder characterized by excessive sweating. This kind of excessive sweating typically occurs either on your palms in your underarms (axillary hyperhidrosis) on your face (facial hyperhidrosis) or in your feet (plantar hyperhidrosis).

What causes hyperhidrosis?

Though we in our ignorance often loosely use the term sweat problem for a lot of people who display the symptoms described above they may actually be suffering from hyperhidrosis which is a serious medical condition and which requires proper diagnosis and treatment.

Under ordinary conditions the hypothalamus which is the part of the brain that regulates sweat-related functions sends sensory signals to the sweat nerves. These nerves -- part of the sympathetic nervous system located in the chest cavity -- in turn send the signals to the sweat glands causing the latter to produce sweat. As a result of hyperhidrosis the sweat glands disobey these signals as it were and produce substantial volumes of sweat that then seek outlets on your underarms face palms and feet.

Social impact of hyperhidrosis

For those who have never had to suffer from it it is difficult to imagine the social awkwardness and embarrassment that this condition can cause. For example a person who experiences excessive underarm sweating (medically described as axillary hyperhidrosis) may find it difficult to negotiate everyday social situations that require them to mingle closely with others. For most sufferers the constant anxiety regarding too much underarm sweat can affect not only their personal and social lives but their professional lives as well. Typically these people tend to possess low self-esteem and prefer to remain isolated from their peers.

Can hyperhidrosis be treated?

In one word yes. There are many methods for treating hyperhidrosis. I always recommend opting for natural treatments as the first line of defense. There are a few good books available which describe natural treatments - see my list of recommended books on this web site. While some doctors may prescribe what are known as anti-cholinergic drugs some may recommend surgery to remove the overactive sweat glands.

Since surgery to cure hyperhidrosis is widely advertised these days let’s explore the option in a little detail with reference to our earlier example of an underarm sweat problem. Many specialists recommend a surgical procedure known as endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS Surgery) as a cure for excessive underarm sweating. Essentially ETS interferes with the functioning of the sympathetic nerves that cause excessive sweating without damaging the nerves or the surrounding organs.

The most common side effect of ETS is ‘compensatory sweating’ on a person’s thighs abdomen back and legs. This can prove troublesome in the long run requiring further medical attention. Among other side effects of ETS are brachial plexus injury (weakness or paralysis of the upper extremities caused by injury to the spinal nerves) dry skin (particularly in the region of the scalp face and neck) decreased heart rate and gustatory sweating (sweating of the face upon eating or smelling certain foods).

Compensatory sweating is one reason that I never recommend surgery. I've heard too many horror stories over the years. I was visited by a sufferer who had ETS surgery performed a few months earlier. Her original problem was excessive underarm sweating. Shortly after the surgery she began sweating intensely from the waist down. She was miserable and her hopes of curing her problem were gone.

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