Excessive Sweating or hyperhidrosis can affect a person’s quality of life. Profuse and constant or intermittent sweating can interfere with work and socialising, in addition can be a reason for emotional distress.
Sweating or perspiration is a normal function of the body. Sweating helps to regulate body temperature. During sweating, a salt like fluid is released from the sweat glands in the skin. Lack of sweating can lead to overheating of the body. Normally sweating is increased when it is hot and after physical exertion.
Sweating may occur in one part of the body (face, palm, sole of feet or armpits) or may be all over. There are several reasons for excessive sweating. In some people this condition is known to run in the family.
What are the causes for excessive sweating?
- Malignancy (cancers)
- Carcinoid syndrome
- neuroendocrine tumours
- Hypoglycaemia or low blood glucose
- Diabetes mellitus
- Overactive thyroid (Thyrotoxicosis)
- Chronic alcoholism
- Medications (some can cause night sweats)
- Parkinson’s disease, spinal injury and many more
Investigations and Treatment for hyperhidrosis
Investigation depends on other features which people present with, in addition to excessive sweating. Endocrinologist after obtaining a detailed history and carrying out a clinical examination will arrange a series of blood tests. If there are any abnormalities identified on the hormonal and blood tests, scans are arranged to identify the cause of sweating.
Treatment will depend on the underlying cause. If no underlying cause has been identified, treatment with antiperspirants, local applications or oral medications is usually tried.
If medical treatment does not help, local surgery and endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy may be considered in severe hyperhidrosis that have not responded to medical treatment.
Dr Chinnadorai Rajeswaran is a consultant Physician specialising in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity. As a private endocrinologist he has private endocrine, diabetes and weight loss clinics in Harley Street, London, Chennai (India), Claremont Hospital, Sheffield, Nuffield Hospital, Leeds and Simplyweight, Bradford.
He has face to face consultations with people from Barnsley, Rotherham, Chesterfield, Doncaster, Wakefield, Huddersfield, Bradford, Harrogate, Leeds, Sheffield, London and Chennai (India). He also offers video consultations.