So, you think you sweat more than normal? A lot of people worry about whether they perspire a “normal” amount. We get it.
Excessive sweat is embarrassing and can throw a wrench into any social situation. Sweating is good and certainly has its benefits (like preventing heat stroke). But it also comes with a host of humiliating side effects (sweaty pits, sweaty handshakes, sweaty feet, sweaty face, etc…)
Wondering why you might be sweating more than normal? You’re in luck, we’ve compiled a list of the most common sweat triggers and how to avoid them.
8 Things That Can Trigger Unwanted Sweat:
- 1. Stress
- 2. Crazy Hormones
- 3. Your Choice of Food
- 4. Not Eating Enough Food
- 5. Your Mood (Excited, Happy, Scared)
- 6. Social Anxiety
- 7. Being Physically Fit or Overweight
- 8. Medications
A lot of different things can cause excessive sweating. But there’s always a reason. Sure, you might have a medical condition, such as primary hyperhidrosis, a sweating disorder that makes you perspire more than the average person. But that’s not as likely as you might think. Hyperhidrosis affects less than 5% of the population. There’s a good chance you just have a random sweat trigger you didn’t know about.
1. You’re Really Stressed Out
What do you do if you randomly start sweating for no apparent reason? Freak out? Yeah, a lot of people do. Well, did you know that freaking out about sweating is probably just making you sweat more?
That’s right. Stress is a HUGE sweat trigger.
If you notice that you’re sweating at a random time, quickly do a mental stress check.
- Is something upsetting you?
- Have you been brooding about something for most of the day?
- Are you worried about something?
If you answered, “yes” to any of these questions, your stress may be to blame for your random bout of nervous sweating.
2. Your Hormones Are In Overdrive
Pregnancy and menopause can really mess with a woman’s hormones. In fact, this hormonal rioting can cause mood swings, odd cravings and … overactive sweat glands.
Have you ever heard a pregnant woman complain about night sweats or hot flashes? Yeah, those mini sweat sessions happen because your hormones are out of whack.
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do to prevent this kind of hormonal sweating (aside from delivering your baby or magically skipping menopause).
Fortunately, both pregnancy and menopause are temporary life phases. When they leave, your hormones will chill out and sweating can return to normal.
Pregnancy and menopause aren’t the only things that screw with your hormones. Puberty and overactive thyroid issues can also lead to belligerent hormones and excessive sweating — especially underarm sweating.
3. You’re Eating Foods That Promote Sweating
The food you eat — and what you drink — could be causing you to sweat excessively. This usually happens when you eat food that’s hard to digest because your body has to work a bit harder, which increases your heart rate and sends signals to your sweat glands telling them to get to work.
Which Foods Cause Severe Sweating?
Red meat can be really hard for your body to digest, so if you’re worried about perspiring a lot during (or right after) a meal, you might want to stay away from burgers and steaks. Instead, choose chicken or fish. And of course, vegetables are always a great option. You should also avoid eating fatty fast foods, white bread, and chocolate. These foods lack the enzymes needed for smooth digestion, which means your body works harder to process them.
This probably doesn’t come as a big shock, but if you’re concerned about profuse sweating you should also avoid spicy, hot food. Yeah, those chili fries you love that are topped with jalapeno peppers are a MAJOR sweat trigger. Spicy foods contain capsaicin — a chemical that tricks your body into thinking your core temperature is rising, causing your sweat glands to kick into action, which causes you to perspire.
If you’ve been cursed with body odor that smells a bit fishy, you might have a condition called trimethylaminuria. It’s a genetic condition that makes it difficult for your body to break down trimethylamine — a chemical compound produced when you digest certain foods such as legumes, eggs, and fish. If this is the case, you should eliminate those foods from your diet and talk to your doctor.
4. You Need to Eat More
Are you hangry? If so, your blood sugar is probably a bit low. And one of the symptoms of low blood sugar is excessive sweat or cold sweats. In particular, the sweat glands along your hairline are affected by low blood sugar. So if you’re feeling a bit moody and sweaty, you really might need to grab a Snickers bar like the commercial says. Other symptoms of low blood sugar include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Blurred vision
- Slight nausea
5. Your Mood (Extremely happy or scared out of your mind)
Did you know that when you’re happy or scared you sweat? This also happens when you’re doing something that you’re really passionate about (and no we aren’t just talking about sex).
You might have noticed that when you engage in activity that you’re passionate about, your body is all of the sudden covered in a thin layer of glistening sweat. That’s because all of these emotions — happiness, fear, and love — are associated with a slight increase in your body temperature. And of course, when your body temperature rises, your sweat glands go to work.
6. You Have Social Anxiety
If you get nervous before events that require you to socialize with others, you’ve probably noticed that your sweaty spurts also happen about the same time. That’s totally normal if you have social anxiety.
It’s common for people with social anxiety to constantly battle excessive hand sweating. But you can use relaxing techniques to help get you through overly stressful situations or talk to your doctor. There’s a good chance your doctor may be able to prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to help you control nervous bouts of sweating. Another great way to combat nervous sweat is by using a clinical strength antiperspirant like SweatBlock. If you’ve got excessive hand sweating or super sweaty feet, you can try a hand or foot antiperspirant to reduce unwanted sweating. We recommend this one.
7. You’re Really Fit or Overweight
Your physical fitness levels can determine the amount of sweat your body produces. For example, if you’re slightly plump around the middle, your body works harder carrying the excess weight. This causes your heart rate to increase and you to perspire. But people who are really, really fit often sweat a lot too. This is typically caused by sweating a lot when exercising. See, if you exercise regularly, your body gets really good at sweating so it does it more often. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should stop working out. Instead, use a clinical-strength antiperspirant, such as SweatBlock, to control the amount of sweat your body produces.
8. Your Medications Are Causing You to Sweat (Diaphoresis)
Diaphoresis is the medical term used to describe excessive sweating caused by certain medications. Some of the more common culprits include SSRIs, heart medications, and painkillers. But they aren’t the only medications that can make you sweat. So if you’re taking a new prescription and it’s causing heavy sweating randomly, you might want to have a chat with your doctor.
What to Do If Sweat Becomes Excessive
It’s important to remember that perspiration is a normal process. In fact, it’s even good for you to sweat. But if you sweat excessively, you should consider using a clinical-strength antiperspirant or talk to your doctor about treatment options.
How Does Sweating Help the Body?
You have approximately 2.5 million sweat glands on your body (some people have up to 4 million). So what you probably don’t realize is that you’re actually sweating all the time. You just don’t normally notice the sweat because it evaporates quickly. If your body produces sweat faster than it evaporates, it’s noticeable. That’s when excessive sweating can become embarrassing.
But sweating is actually good for you — at least in normal amounts. We sweat to regulate our body temperature. So if you didn’t sweat at all, your body would overheat — and no one wants to have heat stroke. If you think you sweat more than “normal,” you might be right. In this case, you might want to consult your doctor to determine whether you have hyperhidrosis or you have sweat triggers that you don’t know about. Even if you don’t have hyperhidrosis, your doctor will be able to help you determine the best way to keep your sweating in check.
How to Stop Sweating
Remember, you don’t want to stop sweating completely. But you may want to stop sweating in specific areas of your body. For example, if you sweat when you’re nervous, you probably have clammy hands. That can be embarrassing when you meet someone new or you’re on a date and you want to hold hands. If that’s the case, you should be looking for ways to stop sweating on your hands.
Who Treats Excessive Sweating?
If clinical-strength antiperspirants and other home remedies don’t keep you from sweating profusely, you should consult your doctor to see if you have hyperhidrosis. Your primary care doctor can discuss treatment options that can reduce sweating, such as prescription creams and medication, with you, but if the problem is severe, you might be referred to a dermatologist. A dermatologist is a doctor who treats skin conditions specifically. So he or she may discuss more elaborate treatment options, such as Botox, with you.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that everyone sweats. Because everyone is different, there really isn’t a “normal” amount of sweat your body should produce. But if excessive sweating becomes a problem, makes you feel self-conscious, or keeps you from attending normal social events, you should talk to your doctor or see a dermatologist.