Hyperhidrosis Causes

1. Primary Hyperhidrosis

Genetic trait:
It is known that Hyperhidrosis is caused by a genetic trait but patients can be genetically predisposed to different illnesses or traits. Different studies indicated that more than 50% of patients had a family history of Hyperhidrosis. Scientists have also investigated the location of the gene which is responsible for abnormal sweating, however manipulating this gene is clinically not available.

Psychological or psychosomatic interference:
Another potential, yet non-physical cause are emotional factors like stress, depression, anxiety, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) or erythrophobia (flushing, uncontrolled rubescence). As a secondary cause, some psychotropic drugs (mostly antidepressants) can evoke heavy perspiration as a side-effect.

Alimentation and characteristics:
Well, this should not be a secret – anyone who eats +5000 calories a day and refuses to take any exercise is inevitably going to gain weight and suffer health problems – Hyperhidrosis could be one of those. People who eat an unbalanced diet often suffer from a vitiated metabolism. In consequence of this, symptoms of Hyperhidrosis show up.

But it does not have to be that drastic. The preferred eating of several herbs or hot spices might be enough to start severe sweating for dispositional people.  with foreign

2. Secondary Hyperhidrosis

Affected nerves:
Nerves and nerve tracts – especially as a part of the sympathetic nervous system – are present all over the body and they are responsible for transmitting the right signals concerning the bodily temperature to the brain. The sympathetic chain is responsible for controlling the sweat glands all over the body. In some cases, an affected functioning of the nerves may result in misleading informations, leading to excessive sweating. A major part of the central nervous system is the spinal cord which when affected by syringolmyelia, tumors or lesions may trigger the onset of abnormal transpiration. Peripheral neuropathies can also trigger Hyperhidrosis.

Changes of the hormone level are a frequent cause of severe sweating. This typically occurs as an unpleasant side effect of the menopause. Reason for that are perceptible changes of the female oestrogen level.

Adolescence sweating:
Due to physical maturation, hormonal changes, starting usually at the age of 10 (females) and 12 (males), will increase the production of sweat and body odour. The notably increased production of oestrogen (females) and testosterone (males) effects the activity of the sweat glands (both the eccrine and apocrine glands).
Other common causes are psychological problems while maturing. Teenagers tend to react very sensitive to outer influences, such as stress, emotions or social integrity, much more than children or adults would do. They encouter problems at school, get into struggles with their parents and as they reach their first degrees of emotional and sexual ripeness, feelings of love, hate or lust might also cause a higher activity of the sweat glands (eccrine glands).
A recent German study* of teenagers shows clearly how much more youngsters will sweat under stressful conditions: the female probands‘ sweat ammount was 40 times, and male probands‘ 24 times higher than under calm conditions. The emission of body odour from their armpits started only 15 minutes after the beginning of the experiment. This is seen as a proof for the higher activity of the „smelling glands“ (apocrine glands).

excessive sweating teenager while puberty

photo above | Most adolescents experience puberty as a very emotional and turbulent time. With excessive sweating things get even more complicated …

Obesity can be another trigger of excessive sweating. In general, Hyperhidrosis does not preferentially affect overweight people. Studies showed that both the skinny and the obese can similarly suffer from Hyperhidrosis. But apart from that, an derogated metabolism can always further the onset of heavy sweating.

Other typical causes of the secondary Hyperhidrosis:

  • fever (associated with influenza, rubeola, scarlatina, varicella etc.)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Thyrotoxicosis (disfunction of the thyroid gland)
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • congestive heart failure
  • unrecognised infections or hidden inflammations
  • Malignancy (tumours)
  • autoimmune disorder
  • Parotitis (inflammation of the parotid glands)
  • medication (especially psychotropic drugs)
  • drug abuse (also: narcotics withdrawal)
  • alcohol abuse (also: alcohol withdrawal)

Hyperhidrosis can have many different, often unrecognised reasons. Only through a systematic evaluation of causes and triggers of excessive sweating, followed by a judicious, stepwise approach to treatment, many people with this annoying disorder can achieve good results and improved quality of life.

Medical experts for evaluation and treatment are:

  • dermatologist (both types of Hyperhidrosis)
  • medical specialist, internist (secondary Hyperhidrosis)
  • psychotherapist (primary Hyperhidrosis)
  • homoeopath (both types of Hyperhidrosis)

The step-by-step approach to treating Hyperhidrosis is descriped here.

* Beiersdorf AG, Hamburg, Germany „Effective Prevention of stress-induced sweating and axillary malodor formation in teenagers“, International Journal of Cosmetic Science, July 2010
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