This type of sweating (a medical condition called hyperhidrosis) can influence nearly every decision you make, and basically prevent you from living life. Reality check: people with hyperhidrosis sweat 4 or 5 times more than what's "normal" —-or needed—-to keep the body cool or as a response to stress.
Think you’re alone? Think again. At least 213,679,514 people worldwide have hyperhidrosis (that’s a ton of sweat!) And, now that you found the Sweat-O-Meter, you’re def not alone anymore. Things are going to get better. Much better.
First, let's take a moment to understand sweating. Your body has about 4 million sweat glands. Most of these are located on your hands, feet, face, and in your armpits. Messages from your brain tell your body when to produce sweat, either as a reaction to anxiety or to keep you cool in warm temps. But if you have hyperhidrosis, you continue to sweat, no matter what the temperature is outside or how chill you feel inside.
There are two types of hyperhidrosis: primary and secondary. It sounds complicated, but it's really not. It is important, though. Basically primary hyperhidrosis means that you're sweating because you have a medical condition called hyperhidrosis and likely have the genes for it (thanks Mom and Dad!) Secondary means that your sweating is being caused by something else--either a medication you are taking (like antidepressants) or it's a symptom of a medical condition you have (like diabetes). It's important to know which type you have so you can make a plan.
Answer these 5 questions to start figuring your sweating out:
1. Do you sweat on specific areas of your body like your underarms, hands, feet, or face?
2. If you answered yes to #1, is it pretty much the same on both sides of your body? For example, if you sweat from your underarms is it both underarms?
3. Do you know other family members who sweat excessively?
4. Does your sweating stop when you are sleeping?
5. Did your excessive sweating start before the age of 20?
If you answered 'yes' (above) 3 or more times, it's likely you have primary hyperhidrosis. Of course you'll want to talk with your doctor for sure, but now you have a good conversation starter.
If you think you may have secondary hyperhidrosis (you answered mostly 'no' to the above questions), it's super important to bring this to the attention of a medical professional. There are some very serious conditions that have excessive sweating as a warning sign and you should have it checked out.
Ready to learn about what you can do to kick sweating to the curb? Then click through the rest of this site. Facts About Sweating is a great place to start.