Excessive Sweating and its management

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Do you hit upon yourself drenched with sweat at unusual times, for no obvious cause?  This is one of those bizarre, confusing symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome that you don’t see on those inadequate little symptoms lists. Doctors and researchers don’t really bother themselves with it because we have so many bigger problems, but when you have to deal with this every day it can have a big impact on your life.

If you have fibromyalgia, an “invisible illness”, you often experience severe symptoms that no one can see, sometimes leading to misunderstandings and causing more stressful situations. You’re most probably used to taking a more careful approach to open-air activities or a kind of effort for terror of infuriating your symptoms, but if you don’t have a sympathetic support system of family and friends, you might find yourself enclosed by people who can’t feel sorry for with what’s going through within your body.

Pain and migraines are the most widespread imperceptible symptoms of fibro, but overheating is one that frequently gets unnoticed. However, staying indoors and in the shade is not nearly enough to combat sweating and hot flashes, reactions of a faulty limbic and endocrine system. There are a lot of things we don’t know about fibromyalgia. And one of the most perplexing mysteries of the condition is the way it seems to affect and be affected by your internal body temperature.

Cold temperatures seem to make symptoms worse, but conversely getting over-heated seems to affect your symptoms as well. And regulating your internal temperature can be difficult, which is why many people with fibromyalgia suffer from night sweats. Night sweats are mostly what they sound like: an extreme phase of sweating that tends to come at night. But while that might not sound like too serious a problem, having night sweats is uncomfortable, irritating, and makes it difficult to get a decent night’s rest.

As soon as a body exerts energy it also produces sweat in order to chill down. The body sweats during certain terms when it has to work harder such as working out, walking excessively, or when it’s hot outside. As soon as the body sweats and it is not in reaction to a characteristic condition such as the ones scheduled above, then it is extreme sweating. Sweating problems are common in FM because of the autonomic nerve dysfunction.

The sweat glands receive nerve supply from specific autonomic nerves called sympathetic sudomotor nerves. Sweating regulates our body temperature (called thermoregulation). In FM, dysautonomia is present and causes too much sweating frequently, but from time to time the contradictory occurs and our skin can be too dehydrated. Stiffness, cold and numbing feelings in your hands and feet are common symptoms of fibro, and if you have concurring symptoms of hot flashes and sweating, the results can be miserable.

Women must deal with the consequences of having makeup melt off of their face, especially during hot months. There are a not many recognized causes of unnecessary sweating that can be pinpointed, such as nervousness, that are all connected to the nervous, limbic and endocrine system.

 

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What causes excessive sweating?

Several things could be responsible for our sweating, either on their own or in combination. They contain Autonomic nervous system dysfunction, Heat sensitivity, High norepinephrine, naturally or from medicine (antidepressants) and worry. The only cause that’s “curable” is the medication side effect, and that may not be an attractive option to you if the drug is doing more good than harm. The hypothalamus is one of the mainly significant and underrated parts of the brain at present known to man, and that’s no extending of the thoughts.

This almond-shaped nucleus performs a variety of functions, including its most important function of linking the nervous system to the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, or hypophysis. Metabolism is linked to the hypothalamus. Most people associate metabolism with simply an ability to convert food into energy more than fat, making it easier to eat more and stay thin. But it’s more complicated than that.

The metabolic process is mainly the conversion of food/fuel to energy and building blocks for biomolecules such as protein, so any irregularity in the metabolic system can explain a broad variety of organic changes, not restricted to exhaustion and weight loss. The hypothalamus is responsible for some metabolic processes and activities of the autonomic nervous system. Throw in the usual suspects that over stimulate our autonomics: weather changes, heat, sunlight, and certain medications especially SSRI’s & SNRI’s, position changes i.e. laying down, stress, exercise attempts, etc. and we become bona fide sweating machines.

Management

This is one of those symptoms we have to either live with or find ways to manage.  One of the important things is to stay hydrated, replace both the water and the electrolytes you sweat out, because dehydration is really no fun.  And it can be hard for us to tell when we’re dehydrated because the symptoms can be similar to some we already have.

One “treatable” cause is the possible side-effects from antidepressants high levels of norepinephrine. But the single way to heal that cause is to stop taking the medication, a cooperation that might not be worth it if the benefits outweigh the penalty. Loose powders and antiperspirants can keep you feeling fresh, but dress shields, absorbent sweat pads and even menstrual pads might be a better defense.

There are a few treatments to help with excessive sweating. Some of these treatments include deodorant, medications, botox, surgery and using stay dry clothes. In severe cases, your doctor may recommend surgery, or a treatment called iontophoresis, in which an electric current is sent through water to stun the nerves of the affected area, such as the hands or feet. Multiple treatments are required, but the procedure can be up to 80% effective.

 

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References:

  • Do You Sweat a Lot? by Adrienne Delwo via Very Well
  • Excessive Sweating: When the Hypothalamus Doesn’t Cooperate by Sara Snoddy via Fibromyalgia Treating

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