Sometimes excessive sweating is a sign of a medical condition. It may be a warning sign of thyroid problems, diabetes, or infection; however, most cases of excessive sweating are harmless. Excessive sweating is more common in people who are overweight or out of shape. Excessive sweating is generally when you sweat heavily for no reason.

There are two types of excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis. The two types are –

  1. Local Hyperhidrosis
  2. Generalised Hyperhidrosis

Localised Hyperhidrosis
This type of hyperhidrosis usually starts in childhood or adolescence. It does not cause any illnesses, you just sweat excessively.

Localised hyperhidrosis is not a sign of disease or drug interaction.

The symptoms are fairly specific –

  • Only affects specific parts of the body (underarms, groin, head, face, hands, or feet)
  • Symptoms tend to be symmetrical, occurring on both sides equally.

Generalised Hyperhidrosis
Generalised hyperhidrosis is a less common form of hyperhidrosis that causes sweating all over the body, not just on the hands or feet.

This type of hyperhidrosis is more serious medically and is generally caused by something, such as an underlying health condition.

One of the major symptoms of generalised hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating at night.

Excessive sweating in women can be triggered by –

  • Menopause
  • Pregnancy
  • Thyroid problems
  • Diabetes
  • Alcoholism
  • Infectious diseases like tuberculosis
  • Parkin’s disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Stroke
  • Heart Failure
  • Cancers like Leukaemia and Lymphoma
  • Some medications
  • Some psychiatric drugs
  • Some blood pressure medications
  • Some medicines for dry mouth
  • Some antibiotics
  • Some supplements

If you have the following symptoms, you should make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible.

  • Night sweats – waking up in a cold sweat or you find your pillowcase and sheets are damp in the morning
  • Sweating all over your body, and not just from your head, face, underarms, groin, hands, or feet.
  • Asymmetrical sweating – if you notice that you’re only sweating from one side of your body, like one armpit
  • Sudden changes – if your sweating has suddenly gotten worse
  • Late onset – if you develop excessive sweating when you’re middle-aged or older. The more common localised hyperhidrosis usually starts in teenagers and young adults
  • Symptoms after medication changes – if an outbreak of excessive sweating started up after you began a new drug
  • Sweating is accompanied by other symptoms like fatigue, insomnia, increased thirst, increased urination, or cough.

The two types of hyperhidrosis are treated differently.
Localised Hyperhidrosis is easier to treat because it is only the excessive sweating that needs to be cured. There are no underlying conditions to complicate the procedure. Treatment includes:

Localised Hyperhidrosis is easier to treat because it is only the excessive sweating that needs to be cured. There are no underlying conditions to complicate the procedure. Treatment includes –

  • Antiperspirants
  • Iontophoresis
  • Medications
  • Botox
  • Surgery to remove some of the sweat glands.

Generalised Hyperhidrosis treatment is a little more complicated because the condition that is causing excessive sweating needs to be treated. Sometimes the underlying condition can’t be cured. The symptoms of the underlying condition then need to be treated.