Sweating is a completely normal part of life. But if you are finding yourself sweating to the point where it is impacting your life, you may have a condition called hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating. People who live with hyperhidrosis don’t just sweat in hot conditions or when they are stressed, it can happen at any time.
So how do you know if you have the condition?
Firstly, its important you visit your doctor to rule out any other medical conditions. Sometimes, excessive sweating is a sign of another serious condition – such as diabetes, menopause, thyroid problems, some types of cancer, heart attack and infections or side effects to certain medications.
The main sign is if you have been excessively sweating for at least six months with no known cause
Severe sweating is usually diagnosed when someone has experienced at least six months of excessive sweating with no known cause. By excessive sweating, it means that the overactive sweat glands release a volume of sweat that is significantly more than your body’s normal requirements for cooling.
People with hyperhidrosis also possess at least two of the following characteristics:
• Sweating impacts daily activities – this may result in the individual avoiding certain social situations due to discomfort or embarrassment and may impact their work performance. Excessive sweating can also mean clothes have to be changed during the day – further affecting everyday life
• The onset of your excess sweating is earlier than 25 years of age
• There is a family history of excessive sweating – there is some data to suggest that excessive sweating can be genetic
• Sweating occurs at least once a week
• It does not happen when you sleep
If you think that some or all of these characteristics might apply to you, speak to your GP or specialist for support and to discuss your options.