Hyperhydrosis Excessive Sweating
Dr. Jennifer Luis, BSc., BEd., NDNaturopathic Physician Read Biography
Hyperhydrosis, or excess sweating, affects both men and women from puberty and on. The condition ranges from mild to severe and can affect any body part where sweat glands exist. The most common areas are palms, soles of feet and underarms however each person can experience it differently.
Overactive sweat glands, which are controlled by the nervous system, can be stimulated to release sweat even without exertion or heat. For those affected, this can alter the way they dress, their activity level and social interactions. Some individuals will wear socks all the time to absorb sweat, or wear two shirts even in heat so that sweat stains and the uncomfortable feeling of wearing wet clothing can be lessened.
From a naturopathic perspective, measuring and treating high cortisol levels can decrease the severity of hyperhydrosis in some individuals. Cortisol is the first hormone to be released when experiencing stress (whether the stressor is mental or physical such as exercise) and is one of a few hormones to signal sweat glands to produce and excrete sweat. Herbs such as ashwagandha and rhodiola are adaptogenic and can help balance cortisol. Other natural approaches include cleaning up the diet – removing refined sugar and caffeine, testing for food sensitivities and balancing insulin levels.
Some pharmaceutical medications can treat hyperhydrosis by lowering signals to the nerves that control sweat gland activity. This can be oral or injected directly with the use of a neuromodulator such as botulinum toxin. Injection techniques involve multiple shallow injections to the dermal layer of skin to decrease signalling from the nervous system. The high success rate with injections can provide sweat-free skin for up to 6 months at a time. Extended benefits may cover this therapy.
At Vitalia Healthcare, we treat hyperhydrosis of the palms, feet and underarms. For more information, please contact our clinic.