Sweating plays an important role in cooling body temperature when levels are above normal, so the brain sends signals to the sweat glands to release the sweat, and when the sweat evaporates, it cools the surface of the body. the skin, so that the body temperature manages to drop.
Sweating is a normal process, but when it occurs at excessive levels or for no apparent cause, it may indicate a problem getting out, as is the case with sweating, so you may need medical attention.
Diaphoresis is a process of excessive and uncontrollable sweating, which usually occurs throughout the body, even if the person is not in an environment that is conducive to this sweating process or if the person is not doing the strenuous physical activity that triggers it.
In this article, we will take a closer look at which condition it is that causes excessive sweating and what other health conditions are usually accompanied.
What is diaphoresis
Diaphoresis, also called secondary hyperhidrosis, is a term used in medicine to refer to excessive sweating, reaching levels extremely disproportionate to the environment in which the individual is (for example, with low ambient temperature) and activity level. This excessive sweating usually occurs all over the body and not just in one specific area.
Unlike diaphoresis, or secondary hyperhidrosis, which usually causes excessive sweating all over the body, primary hyperhidrosis usually causes excessive sweating in only certain parts of the body (for example, in the bottom or feet). .
Secondary diaphoresis or hyperhidrosis usually does not occur in isolation, but is usually a symptom of an underlying condition. From a health perspective, in some cases this can be severe enough to endanger that person’s life, so urgent medical attention is needed. That’s why, in the next section, we’ll take a look at some of the more common conditions in which sweating can occur.
Main causes of sweating
Below, we will explain the conditions in which sweating is more common among its symptoms.
There are studies that show that up to 85% of women during menopause may experience sweating, especially at night, accompanied by choking.
Throughout perimenopause, the time when a woman stops her period until the onset of menopause, she is very likely to experience nighttime sweating. This it could be related to the hormonal fluctuation you are having, as is the case with estrogen levels, due to the changes undergone during this process, so they can send false signals to the brain that your body is overheating, so you resort to excessive sweating in order to lower these temperature levels.
During pregnancy, it is common for hormone levels to increase dramatically throughout the body., so that the metabolism is accelerated, so that the body temperature rises. This process could trigger excessive sweating in the body, known as diaphoresis.
It should be noted that in the absence of symptoms such as vomiting, body aches, or fever, among others, diaphoresis alone usually does not require medical attention.
When a person suffers from hyperthyroidism, your thyroid gland is overactive and this causes overproduction of the hormone thyroxine, so that the metabolism speeds up significantly and that person may experience the following symptoms:
- Excessive sweating or sweating.
- Remarkable weight loss.
Hyperthyroidism it is a controllable medical condition, but it requires medical treatment, in this case, antithyroid drugs are usually prescribed in most cases, being the first-line treatment for these cases.
In the case of a person with diabetes, because has remarkably low blood sugar, which is also known as hypoglycemia, and you may experience the following symptoms:
- Diaphoresis (this could be a warning sign of a possible case of hypoglycaemia).
- Blurred vision.
When you have hypoglycemia or hypoglycemia, it is very important to restore these sugar levels urgentlyotherwise life would be endangered.
Find an association of sweating or excessive sweating with certain types of cancer, as following:
Related article: “Types of cancer: definition, risks and classification”
6. Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or heart attack, occurs when part of the heart muscle is severely affected for various reasons (for example, building arteries that supply blood to the heart) so that the blood that carries oxygen to the heart cannot access them due to an arterial obstruction. therefore, in this case, medical attention is urgently needed.
In this case, the most common symptoms are:
- Tightness or discomfort in the chest.
- Pain in one or both arms.
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Pain in the jaw, back, neck or stomach.
- Pale on the face.
7. Drug or alcohol withdrawal syndrome
Excessive and uncontrollable sweating or sweating is often experienced, along with other symptoms, when you have withdrawal syndrome. being stopping consuming alcoholic beverages or some type of drug.
In addition to diaphoresis, during withdrawal syndrome, the following symptoms may be felt:
- Fluctuating blood pressure levels.
- Vomiting or nausea.
Due to the range of symptoms typically experienced during a period of abstinence, whether from alcohol or drugs, it is important that the person receives psychological support from an addiction professional and, if possible, a loved one, given the difficulty of proceeding only in this process.
8. Anaphylactic shock
Anaphylactic shock, also called anaphylaxis, it is caused by a severe allergic reaction, occurring soon after a person has been exposed or ingested to a substance that causes a strong allergy.
The most common symptoms of anaphylactic shock are:
- Red itchy skin.
- Difficulty breathing due to narrowing of the airways.
- Significant and rapid decrease in blood pressure levels.
- Diarrhea or vomiting.
- Loss of consciousness.
Anaphylactic shock is potentially fatal, so it requires urgent medical attention. Therefore, in the face of the slightest suspicion, it is important to go to a medical center or immediately call the emergency room.
There are a number of medications that can cause sweating., among other side effects, and some of these drugs are:
- Medicines used during chemotherapy treatment.
- Some pain relievers.
- Hormonal drugs.
10. Other conditions that may cause sweating
In addition to the conditions listed above, other types of conditions can also cause excessive and uncontrollable sweating or sweating, such as malaria, nausea, sleep apnea, or psychological problems, such as cases of anxiety disorders.
When a person suffers from sweating or excessive and uncontrollable sweating, It is important that you seek help or call emergency services or your health center if the sweating is accompanied by any of the following symptoms:
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Wet and cold skin.
- chest tightness or tachycardia.
- Difficulty in breathing.
What can be done to reduce excessive sweating?
In the event of diaphoresis episodes, a series of steps to help reduce the amount of sweating:
- Wear clothes that sweat, like those made from natural fibers with cotton.
- Drink lots of cold water.
- Dress in layers instead of wearing a thick piece, so you can remove the pieces when you need them.
- Keep the environment cool by sufficiently ventilating and even using air conditioning.
- It is best to avoid caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods.
- Domínguez, RO, Cárdenas, EM, Marulanda, YHS & Bartolomé, EL (2017). Recurrent diaphoresis, acute confusion and pleural mesothelioma. Elsevier, 32 (7), p. 484-485.
- Fletcher, J. (April 30, 2018). Diaphoresis: what causes excessive sweating? The medical news of the day.
- Roberts, A. (2020). The great book of the human body. Madrid: Editorial DK Spain.