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  Hyperhidrosis  
 
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Hyperhidrosis is a genetic condition that causes abnormal and excessive heat loss, through excessive sweating, from the hands, feet or underarms. The heat loss may be so efficient that most persons with hyperhidrosis have body temperatures below 98.6 degrees F. Hyperhidrosis usually affects the palms, feet and underarms, but can also affect the face and trunk or be general in nature. Hyperhidrosis is not due to emotional distress, but is caused by a physiologic trigger that results in the hands and feet becoming cold and clammy and literally dripping with sweat. From the underarms, sweat may drip down the chest wall and ruin clothes, thus significantly limiting the sufferer's choices of fabrics and colors.

Hyperhidrosis affects men and women, all races and every age group. For example, 1 of every 25 Caucasians has hyperhidrosis. Asians have an even higher rate of incidence---1 of every 5 suffers from this condition. A recent study estimated that 12 million Americans have hyperhidrosis.

For persons with hyperhidrosis, this excessive sweating can occur at any time: while you are in a cold room, while you are calm, restful and without feeling any stress or anxiety, and even when you are alone reading a book or watching TV. Someone with hyperhidrosis faces daily embarrassments. Your quality of life is greatly affected. Hyperhidrosis touches every important aspect of your life, from relationships to career choices.

Coping with hyperhidrosis is not easy. Excessive sweating / excessive perspiration can take a toll on one's self confidence and relationship with others. Hyperhidrosis has a definite genetic history even though the parents may not actually have the symptoms. Many persons with hyperhidrosis find themselves "hiding their sweating" from even their closest friends or partners.

Hyperhidrosis is caused by a hyperactive sympathetic nervous system. The areas of the body that may be affected can occur in any combination, including the face, underarms, hands and feet. The severe sweating from hyperhidrosis may start with the beginning of each day and continue throughout the day and night or it may only be intermittent. In any case, the sweating is severe and is not just sweat. It is profuse, noticeable and very uncomfortable. However, with the right treatment, hyperhidrosis can be successfully treated and cured.

For palmar hyperhydrosis, the most effective treatments are a thoracic nerve snipping surgery (permanent), botox injections (lasting up to 12 months) and an iontophoresis technique which involves applying low electrical currents to affected areas.

Causes of secondary hyperhidrosis include exercise, gout, stress, anxiety, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lymphoma, hypoglycemia, obesity, vitiligo, insulin, hyperthyroidism, menopause, and heredity.

Home remedy: Boil five tea bags in a quart of water for five minutes. When the solution cools, soak your hands or feet for twenty to thirty minutes nightly. Tea contains tannic acid, which is also found in commercial products such as Ivy Dry, Zilactol, and Zilactin. The astringent properties of tannic acid are thought to be partly responsible for its antiperspirant action.

Sweaty palms in a tense or high-anxiety moment is perfectly normal and will ease up once the moment has passed.




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Recommendations for Hyperhidrosis:
 
 
Drug  Conventional Drugs / Information
 Conservative medical treatments such as Drysol, Drionics or oral medications may be helpful for mild and moderate cases of hyperhidrosis, but are usually ineffective in cases of severe hyperhidrosis.

Habits

  Personal Hygiene Changes
 Washing under your arms with a mild soap once or twice a day can help reduce the bacteria in your armpits that actually cause offensive odor. This will not reduce the sweating, but can help with any offensive odor generated by these bacteria. Plese see the link to Lavilin also.

Oriental Medicine

  Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
 Reducing stress triggers before they have a chance to stimulate your autonomic nervous system can help reduce sweating. EFT may help address the emotional issues that underlie these triggers.

Physical Medicine

  Calming / Stretching Exercises
 Practicing deep breathing exercises can reduce the stimulation of your sympathetic nervous system, which is often the cause of the excessive sweating that can occur when you are feeling anxious.

Skin

  Lavilin

Surgery/Invasive

  Surgery
 The most effective treatment of severe hyperhidrosis is by a procedure called Endoscopic Sympathetic Blockade (also called Sympathectomy). The classic procedure calls for cutting or destroying of the second or third nerve trunks called the Sympathetic nerve trunk or ganglion, but this renders the operation irreversible. The outpatient procedure takes about 30 minutes and most leave the surgical center in about an hour.
 
 


KEY
May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended







GLOSSARY

Anxiety:  Apprehension of danger, or dread, accompanied by nervous restlessness, tension, increased heart rate, and shortness of breath unrelated to a clearly identifiable stimulus.

Astringent:  Agent causing contraction, especially after topical application.

Gout:  A disease characterized by an increased blood uric acid level and sudden onset of episodes of acute arthritis.

Hyperhidrosis:  Excessive sweating.

Hyperthyroidism:  An abnormal condition of the thyroid gland resulting in excessive secretion of thyroid hormones characterized by an increased metabolism and weight loss.

Hypoglycemia:  A condition characterized by an abnormally low blood glucose level. Severe hypoglycemia is rare and dangerous. It can be caused by medications such as insulin (diabetics are prone to hypoglycemia), severe physical exhaustion, and some illnesses.

Insulin:  A hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to elevated blood glucose levels. Insulin stimulates the liver, muscles, and fat cells to remove glucose from the blood for use or storage.

Lymphoma:  Any tumor of the lymphatic tissues.

Menopause:  The cessation of menstruation (usually not official until 12 months have passed without periods), occurring at the average age of 52. As commonly used, the word denotes the time of a woman's life, usually between the ages of 45 and 54, when periods cease and any symptoms of low estrogen levels persist, including hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, mood swings, loss of libido and vaginal dryness. When these early menopausal symptoms subside, a woman becomes postmenopausal.

Rheumatoid Arthritis:  A long-term, destructive connective tissue disease that results from the body rejecting its own tissue cells (autoimmune reaction).

Sympathetic Nervous:  Sympathetic nervous system: Portion of the autonomic nervous system that is generally associated with “flight or fight” reactions by increasing blood circulation and respiration and decreasing digestion.

Tuberculosis:  Also known as TB, Consumption or "The White Plague", tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, usually affecting the lungs but possibly also the brain, kidneys and bones. Patients may at first be symptom-free or experience a flu-like illness. In the secondary stage, there might be a slight fever, night sweats, weight loss, fatigue and various other symptoms, depending on the part of the body affected. Tuberculosis of the lung is usually associated with a dry cough that eventually leads to a productive cough with blood-stained sputum. There might also be chest pain and shortness of breath.