Excessive Sweating: Embarrassing Problem Affects Millions
It impacts over 10 million people in North America, but only 30% of those affected seek treatment for the embarrassing and socially-inhibiting problem of excessive sweating. Sufferers of this condition report a dramatic negative effect on their ability to socialize. Too much perspiration can stain clothes and cause unpleasant body odor.
Humans are one of the few mammals that sweat to keep their bodies cool. It’s normal for you to perspire when engaged in physical activities, exposed high temperatures, or under stress. But if you find yourself sweating extensively when inactive and exposed only to moderate temperatures, you should consult your chiropractor.
There are several cause of excessive sweating. It can be produced by some medications, especially anti-depressants. It may also be linked to a serious underlying health condition, such as diabetes, thyroid problems, and some forms of cancer. That’s why you should not delay seeking help for this condition. The sooner you find out what’s causing the problem, the better.
If you’re otherwise healthy, you may suffer from a form of hyperhidrosis. The exact cause of this disorder is still under question, but it’s believed to be primarily linked to a dysfunction of the nervous system. Axillary hyperhidrosis causes excessive sweating in the underarms. As well, other types of hyperhidrosis may impact areas like your face, palms and soles of your feet. The less common generalized hyperhidrosis causes excessive perspiration all over the body.
Tradition Approaches to Excessive Sweating
So what can you do if you suffer from excessive sweating? Traditional medicine offers several treatments for this condition.
Prescription and over-the-counter anti-perspirants and lotions are often prescribed. But these aren’t always effective for everyone.
While there are oral medications for this problem, the drugs produce irritating side effects like dry mouth and blurred vision.
Another technique that has been around for decades is a procedure called ionotphoresis. This involves applying low levels of electricity to disable sweat glands in the affected areas of your body. Although painless, ionotphoresis must be repeated at regular intervals otherwise excessive sweating returns.
In rare cases, surgery is prescribed to destroy nerves connected to the sweat glandes. However this procedure is fraught with possible complications to lung and nerve health.
A new treatment for hyperhidrosis in the underarms is Botox injections. A needle containing Botox is injected into 20 locations in each underarm area. Like ionotphoresis, the Botox effect is temporary, and has to be repeated every six months to maintain its therapeutic effect. Another drawback is that Botox is quite expensive.
Is there anything you can try that is less invasive, expensive or time consuming than surgery, ionotphoresis or Botox injections? Fortunately, yes.
Herbal Medicine Offers Solutions
There are several herbs that may help reduce excessive perspiration.
Burdock is a plant whose root is widely used in Chinese herbal medicine. One of it’s traditional uses is as a diuretic- helping to expel excess fluid through urination. This therapeutic property may also be responsible for reducing perspiration. It’s often sold in North America as a dried root powder or tincture. Be aware that incorrect use of burdock products may cause dehydration.
Astralagus is another herb often used in traditional medicine in Asia and grows throughout Northeast China, Japan and Korea. As well as containing healthful antioxidants, astralagus is also used a diuretic.
White Peony is another plant found predominantly in Chine and its roots help control excessive sweating. The root’s ingredients also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Sage is a versatile plant used for both culinary and medicinal purposes. It may have first been used medicinally in Egypt and then spread to Europe by the Romans. As a medicinal herb product, sage is often used in oil form as an anti-perspirant. It may also be consumed as a tea to help control sweating.
Choosing a natural therapeutic method like herbs over pharmaceutical drugs is often less disruptive to your body. But herbs can cause interactions when combined with some medications. Always get professional advice before using herbs and supplements.
Beyond herbs, there are several thing you can try to help reduce perspiration. Meditation and yoga may provide some relief from this problem. Wear clothes made of natural fibres, such as wool and silk. Avoid spicy foods and caffeinated beverages, which may increase sweating.
There is also some evidence that acupuncture may help lessen excessive perspiration.