Why do I sweat?

Sweat or perspiration is a clear, salty liquid produced and secreted by glands in the skin. We sweat to cool ourselves. This can be because we are feeling hot due to the outside temperature or exercise, or due to overstimulated nerves that are the result of feeling anxious.

In humans, sweat is mainly under the arms and on feet/ the palms of hands. At times however, the face and back may also perspire. The amount of sweat depends on how many sweat glands you have.

A person is born with around two to four million sweat glands! These glands start to become fully active during puberty which is why children tend to sweat less than adults. It may surprise you to learn that women have more sweat glands than men! Men’s sweat glands are however more active.

Have you ever wondered just how much you could sweat?

The maximum sweat rates in an adult can be up to 2-4 litres per hour or 10-14 hours per day! That’s a lot of hot yoga!

It is normal to sweat a lot when it is hot, when exercising, when anxious or if you have a fever. Sweating is also common in women during menopause.

What happens if I am always sweaty?

If you are always sweaty, or find that you are regularly sweating too much, it may be time to get checked out by a health professional. They will be able to help you find out if there is a specific reason for your excessive levels of sweating.

Excessive sweating is called hyperhidrosis and can cause:

  • Thyroid problems
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Certain food intolerance
  • Medication side-effects
  • Liver issues low blood sugar

Sweating too little is called anhidrosis. This can be life threatening because your body can overheat. Causes of anhidrosis include:

  • Dehydration
  • Burns
  • Some skin disorders
  • Some nerve disorders

While some people are embarrassed by sweating, it is a normal and important process that everyone experiences.  When sweat mixes with the bacteria on your skin however, it can cause a bad odour which is often the cause of concern.

Good hygiene, regular baths/ showers and deodorants can help control body odor. Making sure that clothing is worn only once, as well as regularly changing shoes will also keep you feeling fresh and clean.

One Comment

  1. Katlyn on

    I spent a lot of time to locate something such as this

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