Why Do We Sweat?
For humans, it is natural to sweat. People who suffer from hypohidrosis, the inability to sweat, can dangerously overheat in hot weather and during vigorous exercise. They can suffer from heat exhaustion, cramps and heat stroke. So, it is abnormal and dangerous not to sweat, but why do we sweat in the first place?
There are two types of sweat glands. The first are located all over the body and they are called the eccrine gland. These are the sweat glands that help regulate temperature.
Our bodies have a built-in cooling system that regulates our temperature. When our body temperature starts to rise, blood vessels dilate and our sweat glands are stimulated. This starts the process of secretion. Then, evaporation of sweat from our skin helps to cool the body and prevent overheating.
The second sweat glands are only located in certain areas of the body, such as the navel and armpits, and they react to stimulation, stress, and emotion. These glands are called the apocrine gland.
The reason behind emotional sweating seems to still be a mystery. However, some scientists believe that is a natural way to send signals to people around us, brought on by evolution.
Pheromones found in sweat are thought to influence the behavior of other people, and for this reason they are being bottled by seduction and attraction companies mainly to help men naturally increase their attraction to women.
Many people believe that we also detox through our sweat, and that has many people purposely trying to overheat through saunas and steam baths. It is true that through our environment, food, and unhealthy habits, we can inhale and digest toxins, and they do have to leave the body somehow, but sweat has not been shown to be one of the main avenues.
The truth is that sweat contains water, sodium, chloride, and potassium. The apocrine glands also secrete fatty acids and protein, and only a trace amount of toxins. Therefore, eliminating toxins is not a real driver behind sweating.
In the end, sweating is a natural process that helps our bodies cool down when our internal temperature has risen to high. It is also a reaction that occurs to certain stimulants, stress, and emotions. While many people believe that we can remove toxins through our sweat, there is not a lot of research to back up that theory, and it is better to focus on maintaining good liver and digestive health in order to remove toxins.
What is Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis is the condition where the body sweats much more than is necessary for regulating the temperature. Sweating may occur even when the temperature outside is regulated (cold) and even when you are not physically active (at rest).
Excess sweating can be experienced throughout the whole body or can be localized (in a specific area only). The most common regions affected by local hyperhidrosis are hands, feet, armpits, and the groin area. These areas are the most active regions where perspiration occurs in the body. This is due to the high concentration of sweat glands in these areas.
Hyperhidrosis can be an upsetting, annoying and debilitating illness to live with. People who suffer from this often tend to feel self conscious and fear that others will discover that they sweat profusely. Simple things like shaking hands become difficult, giving hugs, or writing become very difficult.
Luckily, there are many treatment methods that can help to alleviate some of symptoms associated with hyperhidrosis. These methods that are safe and effective at fighting this problem.
How to Test for Hyperhidrosis
There are a few tests designed to find out if you have excessive sweating.
1) Starch-Iodine Test
Starch-Iodine test is generally used to find out areas of excessive sweating. In this test, an Iodine solution is first applied to the sweaty areas of the body. After this is done, starch is taken and sprinkled on these areas over the solution. When used in this combination, starch will turn into a dark blue color in areas wherever there is excess sweating.
2) Paper Test
Another simple test that is used to determine excessive sweating is the paper test. Paper is placed on areas with high sweating and once all the sweat has been absorbed by the paper, the paper is weighed. The heavier the paper, the more sweating has occurred in the area.
Identification of the type of hyperhidrosis is done based on the location of high sweating. Is the sweating localized in some areas? Are you experiencing more sweating only on your palms, armpits, feet, face, etc.? Or is it general and all over the body?