Nobody enjoys the feeling of a damp sweaty face or a sweat soaked shirt, but did you know that sweating is actually a good thing that serves useful purposes for our bodies? Aside from regulating our body’s temperature and removing unwanted toxins through the skin, sweating can also teach us a lot about our health and body. From providing a hint about your mental state to diagnosing a medical condition, here are 6 things your sweat is trying to tell you.
6) You may be pregnant or about to hit menopause.
Anything that messes with your endocrine system can make you sweatier than usual. The dreaded hot flash, which manifests in the years approaching menopause is said to have been experienced by 85% of menopausal women. Pregnancy may also be to blame as hormonal changes can toy with the brain’s “thermostat”, causing it to think that your body is overheating and needs to be cooled off by triggering sweating.
5) You may be stressed.
If you notice your armpits getting soaked by sweat, take a moment to reflect if something is bothering you. The sweat we produce when we are feeling hot is secreted by eccrine glands all over the body, which is mostly water and salt. However, when we feel stressed, sweat is secreted by the apocrine glands found in your armpits.
4) You might be happy or scared.
How your sweat smells can also give the people around you an idea of whether you are feeling happy or scared. In an experiment that asked 36 women to smell sweat samples of men who had just finished watching either a happy or scary video, women were able to make relative facial expressions which determined whether a man was happy or scared.
3) You might be at risk for heatstroke.
Have you ever gone for a walk and then suddenly realized that you have stopped perspiring and starting to get dizzy? If so, you may be suffering from anhidrosis, the inability to sweat normally. A potentially fatal condition, anhidrosis prevents your body from naturally cooling off and can result to heat exhaustion or heatstroke. If ever you feel heat exhaustion coming on, immediately get out of the sun and move to a cool dry place with a fan and drink plenty of liquids except coffee or alcohol.
2) Your blood sugar may be low.
Your blood sugar should normally be between 70 and 100 mg/dL during fasting. When it drops below the 70 mark (whether because of diabetes or a strenuous physical activity), you may start to sweat excessively and feel a bit cold. Fortunately, you can raise you blood sugar back to its normal level by eating or drinking something. If, however, your blood sugar continues to drop, you may feel more serious symptoms like heart palpitations, dizziness and blurred vision. Be sure to seek medical care if you or a loved one start to exhibit more serious symptoms.
1) You may have hyperhidrosis.
You are supposed to sweat if you are feeling hot or stressed or if you are engaged in a strenuous activity. If, however, you still sweat at times when you should not be sweating at all – like for instance, inside a cool room sitting perfectly still and feeling relaxed – you may be suffering from hyperhidrosis, a medical condition in which a person sweats excessively and unpredictably. Doctors are not really sure why hyperhidrosis happens, but they do know that it is genetic and is a result of overactivity in the sympathetic nervous system. Treatment of hyperhidrosis varies, depending on where it is located. It can include hyperhidrosis gels, surgery or botox injections.