Dr. Nicole Sundene
HORMONES CAUSE SWEATING?
Hormonal sweating can be caused by a variety of different types of hormone imbalance we will discuss today. Sweating is actually a very complicated symptom to diagnose, requires proper hormone testing, is multifactorial, and typically hormonal. Unfortunately more than just one hormone can be to blame when women are suddenly sweating. This is why working with a skilled Naturopathic Hormone Doctor is imperative to get to the "Root Cause," of the sweating.
Oftentimes I sadly see new patients that hand me a report saying "My doctor already checked all my hormones." Only to find they have been tested for menopause at age 25, or they just checked a TSH which is about as helpful as mammogramming one breast and assuming the other breast containing breast cancer is totally fine. If you are expecting your Family Doctor, Dermatologist, Endocrinologist, or OBgyn to problem solve excessive sweating, their solutions will be botox, birth control pills, or a toxic high dose of aluminum deodorant or "Prescription Strength Deodorant."
IS PRESCRIPTION STRENGTH DEODORANT SAFE?
Prescription strength aluminum deodorant is not just pure poison in my mind, but it truly fails women when they have full body sweats. Women cannot coat their entire bodies and faces with aluminum, this is not just ridiculous but dangerous. Plus the amount of aluminum in regular deodorant is nasty enough and I would personally never use prescription strength deodorant when aluminum toxicity is associated with Alzheimers and other conditions such as muscle weakness, bone pain, multiple nonhealing fractures, alteration in mental status, and premature osteoporosis.
Therefore addressing the root cause of the sweating and treating it with a natural approach is imperative for long term health. Plus the body is inherently wise and sends memo's that something is not right in a form we will listen to as women. No woman wants to be seen sweating! Oftentimes for women the body knows we are somewhat vain and demonstrates the hormone imbalance with acne, hair loss, and sweating. Three symptoms most women will not ignore!
Menopause is generally the first thought women have when they are too hot or sweating more than normal. However this can occur with perimenopause, thyroid, Hashimotos, adrenal fatigue, estrogen dominance, diabetes, and insulin resistance. Therefore we will need a hormone report that is around five pages to properly address and resolve hormonal sweating.
HOW TO DETERMINE IF SWEATING IS HORMONAL
First of all we need to determine the type of sweating. Is it a classic hot flash that starts on your head, face, and chest? Once that has started it is normal to feel hot all over the body and experience excessive sweating in the private areas and bottom.
As estrogen drops in menopause the brain struggles to properly regulate the body's thermostat. Once the memo is received to cool the body down vasodilation occurs and blood flow increases to release heat. As the body overshoots this by overworking, the opposite reaction then happens and women feel cold and chilled. In the menopause episode of "The Cosby Show" the mom is going through hot flashes and keeps putting her head in the freezer. When the head, face, and chest are too hot, think hot flashes with sweating.
ARMPIT SWEATING IS DIFFERENT THAN HOT FLASHES
Armpit sweating oftentimes begins in a woman's 20's or 30's and can be an initial sign of perimenopause as the body is struggling to stay as cool as it normally can. So my first question when I have a new patient complaining of embarrassing sweating is "Is it just excessive armpit sweating or full body sweats?" I also want to know how often the sweating occurs and if anything is triggering the episodes like stress, meals, hunger, or emotions. These are the questions I will need answers to in order to diagnose and naturally treat the cause of the sweating.
HOW TO TRACK CAUSES OF SWEATING
What time of day does the sweating occur? Do you have chills after sweating? Do you feel overheated while sweating? Does body temperature actually increase when sweating?
Are you under excessive stress? Cortisol stress hormone can be tested and is also a classic cause of sweating. Neurotransmitter testing can be conducted to look at high catecholamines like epinephrine and norepinephrine that also cause sweating with a stress response. Herbal medicine can help balance cortisol, norepinephrine, and epinphrine to reduce sweating.
Full body hot flashes that come and go without any other menopausal symptoms may be an indication of an underlying infection. The immune system is trying to make a fever to clear the infection. I recommend keeping a thermometer on hand to see if there is a spike to normal temperature when the sweating occurs.
Treating the insulin resistance with Naturopathy generally makes the sweating go away.
Without a proper diagnosis it is very difficult to clear up hormonal sweating. Most MD’s will have no other solution but to just give you a super strong aluminum deodorant that is “prescription strength,” which I am personally not a fan of considering the toxicity issues with aluminum with just a regular dose of over the counter deodorant. Applying toxic aluminum at high doses to your skin is not the permanent answer to sweating, nor is botoxing the nerves to your armpits. When Dermatologists botox sweat gland nerves the sweating can just pop up somewhere else other than the armpits, oftentimes the sweating then moves to the face, vagina, or bottom. So all of these prescription sweating remedies are all just slapping a band-aid on top of the problem and the body will find a new way to send a message that something is not right. Kind of like when we put our hand over a screaming toddler’s mouth.
We can temporarily silence a toddler like this, but without listening and understanding their problem they will likely just scream louder and louder or act out in another way and maybe even kick or hit us.
Regardless of the cause of the sweating, this is an important symptom we should not ignore as it may be indicating a much greater issue such as Cancer, Diabetes or other endocrine disorders such as hyperthyroidism.
Until we are working together and have the “Root Cause” of the sweating diagnosed and treated, I recommend avoiding spicy foods, sugar, excess carbohydrates above 150g daily, caffeine <200mg or less per day, and increasing the cooling foods on my Hot Flash blog.
Need my help testing and treating excessive hormonal sweating? I would be happy to help! Helping women feel confident in their skin is one of my favorite joys of practicing Naturopathic Hormones and Dermatology. Simply visit my SCHEDULE page to treat yourself to a Naturopathic visit!
Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD
Dr. Sundene is a Naturopathic Doctor in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is considered a Female Hormone Expert in Women's Health and Bioidentical Hormones. She specializes in Holistic Women's Health for Menopause, Thyroid, Hashimotos, PMS, Perimenopause, Autoimmune, Postpartum, Chronic Fatigue, Depression, Anxiety, Food Allergies, Digestion, Dermatology , Acne, Psoriasis, Eczema and Adrenal Hormonal Conditions. In 1999 she began working for a Hormone Doctor prior to starting Naturopathic Medical School. With over 22 years of experience in both Prescription and Natural women's health and hormones she presents to women the best integrated health solutions for their Chronic Disease. She has been an Herbalist for over 27 years and enjoys teaching women how to use herbs to balance their hormones, nutrition and optimize their health. Dr. Sundene relies on blood testing for her hormone metrics. The hormone testing is covered per the patient's insurance plan and conducted at certain points in the woman's menstrual cycle. To learn more about Hormone Testing for Women Visit: Bioidentical Hormones. Follow Dr. Sundene on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for more tips on Women's Health, Female Hormones and Naturopathy!