Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. According to the National Institutes of Health, excessive sweating affects up to three percent of the United States population. Despite its seeming prevalance however, fewer than 40 percent of those afflicted seek medical help, most likely due to embarrassment.
If you struggle with excessive sweating and are using an lots of antiperspirant to combat it, you could be making matters worse.
Antiperspirant Can Make Excessive Sweating Worse
Although the words ‘antiperspirant’ and ‘deodorant’ are often used interchangeably, they actually perform different functions. Antiperspirants use aluminum to essentially stop your ability to sweat. Deodorants, on the other hand, use fragrances and other chemicals to mask the odor of perspiration.
Sweating is a natural part of your body’s detoxification and cooling process. If you try to prevent excessive sweating through the use of an antiperspirant, your body will over-compensate by producing even more sweat. Treating hyperhidrosis with an antiperspirant is about as effective as shaving unwanted facial hair. The more you shave, the faster it grows.
Furthermore, conventional antiperspirants use ingredients that may be harmful to your health.
- Aluminum – Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer.
- Parabens – Parabens have been found in 99% of breast cancer tissue.
- Propylene Glycol – Propylene glycol has been linked to central nervous system damage, liver disease, and heart failure when used in excessive quantities.
- Phthalates – Phthalates have been associated with birth defects, cell mutation, and the development of cancer.
- Triclosan – This synthetic antibacterial agent has been classified by the FDA as a pesticide while the Environmental Protection Agency cites it as a probable carcinogen.
Food and Environmental Causes of Excessive Sweating
- Thyroid Disease
Hyperthyroidism often causes excessive sweating, anxiety, heart palpitations, and trembling hands. If these symptoms sound familiar to you, talk with your doctor about a thyroid test. Take note, however, that standard thyroid tests can be tricky and may reveal a false negative. Direct Labs offers a Complete Thyroid Panel + Thyroid Antibodies that offers more accurate results. You can order it online, visit your nearest LabCorp office, and have your results delivered to your doctor in as little as 7 business days.
- Gluten Intolerance
Undiagnosed gluten intolerance has been linked to thyroid disease as well as the development of excessive sweating. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and some oats, which is indigestible to those with an intolerance to it.
This condition can cause chronic digestive distress, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, eczema, psoriasis, cystic acne, and excessive sweating. If these symptoms sound familiar, remove all gluten products from your diet for 6-8 weeks.
Afterward, reintroduce several gluten-containing products at once to test for a reaction. If your symptoms fade during the elimination diet and return after the reintroduction of the offending grain, you likely have gluten intolerance.
- Liver Congestion
Excessive sweating can also be caused by a sluggish liver.
If you experience non-menopausal hot flashes, sweats, a bloated belly, mood swings, right upper abdominal discomfort, acid reflux, persistent fatigue, and the inability to properly digest fatty foods, you may benefit from a good liver cleanse.
Drinking milk thistle tea or taking a milk thistle supplement can help detoxify your liver. You can also try regular dry skin brushing before showering to encourage the release of built-up toxins from your entire system.
- Vitamin D Deficiency
It is estimated that up to 85% of the American and Canadian population is deficient in this essential nutrient. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to chronic pain, immune system depression, and thyroid disorder, which can in turn cause excessive sweating. For my patients, I recommend 2,000 – 5,000 IUs of vitamin D3 per day to get levels back up to optimum. Talk with your healthcare provider about checking your vitamin D levels with a blood test.
Treat Hyperhidrosis with Natural Ingredients and Supplements
- Magnesium Supplement
Magnesium deficiency is the most common mineral deficiency in the United States. Symptoms include excessive sweating, anxiety, mood swings, depression, and low blood pressure. Adding a magnesium supplement to your diet can help bring all these symptoms under control naturally.
- Sage Supplement
Sage leaf extract can be taken internally to detoxify your body and decrease the symptoms of hyperhidrosis. An ingredient in certain sage supplements, called thujone, can be potentially dangerous to your liver if taken to excess or used over long periods of time. Invest in a thujone-free sage supplement and take it only according to the directions on the label. (Pregnant women should avoid sage as can bring on premature uterine contractions).
- Home-Made Natural Deodorant
You can make your own home-made hyperhidrosis deodorant by mixing together the following ingredients:
- 1/3 cup organic coconut oil
- 1/3 cup arrowroot powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons aluminum-free baking soda
- 5-10 drops of sage essential oil
Store the mixture in an air-tight container and use as needed.
If you suffer from hyperhidrosis, resist that urge to cake on an inch-thick layer of antiperspirant. Try these natural solutions instead. After a few short months, you might find yourself dryer and more confident than you’ve been in years!