AUTHOR’S NOTE: I’m going to say this a thousand times through this article: please do your own research and consult with a doctor before drastically changing diet, trying new supplements or trying to change your medications!
Today I want to talk to you about sweating. I know, you’re probably thinking “why? Don’t we all sweat?” And the answer is yes. Sweating is a natural process to help regulate our temperature.
So why are we talking about it if we all do it? I want to talk to you about excessive sweating; the kind where you move from the bed to the door in the morning and you’re sweating. I can hear you now. “What if this doesn’t apply to me?” Well then you aren’t part of the 3% of the population this affects but maybe you know someone who is!
When you sweat excessively it can determine so much about your life- from the exercise you get, to where you go out, and when. Talk about a pain!
So let’s dive right in, starting with why we sweat and what you can do about it!
WHY DO WE SWEAT
Our body has more than 2 million sweat glands that hide underneath our skin. When the body heats up for any reason, these glands release moisture and send it to the surface. Sweat evaporates, removing excess heat and restoring your body temperature to normal. Pretty cool huh?
It also helps clean the skin and remove toxins from your body! Hello detox!
This is excessive sweating. I’m talking sweating through your clothes when you have on three tops and $50 deodorant because you’re trying not to let anyone know you sweat so much. This isn’t a ‘man I just ran three miles or worked out super hard’ sweat. This is a ‘I’m doing minimal physical activity and I’m sweating. WHY?!’ sweat.
This can be caused by hereditary factors but there are also some medications and diseases that can cause it to happen. And of course, some of the things we talk about most: stress, anxiety and emotional tension can all exasperate this!
It affects between 1-3% of the population.
So, you’re reading to find out how to stop it, right? Right. So let’s get to it!
This blog is mostly going to feature the holistic remedies, though there are medications and other treatments you can try.
Watch What You Eat!
This is a common thing no matter what you’re looking at health wise. If you look at a health article, chances are it’s going to mention your diet.
But did you know that avoiding or consuming certain food can actually help you control your sweat?
No? Well now you do!
Foods To Avoid: Spices like cayenne pepper, pepper or ginger. Why? They increase the body’s temperature, causing you to sweat. (FUN FACT! They are actually used to lower fevers because they make you sweat which brings your temperature down!)
- Avoid any spicy dishes, garlic, processed and high-sugar foods and anything with a high concentration of hydrogenated oils. These foods will also stimulate your glands.
- It’s also important to focus on not over eating. This causes stress on your body while it’s trying to process everything and next thing you know, sweat city.
- Reduce your caffeine intake. (Hurt my heart to write that, I hope you know.) It can over-stimulate your central nervous system. This will produce adrenaline and raise your internal temperature. And we all know what that means. Hello sweat.
- Avoid Hot Drinks & Drink Plenty of Water (Told you, basic health stuff everywhere!) Why water, you ask? I hoped you would! It helps regulate your body temperature (which is what we’re trying to do) when you’re hydrated. Plus if you’re sweating excessively, you need water to stay hydrated! Where do you think all that sweat’s coming from?
- Eliminate alcohol and Nicotine (as you can!) These also stimulate the release of adrenaline which leads to sweating. Not to mention, they just aren’t that good for you.
FOODS TO FOCUS ON:
- Fresh fruits & Vegetables (what kind of health article would this be without those?!)
- Whole grains
- Moderate amounts of lean meats
- Sage Tea
- Witch hazel water
Salvia, Sage Tea, Tomatoes and Grapes
Don’t worry that doesn’t say saliva, though the first round of research I could’ve sworn it did too.
Salvia contains vitamin B which reduces the activity in your glands. Guess what that means? You got it. Less sweats. You can drink it, include it baths, eat it’s leaves in salads, sauces or in batters. FUN FACT: It’s essential oils are found in many natural deodorants!
Sage is one of the best natural remedies for treating excessive sweating. You can drink sage tea or take a sage capsule. This also helps soothe your nervous system!
Tomatoes and Grapes are loaded with antioxidants and keep your body from overheating! How about some options? Gazpacho or tomato juice is great if you don’t want to eat plain tomato slices. 10-15 grapes each day or fresh grape juice, even more options!
Witch hazel water has an astringent action that leaves your skin clean and dry. You can find it in most herb stores. Try spraying on your body before you get dressed and when you notice you’re starting to sweat excessively. (Great for facial sweating!)
RED CLAY BATHS – the clay will absorb toxins from your body and relax your nervous system (two birds.) The suggested bath is 5 tablespoons of red clay powder and bathe for half an hour and rinse with cool water.
NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS – (I’m going to say this a thousand times through this article: please do your own research and consult with a doctor before drastically changing diet, trying new supplements or trying to change your medications!) There were several that popped up while doing research. Some of them included: lecithin capsules, zinc, Brewer’s Yeast and Vitamins B, C & E.
ANTIPRESPERANT – Chances are if you are trying to stop this problem, this is one of the first things you looked at, trying over the counter antiperspirants and trying to choose the right one. Well, here’s some more information for you! If you’re asking what the difference between deodorants and antiperspirants are I’m going to tell you. If not, well, I’m going to tell you. Isn’t that just like a woman?
Deodorants contain fragrances that (are supposed to) help cover up your body odor. Antiperspirants are formulated to prevent underarm perspiration.
What if you can’t find one over the counter that works for you? A suggestion is talking to your doctor about prescription antiperspirants. These will contain higher levels of aluminum chloride hexahydrate (which is also found in the drug store ones, just not as much). Again, CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE DOING THIS!
FUN FACT: People tend to sweat less at night. So what? If you apply your antiperspirant before bed, your body will be able to better absorb what you’ve applied!
SHAVE YOUR ARM PITS – Okay guys, I know, this isn’t very “manly” but neither is sweating through your shirt on a first date when you’re trying to impress her. There’s two reasons that research shows this works.
- Letting sweat build up on the hairs in your armpits helps the bacteria that makes us stink grow.
- Shaving reduces moisture build up and allows more air to reach the skin, which makes sweat evaporate.
USE BAKING SODA AND LEMON – Let’s talk about why you’d want to put a little baking soda or lemon on your armpits, because you’re thinking that sounds crazy; just crazy enough to work! The baking soda counteracts the acid in your sweat, so combining them forms a gas, which makes sweat evaporate and quickly. Plus it neutralizes bad odors! Win, win!
The citric acid you find in lemon kills the bacteria that makes us stink and works as a natural deodorant. (I am not telling you to quit wearing it all together…)
A fun way to use this? Mix equal lemon juice and baking soda and use a cotton ball to apply to your armpits.
So now let’s talk about other things you can do to help stop your excessive sweating.
Wear the Right Clothes!
It’s always important to be dressed appropriately, no matter what you’re doing. The same is true when you are trying to stop excessive sweating because no amount of anything you apply to your body can stop the problem when you aren’t dressed to help!
WHAT TO AVOID – Synthetic fibers that trap heat and don’t let the air flow to your skin.
WHAT TO FOCUS ON – Choose natural fabrics (like cotton, linen, hemp, etc) that are breathable and allow the air to reach your skin. Try wearing 100% cotton shirts under your clothes to help absorb the moisture! Wear loose clothing, sport socks (or socks made from natural materials), and try leather or shoes with mesh in them.
Any other tips for me?
This is a lot of information and I’m fixing to give you some more. But this is my favorite part, other than the natural remedies (which are always a plus in my book!)
Stopping excessive sweating by learning to RELAX! See where we’re going with this?
Remember I mentioned earlier that your nervous system being overloaded with stress or anxiety can actually make worse, or sometimes be causing, this excessive sweating?
FUN FACT: Certain events, memories or emotions can instantly activate the sweat glands.
How do you avoid this? Take steps to help promote relaxation!
Some tips to help you do this:
- Be on time: try a new time management technique, make sure everything’s on your calendar and you plan ahead the day before to be on time.
- Lose that extra weight: your body fat acts as an insulator for your body which raises your internal temperature causing you to sweat even more.
- Try acupuncture: there are acupuncture practitioners that specialize in excessive sweating!
- Get a massage: (you already know why I love this one J )
- Spend 15 minutes a day alone doing something you love that relaxes you: read a book, go outside, whatever makes you happy!
And of course, the last tip that I mentioned earlier: before you try most of these things, before you change anything, CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR. I cannot stress this enough!
Why is it so important? Do you have any allergies? Are you on medications? Are you pregnant or trying to become pregnant? If you said yes to any of these things, consulting your doctor can help make sure that nothing you try to help your problems will cause new ones!
Let’s go back over the high points!
- Watch what you eat
- Try red clay baths
- Try new supplements
- Try an antiperspirant instead of your normal deodorant
- Try shaving your armpits
- Try baking soda and lemon
- Wear the right clothes
- And of course, RELAX!
- Click the image to download your Excessive Sweating Cheat Sheet!
This was a lot of information to process and thank you so much for sticking with me through it! Next time we are going to hit on the difference between heat and ice and why it’s so important that you use the right one for the right thing!