Whether you are sitting in a stuffy room or working out at the gym, excessive sweating can be noticeably uncomfortable. People with diabetes can be prone to excessive sweating, which can also lead to dehydration and other health complications. Discover 4 reasons for heavy sweating with diabetes and what you can do about them.
- Heavy sweating is often linked to low blood glucose levels known as hypoglycemia. When blood glucose levels plummet, it triggers a “fight or flight “response from your body. As a result, your body produces additional norepinephrine and adrenaline. This can lead to heavy sweating as well as shakiness and anxiety. It is important to get your blood sugar back to normal as soon as possible to alleviate this sweating. Keep glucose tablets, a few pieces of hard candy or a can of regular soda handy to increase your blood sugar levels quickly. Try to maintain better blood sugar control by taking medications and insulin as directed, eating regular meals and snacks and exercising daily. Use a blood sugar monitor to gauge your glucose levels.
- Another reason for heavy sweating is hyperthyroidism, a metabolic condition that people with diabetes may be prone to. The thyroid gland, which is located in your neck, produces key hormones in response to signals sent by your brain. These hormones work to increase or decrease your metabolic rate. When the thyroid gland is overactive, it is referred to as hyperthyroidism. More hormones are secreted than usual, which boosts your metabolic rate. This can cause heavy sweating, weight loss, hair loss, heart palpitations, dry eyes, tremors and nervousness. Some people might also have difficulty breathing or swallowing. Treatments may include medication, radioactive iodine and in advanced cases, surgery may be recommended. The combination of diabetes and hyperthyroidism can worsen diabetes symptoms and lead to further complications. It is important to seek treatment immediately.
- People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and having a stroke. This risk may be increased when a person with diabetes is overweight or obese. Heart failure, heart attack or a stroke can cause excessive sweating as well as symptoms such as shaking, chills and/or fever.
- Outdoor heat while exercising can be difficult on the heart and also cause excessive sweating. Stay in an air conditioned environment or find a shady spot if you are outdoors. Use a pool that is covered by shade. Consult with your doctor about how and when to exercise. Never push yourself to the point of fatigue or heavy sweating.
- Another reason for heavy sweating is stress. It is a normal response when you are anxious about anything, ranging from a job interview to a first date. Wear breathable clothes and take several deep breaths when you start to sweat. Use an antiperspirant to minimize perspiration under your arms. Apply Gold Bond powder to the crevices of your body that might get sweaty, such as under your breasts and stomach. Use on your feet including between the toes to reduce the risk of fungus from the heavy sweating. Drink water to stay hydrated.
- If you continue to suffer from excessive sweating, consult with your health care team to find out the reasons why and how to treat them.
If you experience heavy sweating, you are not alone. Take measures to make yourself comfortable when you sweat. Work with your health care team to find out why you are sweating and treat any possible underlying conditions.