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July 27, 2011

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Home » Feature » Health and Environment

What to do when you sweat too much, too often

SWEATING is the body's normal and temporary reaction to an extreme situation. Perspiration is also caused by physical exercise, high temperatures and inappropriately warm clothes.

But what if the sweating is excessive and constant?

In general, moderate sweating is a good and healthy function that cools the body, moistens the skin and excretes metabolic waste. Constant and excessive sweating is a medical condition called hyperhydrosis.

In some patients, it's related to other conditions such as diabetes, cardiac insufficiency, high blood pressure or menopause. By treating these conditions, sweating can be limited.

In traditional Chinese medicine, sweat is studied in detail since it is considered a body substance. Overall, loss of body fluids always damages the yin (cold energy). Many kinds of excessive sweating are linked with imbalance of yin and yang (hot energy).

Another pattern is deficiency of qi (basic energy). Some patients have a weak constitution, poor appetite and low voice; they are often affected by respiratory ailments and colds.

The third disease pattern causing excessive sweating is heat and dampness. Damp-heat in the liver and gallbladder causes sweating in the armpits, damp-heat in the stomach and intestines and on hands and feet.

People who think too much and are stressed are often diagnosed with damp heat.

Herbal medicine and acupuncture significantly reduce perspiration all over the body; food also can cool the body.

Yin and energy-neutral foods are recommended, while yang foods (alcohol, spicy and greasy foods) should be avoided.

Neutral foods include rice, potatoes, carrots, milk products, corn and pork.

Cooling foods include watermelon, cucumber, salads, pineapple, tomatoes, asparagus and mushrooms.


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