Sweating is a natural process that our body undergoes to regulate our temperature. Reasons why you are not sweating may be due to weather, medication, or other medical factors.
Hypohidrosis is a condition in which insufficient sweat production occurs to regulate body temperature. It can cause hyperthermia, heat stroke, and even death.
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Not Sweating at all?
Sweating is a natural process of the body to release heat. Any impairment in the functioning of the sweat glands makes sweating an arduous process. It results in a condition known as Hypohidrosis, which is characterized by an inability to sweat or extremely low sweat produced. It may affect parts of your body or the entire body. When the body cannot produce enough sweat, the body overheats, which may lead to a heat stroke.
What is Hypohidrosis?
Sweating is your body’s way of cooling itself off. Some people aren’t able to sweat typically because their sweat glands are no longer functioning properly. This condition is known as hypohidrosis, or anhidrosis. It can affect your entire body, a single area, or scattered areas. The inability to sweat can cause overheating. This can lead to heat stroke, which is a potentially life-threatening condition.
Hypohidrosis can be difficult to diagnose. This means that mild hypohidrosis often goes unnoticed. The condition has many causes. It can be inherited at birth or develop later in life.
Not Sweating Causes
This disorder is caused by several factors. An overview of the hypohidrosis causes is given below;
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- Damage to the nerves: Conditions that can cause damage to the nerves can hamper the functioning of the sweat glands. Some of them are diabetes, Fabry’s disease (a condition wherein fat accumulates in cells) and Parkinson’s disease.
- Skin problems: Suffering severe burns can damage the sweat glands. Some other factors that can cause similar damage are trauma, radiation and infection. Skin disorders such as psoriasis and heat rashes can also affect the sweat glands.
- Medications: Medications such as anticholinergic drugs can hamper your body’s ability to sweat out sufficiently. These medications have side effects that include a sore throat, dry mouth, and reduction in perspiration.
- Genetic defects: In certain cases, the condition is inherited from your parents by a defective gene. Some people may inherit a damaged gene that causes their sweat glands to malfunction. An inherited condition called hyperhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia causes people to be born with either very few or no sweat glands.
Symptoms of Hypohidrosis
One may always feel hot from within and have a flushed appearance. Mild symptoms of this disorder are however not noticeable. The symptoms of hypohidrosis include:
- minimal sweating even when other people are sweating heavily
- muscle cramps or weakness
- a flushed appearance
- feeling overly hot
- reduced sweating
Mild hypohidrosis may go unnoticed unless you engage in vigorous exercise and become overheated because you’re not sweating or are sweating very little.
Your doctor will need to take a thorough medical history to diagnose this condition. You should share all symptoms that you’ve experienced with your doctor. This includes breaking out in a red rash or skin flushing when you should be sweating. It’s important to tell them if you sweat in some parts of your body but not in others. Your doctor may refer to any of the following tests to confirm a diagnosis of hypohidrosis:
- During the axon reflex test, small electrodes are used to stimulate your sweat glands. The volume of sweat produced is measured.
- The Silastic sweat imprint test measures where you sweat.
- During the thermoregulatory sweat test, your body is coated with a powder that changes color in areas where you sweat. You enter a chamber that causes your body temperature to reach a level at which most people would sweat.
- During a skin biopsy, some skin cells and perhaps some sweat glands are removed and examined under a microscope.
If the condition has only affected a certain part of the body, then treatment might not be required. If the disorder occurs because of an underlying problem, then the problem needs to be treated firstly. The doctor can prescribe an alternative medicine if the cause is a medication.
You can adopt certain preventive measures, such as wearing loose clothing and avoiding overdressing. Avoid going outside when the temperature is on the rise. Cold compresses can work wonderfully. If this condition is not treated, it can lead to overheating and, ultimately, a heat stroke.
It may not be possible to prevent hypohidrosis, but you can take steps to avoid serious illnesses related to overheating. Wear loose, light-colored clothing, and don’t overdress when it’s hot. Stay inside if possible, and take care not to overexert yourself in the heat. You can also take steps to cool your body off and avoid overheating. This includes applying water or cool clothes to your skin to make you feel you’re sweating. When the water evaporates, you’ll feel cooler.
If it’s left untreated, hypohidrosis can cause your body to overheat. Overheating requires quick treatment to prevent it from worsening into heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition.
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