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Coping with Drenching Sweats

How do you cope with the condition known as Drenching Sweats which causes me to change night clothes at least twice a night over the last 10 years ?

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The answer

Sorry to hear that you suffer of excessive night sweats for so long.

Night sweats are most of the time not to be concerned about it however coping with it can be distressing indeed.

To start with, it is important to get diagnosed as the treatment and the management of the night sweats depends on the type of sweats you experience. Excessive sweat, called hyperhidrosis, can be classed as primary and secondary hyperhidrosis.

Primary hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating that is not caused by another medical condition, nor is it a side effect of medications. The excessive sweating is the medical condition itself. We assume that you have seen your doctor and know that you suffered of Primary Hyperhidrosis?

Many people with the condition are too embarrassed to seek medical help or believe that nothing can be done to improve their symptoms. However, help is available –from lifestyle changes, medication and even surgery. Please find bellow some information which helps in managing and coping with the condition:

Lifestyle changes
Avoid triggers that you know make your sweat worse, such as spicy food and alcohol. Use arm pit shields that can absorb excessive sweat and protect your clothes. Search for special clothing and bedding, especially design for the excessive sweat suffers. Your doctor can prescribe stronger antiperspirant containing Aluminum Chloride which is often used to treat hyperhidrosis. This works by plugging the sweat glands. You will need to apply it at night just before you go to sleep and wash it off in the morning.

Medication
Your GP can consider anticholinergic or anti-muscarinic therapy. These work by blocking the effects of a chemical called acetylcholine, which the nervous system uses to activate the sweat glands.

If these medications do not help or have little effect, a referral to a dermatologist can be considered. The specialist might suggest different therapies available such as: Iontophoresis or Botulinum toxin injections.

Surgery is also an option in cases of severe hyperhidrosis. Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) is the most widely used type of surgery to treat hyperhidrosis. It's usually used in cases affecting the palms or armpits. Removing or destroying sweat glands is also considered.

We would suggest to see your doctor and review your circumstances, hopefully the health care professionals can help in managing your condition better.

With best wishes

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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