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A Natural Approach to Overcoming Excessive Sweating | Hyperhidrosis

Updated on May 1, 2019

Back in high school, I remember a student who did her science fair project on her sweaty hands. My memory is not good enough to remember the specifics of what she talked about that day, but I do remember her walking around the classroom, giving all of us a chance to see and feel the sweat that literally dripped off her hands. She said that it was a genetic problem, and that her hands sweated almost all of the time.

Today, I know much more about sweaty palms and excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, as I have had people consult with me to address this health challenge. You might be thinking that everyone gets sweaty palms once in awhile, so what’s the big deal? People who suffer with hyperhidrosis can spend hours each day changing clothes, washing up, wiping their hands, and avoiding situations where they might have to shake a person’s hand. Worried about what others might think, it can cause them to lose friends or even pick a line of work that doesn’t require meeting people and shaking hands. Related anxiety can be enough to lead to depression and anxiety disorders, dramatically decreasing quality of life.

You can sweat from any of the two to four million sweat glands that are located in your skin. The most highly concentrated areas of sweat glands are found in the palms of your hands, the soles of your feet, your armpits, your groin, and your face.

Sweating is a physiological mechanism that helps you cool off. When your body temperature rises, sweat comes out of your pores, which allows heat to escape from your body, evaporating into the air. Without the ability to sweat, you would suffer from serious health challenges from not being able to regulate your body temperature.

Excessive sweating in the absence of a high body temperature can certainly be caused by stress or emotional anxiety. It can also be caused by imbalances in your endocrine and nervous systems. But generally, the conventional medical view on hyperhidrosis is that there is no known cause or cure.

Some doctors will recommend using an antiperspirant, an alcohol solution that sometimes contains aluminum. Given the strong link between aluminum exposure and Alzheimer’s disease, I don't feel comfortable with this approach.

Some doctors actually perform surgery to cut the nerves that supply your sweat glands. The reasoning is that if your sweat glands do not receive a signal to sweat from your brain, hyperhidrosis goes away. The problem with this approach is that the nerves that control your sweat glands also control a variety of other mechanisms in your body, the most important of which is your ability to control the size of your blood vessels. Your hands and armpits might stop sweating after this procedure, but the negative side effects are too numerous to quantify.

I have found that there is a completely natural approach to dramatically improving hyperhidrosis. Beyond emotional anxiety and stress, a significant cause of hyperhidrosis is overactivity of your nervous system. Specifically, the issue is overactivity of a specific component of your nervous system, called your sympathetic nervous system.

Your sympathetic nervous system is in place to give you the capacity to deal with high-stress situations. In school, students are taught that the sympathetic nervous system controls the “fight and flight” response. When it is highly active, it sends most of your blood to your heart, lungs, and large muscles so that you can have the strength and endurance to fight or run away. It increases the size of your pupils so that you can take more light in through your eyes, an essential advantage if you are trying to run away from a mountain lion. It also senses the increase in body temperature that comes with fight and flight situations, and sends a signal to your sweat glands to produce sweat to cool you down.

With hyperhidrosis, your sympathetic nervous system can be overactive even when you are physically at rest. A significant and often overlooked cause for this overactivity is eating foods that your body cannot properly process. For example, if your body cannot tolerate dairy products, whenever you eat some, your immune system must work hard to protect your tissues from the harmful effects of whichever components of dairy don’t agree with your body. If your immune system is constantly at work to deal with such food intolerances, your sympathetic nervous system detects this as stress, and activates the mechanisms that are in place to help you during stressful situations, including the production of sweat.

One young lady who consulted with me about her hyperhidrosis was delighted with the immediate improvement she experienced once she completely cut out all forms of dairy and a few other foods from her diet. Her success in conquering severe, chronic hyperhidrosis with dietary modification is not uncommon. Each person has unique dietary needs and food intolerances, so you will need to do some work to identify trigger foods and to design a diet that works best for you.

Of course, food intolerances are not the only cause of a hyperactive sympathetic nervous system and excessive sweating. Other neurological conditions, certain endocrine disorders, chronic infections, and even chronic anxiety can cause hyperhidrosis. In some cases, a water fast can be helpful for sufferers of hyperhidrosis who are not improving as quickly as they would like with dietary changes alone. This is partly due to the decrease in overall sympathetic nervous system tone that accompanies a water fast. Almost anyone who has experienced a water fast will tell you that they feel more relaxed and calm following their fast, a reflection of healthier nervous system tone.

In any case, if you are suffering with hyperhidrosis, I encourage you to learn more about the impact that your food and lifestyle choices have on your condition. Understanding this connection may save you from many years of unnecessary suffering and the negative side effects of conventional treatment.


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"I have found that there is a completely natural approach to dramatically improving hyperhidrosis, and sometimes, to completely cure it. "

So what is the cure?? I'd really like to know! Thank you!

Hi! I noticed that my hiperhidrosis is increased when I drink coffee or hot beverages, fat foods, and smoke. By cutting these, I noticed an improvement. Also it gets worst when I? under a lot of stress of not getting enough hours of sleep- I hope this will be helpful. This is a hard condition to live with, and the worst is that this is not the only disease I have, but I believe there is a cure for everything, and diet is the key I? holding right now. Kisses and best wishes.

The cure he mentioned was to cut out certain foods. That your body may be intolerant to something in your diet. I recently started a strict diet to lose weight and had to cut out dairy, sugar, processed foods , salt (except sea salt) and oils and have seen immediate results in the amount of sweating I do (or actually don't do now ) compared to when I ate the foods I cut out. Now I just have to figure out which of those things I cut out was causing it! But I'm so thankful to not be dealing with the excessive sweating I used to have.

Hi April. Just wondering how much if an impact did the diet change make for you? Would you consider it a slight reduction, yet you still sweat more than you should, or would you describe it as a total reduction, and now you sweat about as much as someone without hyperhidrosis?

I want to know how to control this.

Hi, my name is Michaela and I'm 18 years old. I've had severe Hyperhidrosis in my hands and feet my whole life. It has been one of my biggest insecurities and has effected me in all aspects of my life. About three months ago, I became vegan as a way to lose weight. I began to notice my hands were not sweating as much, which was very odd because it was summer and they are usually a lot worse in the summer. After doing research I found that eating healthy can be a natural cure! As of today, my hands and feet barely sweat anymore!! I urge everyone to educate themselves and try out the natural option before getting involved in threatening medical procedures. Also being vegan is awesome :)

Hello. In the process of doing research for my child on how to deal with hyperhidrosis, I came upon this page and your comment. My child has a vegan diet (since birth), yet struggles with sweaty hands. Can you tell me more specifically what your vegan diet is like? Do you exclude processed foods, including sugar? We're hoping to narrow down possible food triggers.

Thank you!


Hello dear jenny I think there is no specific trend for hyperhidrosis situation to be cure like vegan diet must do experiment on your child that what foods can be useful from pyramid diet. maybe vegan be useful for someone and maybe n't.....
you should find out what foods(healthy)can be more effective on sympathec system to decreasing excessive sweating and feel more relaxing for your child.
i wish you what ever you like win it.

I've had Hyperhydrosis since birth. My hands literally drip sweat! Its horrible. I once had an acupuncturist who helped me with it by calming the sympathetic nervous system, but I've since moved and no other accupuncturist can help. Recently I did a month on the carnivore diet (yes, you eat only meat, with a higher ratio of fat to protein), which is zero carb, and for the first time in my life my hand stopped sweating completely! COMPLETELY! Unfrotunately I am too stressed right now to keep up with sourcing good grass fed fatty meat, so I stopped, and my sweating has returned... but this IS UNHEARD OF! I recomend reading up on it, joing FB carnivore groups, and doing your own research.

I am three weeks into carnivore and my armpit sweat has decreased to the point that I don't have wet marks....its totally crazy. no idea why.