Why The Heck Am I Suddenly Sweating So Much?

Medical GQs have always struck me as iffy, both because of the difficulty (and risks) of attempting diagnosis from online scraps of information, and because of the frequent TMI problems, but at the risk of both, I do have a bit of a dead-end question as to which I’d appreciate any thoughts. Subject, as always, to the fact that YANMMD, I’m concurrently seeking offline professional advice, etc., etc.

About a year ago I started waking up a few days each week moderately to significantly drenched in sweat.

About six months ago, it started happening during the day as well. Not necessarily drenched, but breaking a visible sweat anytime I was out of air conditioning. Yes, it coincided with warm Spring and Summer weather, but I was sweating completely through my dress shirts in 80 degree weather in Tokyo as well as 65 degree weather in Germany. My internal thermostat has always run kind of hot. But, never to this degree. E.g.: The GF has always been about ten degrees apart in comfort level from me – when I was perfectly comfortable, she was reaching for a sweater. Recently, though, it seems like the temperature/comfort spread is closer to 20-25 degrees – she’s reaching for a sweater while I’m dabbing my brow and sweating through my t-shirt. When it’s bad, I also get flushed all over. I live in a place with warm Summers, but it isn’t Atlanta or Singapore – and I grew up in even warmer climes, with no such phenomena.

Doc has with utter accuracy, but not much helpfulness, preliminarily told me this looks like “hyperhydrosis.” I am not very smart, but I was able to figure out that this means “sweating way TF too much,” which is less diagnosis than description.

They did do some tests – complete blood workup (ruled out any infectious or blood-level cause for this), chest X-rays, urine sample for metanephrines (rule out pheochromocytoma, i.e., benign adrenal tumors that can increase hormones that make you sweat). About to do a CT scan to look at adrenal glands and also check for lymphoma (apparently, another cause of weird sweating). So far, nothing positive/definitive.

Various more or less charitable friends have proffered theories (stop drinking, lose weight, lower your blood pressure (which the testing has shown is indeed moderately high)). But my inexpert research doesn’t really suggest that any of these will be the silver bullet – nothing seems to suggest drinking causes sweating, and my intake level, which is healthy (in the sense of not tiny) hasn’t changed much over the recent years during which I wasn’t dripping sweat. Nor has my weight (which is probably 30-35 lbs. over my fighting college weight due to sedentary office habits), and I see lots of really fat dudes handling the heat better than I do at my moderately-fleshy level. And everything I’ve read says that hypertension is essentially asymptomatic, and nothing seems to associate it with sweating all the freaking time (I’ll be following Doc’s advice re how to try to lower the BP, in any event).

So . . . any suggestions for additional tests toward which I may want to steer my doctor, or any experience with (relatively) sudden-onset-sweatiness?

Quitting drinking, losing weight, or lowering your blood pressure may not individually be a “silver bullet” but perhaps all three are combining to produce an unhealthy condition that your body is reacting to by excessive sweating.

I know that medication can sometimes cause excessive sweating, too. Did you being any medications last year?

being = begin :smack:

You got blood work done, but did they check your thyroid? I was sweating too much (among other things) and it turned out I was hyperthyroid. This can be determined by checking the levels of a couple of things that the thyroid puts out (from blood test).

Seems like most any doctor would’ve thought of that, but you never know.

I’m not a Dr., and this shouldn’t be construed as medical advice, etc.

I don’t know your age and gender, but menopause is, of course, a notorious cause of unexpected sweating.

In addition to hyperthyroidism and pheochromocytoma (examples of metabolic causes), lymphoma and renal cell carcinoma (examples of neoplastic causes), and TB and endocarditis (examples of infectious causes), there is, as your doctor seems to have noted, a condition of primary hyperhydrosis.

Medications may be an overlooked cause of sweating. Paxil (paroxetine), Effexor (venlafaxine), and Ultram (tramadol) are each known to cause sweating.

Thanks. I don’t take any meds (oops, not true, OTC Prilosec occasionally).

The renal cell thingy and hyperthyroidism are not issues we’ve discussed, but I will be sure to make sure we’ve investigated those when I speak with Doc on the follow-up visit.

Menopause sounded pretty much like what I’ve been experiencing, but I had to discard that possibility due to being 10 years too young (and, also, not female). But I swear, the descriptions menopausal women give of their hot flashes did sound just about like my sweaty spells.

Huerta88: If you like, please send me an e-mail. There’s one more entity I’d like to mention which should be considered as a cause of sweating. But, let’s keep it private.