Do You Sweat a Lot?

It Can be a Symptom of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Do you find yourself dripping with sweat at odd times, for no apparent reason? This is one of those bizarre, confusing symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome that you don't see on those inadequate little symptoms lists. Doctors and researchers don't really bother themselves with it because we have so many bigger problems, but when you have to deal with this every day it can have a big impact on your life. Here are some of the comments I've seen:

A woman uses an electric fan to dry sweat stains on her shirt
Paula Winkler / Getty Images

"What exactly causes the excessive sweating? Is it hormonal, side effect of all my meds? or a combo of both? I don't bother to wear makeup in the summer because there is no point - it just melts off."
"I have a problem that I have not seen yet..unexplained excessive just stepping out of the dripping wet..clothes...soaked! ... It has put a big damper on my lifestyle."

"My limbs get so cold and painful during that time, and yet my face will be sweating from the heat inside."

"I can't stand too much heat either, my heart starts beating too fast, and I sweat profusely. I can be sweaty and my skin too cold at the same time!"

"I sweat heavily - especially from my head and neck - from the least exertion."

What Causes Excessive Sweating?

Several things could be responsible for our sweating, either on their own or in combination. They include:

The only cause that's "curable" is the medication side effect, and that may not be an attractive option to you if the drug is doing more good than harm. This is one of those symptoms we have to either live with or find ways to manage. One of the important things is to stay hydrated -- replace both the water and the electrolytes you sweat out, because dehydration is really no fun. And it can be hard for us to tell when we're dehydrated because the symptoms can be similar to some we already have. (You can find them here: Symptoms of Dehydration.)

My biggest sweat issue is on my forehead. It's generally worst right after I get out of the tub or shower, and it can get ridiculous if I blow my hair dry right away. Sometimes it stops with a thorough wipe-down, but other times it just keeps coming. On those days, I have to wear a hat because the front of my hair will look horrible. I often carry a hat with me in the summer, in case the sweating starts again. I've tried antiperspirant on my forehead and in my hairline, but it does nothing to help.

I think mine comes from both heat sensitivity and autonomic dysfunction. My body seems to "hold on" to heat too much, and then my system can't regulate itself properly to turn off the flow once it starts.

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