Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, and Excessive Sweating

If you have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, sweating may be one of the most visible consequences of your condition. It can be heavy, sometimes unprompted, and due to several reasons—some related to the conditions themselves, others their treatment.

Excessive sweating hasn’t gotten as much research attention as other symptoms of fibromyalgia and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), but it is common and can have a major effect on your quality of life. 

This article discusses why having fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue can be linked to sweating, and what you can do about it.

Close up of sweat on a woman's face
Werayuth Tessrimuang/EyeEm/Getty Images

Causes of Sweating in Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS

There are a few reasons why you might sweat a lot if you have fibromyalgia or ME/CFS:

  • Autonomic nervous system dysfunction
  • Heat sensitivity
  • High norepinephrine levels (e.g., a side effect of antidepressants)
  • Anxiety (as a symptom or overlapping condition)
  • Medication side effects: While this could possibly be “cured” by stopping the medication, that may not be an option for every patient. Never stop taking a medication without your provider's OK.

Excessive sweating is also a common symptom of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), which shares some symptoms with fibromyalgia and ME/CFS.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Healthcare Provider Discussion Guide

Get our printable guide for your next healthcare provider's appointment to help you ask the right questions.

Doctor Discussion Guide Woman

Coping With Excessive Sweating

There are a few practical tips that can make coping with excessive sweating a little easier to deal with. 

  • Using loose powders on your face or other sweaty areas may help absorb sweat before you even know it's there. You can also apply it after drying the sweat off of your skin to keep it from looking shiny. (Females should avoid applying powders to the genital area.)
  • Oil-absorbing face wipes can keep you from having greasy-looking skin. They're generally better than napkins or tissues, which work in a pinch but won’t work as well and can be bad for your skin.
  • Dress shields and sweat pads can absorb sweat before it soaks through your clothing. For especially heavy sweat, a menstrual pad could be your best bet.
  • Sweat-absorbing clothes can be expensive, but they do the job. 
  • A hat or ponytail holder can help hide sweat in your hair and keep it off your face. 

You may find that you need to keep a stash of extra clothing in your car, purse, locker, desk, or another convenient place so you won’t be stuck in sweat-soaked clothes all day.

How to Prevent Excessive Sweating

If your sweating doesn’t seem to be linked to a specific trigger, you may not be able to keep it from happening. However, if it's tied to heat—and especially the tendency to become overheated—you may find that some of these steps can help you avoid the problem. 

Once sweating starts, it can be difficult to stop, so you're better off trying to prevent it in the first place by:

  • Using extra antiperspirant, re-applying a few times during the day, and applying it to non-typical places where you tend to sweat a lot
  • Taking cool baths or showers, or running cool water over your body before you get out of the shower
  • Dressing in layers to give you temperature-control options
  • Choosing cold drinks over hot ones and avoiding hot foods

Avoiding Dehydration From Excessive Sweating

If you’re dealing with excessive sweating, it can be more than an embarrassment or annoyance. You also need to protect your health by making sure you stay hydrated.

Make sure that you replace both the water and the electrolytes you sweat out. Electrolytes are minerals, including:

  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium

If you think you need to replace electrolytes but don't have a sports drink handy, you can get them from supplements or even food.

It can be hard to tell when you’re dehydrated because the symptoms can be similar to the ones you typically have from fibromyalgia or ME/CFS. Make sure you learn about the symptoms of dehydration and watch for them. 


Sweating a lot can be a symptom of fibromyalgia and ME/CFS that isn’t just annoying and uncomfortable, but can also create health problems if you get dehydrated.

Taking steps to avoid overheating and using some simple tips and tricks to manage the sweat can make coping with the symptom a little easier. 

6 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Complex regional pain syndrome.

  3. MedlinePlus. Fluid and electrolyte balance.

  4. Terker AS, Zhang C, McCormick JA, et al. Potassium modulates electrolyte balance and blood pressure through effects on distal cell voltage and chlorideCell Metab. 2015;21(1):39–50. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2014.12.006

  5. National Institutes of Health. Fluid and electrolyte balance. Medline Plus. 2016.

  6. Ahmed F, Mohammed A. Magnesium: The forgotten electrolyte-a review on hypomagnesemiaMed Sci (Basel). 2019;7(4):56. doi:10.3390/medsci7040056

By Adrienne Dellwo
Adrienne Dellwo is an experienced journalist who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and has written extensively on the topic.