SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Healthy people sweat, but when, where and how much varies. Factors that cause most people to sweat include:
- Exercise, especially strenuous exercise
- Hot weather
- Nervousness, anxiety or stress
Perspiration that's triggered by emotion is most likely to occur on your face, in your armpits, on your palms and on the soles of your feet. But how much you sweat and even the way your sweat smells can be influenced by your mood, your diet, some drugs and medical conditions, and even your hormone levels. What's more — unfair as it seems — some people inherit a tendency to sweat heavily, especially on their soles and palms.
Because it's almost impossible to define normal sweating and body odor, try to learn what's normal for you. That will help you pinpoint any unusual changes.
When to see a doctor
Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- You suddenly begin to sweat much more or less than usual.
- Sweating disrupts your daily routine.
- You experience night sweats for no apparent reason.
- You notice a change in body odor — a change in body odor may be a sign of certain medical conditions, such as diabetic ketoacidosis or kidney failure.
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- Fealey RD, et al. Disorders of the eccrine sweat glands and sweating. In: Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2985825. Accessed Oct. 14, 2009.
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