Why Do I Sweat When I’m Cold? Experts Reveal Some Of The Most Common Culprits
Are you the kind of person who, no matter what the weather's like outside, always has clammy palms, sweaty pits, or a trail of sweat running down your back (or all three at the same time, all day every day)? It's all good, girl, no judgment here. There's probably a reason why you sweat so much, even when you're cold, and TBH, it may turn out to be something that's totally not even in your control. Whatever the root cause is, there are experts who can help you a) pinpoint what's going on, and b) find some solutions to your sweaty struggles.
First of all, just because you tend to sweat more than the average person, that doesn't automatically mean it's a hygiene issue (unless you really aren't bathing, like ever — you know who you are), so don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
According to Dr. Jonathan Weiler of RealSelf, sweat is completely normal and helps you maintain a stable body temperature. But if you sweat while doing little to no activity, he says, you may have an underlying issue to address.
"This is called hyperhidrosis: You sweat way more than you need to," Dr. Weiler tells Elite Daily.
If you deal with excessive sweating on the reg, but there's no known, underlying medical cause, Dr. Weiler explains, you might be experiencing what's called primary hyperhidrosis, which he says could be partially hereditary in some cases.
Hyperhidrosis happens when your sweat gland nerves become overactive, Dr. Weiler tells Elite Daily, and as a result, your body basically produces sweat when it's not needed.
Treatments for the condition, according to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, include things like prescription antiperspirants, injections like Botox into the area where you're sweating, medication, and various types of surgery.
Then, of course, if there's such a thing as primary hyperhidrosis, that means there's also secondary hyperhidrosis, Dr. Weiler explains, which is caused by an underlying medical condition, such as anxiety or diabetes. According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society's website, the secondary version of this condition can be a bit more complicated to treat, purely because it's, well, secondary to some other medical condition. The best thing you can do is talk to your doctor about it to help you pinpoint what's really causing the excessive sweating, whether it's a health condition you're not yet aware of, or even a side effect of a medication you're on.
If it's not hyperhidrosis, though, you might be sweating a lot because of an overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism.
Dr. Nilem Patel, a California-based endocrinologist, explains that your thyroid gland sits in the front of your neck, and is shaped somewhat like a butterfly.
"It produces a hormone called the thyroid hormone, which circulates through the blood to affect the body’s metabolism, and regulates many of the body’s functions," Dr. Patel tells Elite Daily.
That thyroid hormone affects a whole lot of stuff in your body, she explains, including your temperature, heart rate, muscles, brain, and much more. Oftentimes, Dr. Patel says, symptoms of an overactive thyroid may go unnoticed for a while, since they tend to be gradual and non-specific.
Moreover, those symptoms of hyperthyroidism can be pretty widely varied, according to Mayo Clinic, and can include things like sudden weight loss (even when your appetite is the same), fatigue, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, or sudden shifts in your menstrual cycle. If you notice some of these signs, along with your sweating, it's best to check in with your doctor and get some blood work done.
But if you know for sure that neither form of hyperhidrosis is causing those clammy hands, and that your thyroid isn't the issue either, what else could it be?
According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., excessive sweating can simply be a circumstantial issue.
Think about where you are when the excessive sweating seems to happen most. Is there a pattern that emerges? Dr. Dean tells Elite Daily it's not uncommon to sweat more when you're in an area with high elevation, for example, or even in a high-pollution area, where you're not getting enough oxygen from the air around you, she explains.
"Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can be another cause of perspiration, despite feeling cold," Dr. Dean tells Elite Daily. "Is the person diabetic, or pre-diabetic? Are they running a marathon, or going on a long bike ride, and have they exhausted their blood sugar levels as a result? Have they skipped a meal? These can all be causes [of excessive sweating]."
Dr. Joseph Cruise, a board-certified, California-based plastic surgeon, also points out that drinking a lot of caffeine tends to boot your blood pressure and increase your heart rate, which may exacerbate sweating, too. In that case, he tells Elite Daily, the solution may be as easy as cutting back on your coffee intake a bit. He does, however, recommend checking in with a professional no matter what, as this will be the most effective way of pinpointing the issue.
Regardless of what's causing you to sweat so much, remember not to judge yourself for it. Everybody (and every body) has their own quirks and differences; some are just a little wetter than others, you know?