Excessive sweating with little effort – what does it mean and what helps?

A person’s genetics, a condition (like hyperthyroidism or diabetes), being overweight, going through menopause, taking medication, or something else may be the cause of excessive sweating with little effort. Particularly worrying are sudden changes in the way a person sweats and the appearance of other alarming symptoms.

Sweating can be a sign of good health or a sign that something is wrong with the body. We all sweat, but in different ways. High temperatures, stress, and physical work all make people sweat more. Some people, on the other hand, have trouble with sweating too much even when they aren’t doing much. What’s going on here? Can you do something to help yourself?

If we have always sweated even when we weren’t stressed or working hard, it may be a part of who we are. Any change in how much you sweat, like if it starts happening all of a sudden or if it smells different than it did before, or if you sweat at night, or if it comes with other symptoms like itchiness, weight loss, tiredness, or pain, should be cause for concern. You should see a doctor, like a family doctor, in this case.

Medications that cause excessive sweating

Taking certain medications can increase sweating. This action applies to pharmacological agents such as:

  • benzodiazepines,
  • codeine,
  • some anti-inflammatory drugs
  • high blood pressure medications,
  • diabetes medications.


When a woman is in her 40s or 50s and sweats a lot with little or no effort, it could be a sign of menopause, especially if she also has hot flashes, dizziness, tachycardia, and trouble sleeping. When this happens, the body’s hormones change, and more serotonin is released. This activates the receptor in the brain that tells us how hot or cold something is. 


Sweating with little effort also occurs in people who are overweight, especially if there are signs of metabolic syndrome (e.g. elevated cholesterol or elevated blood pressure)

Diseases with excessive sweating

Excessive sweating with even little or no exertion can be a symptom of many different conditions, including:

  • diabetes,
  • cardiovascular disease,
  • lung diseases,
  • hyperthyroidism, 
  • cancer (e.g. leukemia, lymphoma),
  • HIV infection,
  • hypogonadism.

Hypoglycemia, which is when your blood sugar drops below 70 mg/dl, can also cause you to sweat for no apparent reason. Then there are anxiety, nausea, headaches, heart palpitations, hunger, and hands that feel like they are on fire. Sweating without trying can also be a sign of a mental illness, like anxiety.

Alcohol or drug abuse

Using drugs or alcohol can make you sweat a lot with little effort. Stimulants like amphetamines or cocaine can cause you to sweat a lot. Also, the body temperature goes up, the mouth gets dry, the heart rate goes up, and you feel restless. On the other hand, people who abuse alcohol in abstinence states have hyperhidrosis, along with restlessness, a fast heartbeat, and anxiety.

Genetic predisposition to excessive sweating

At all times, you should not worry about the problem of sweating. Primary hyperhidrosis is a condition in which a person sweats too much without trying. It mostly affects the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, the armpits, and the head. Experts say that the problem could be caused by too much stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system or by a genetic tendency to sweat too much. This kind of illness may affect up to half of the people who sweat too much.

Excessive sweating with little effort. what tests to do?

With the problem of excessive sweating with little effort, it is best to see a doctor. He may order  diagnostic tests, such as:

  • morphology with smear, 
  • Thyroid hormones,
  • glucose,
  • OB,
  • CRP, 
  • testosterone,
  • prolactin,
  • L.H.,
  • FSH.

Can sweating hurt us?

When you sweat too much, you lose water and other important things like potassium, sodium, and glucose. This can be bad for your health. If the fluids lost aren’t replaced, the water and electrolyte balance in the body will be thrown off. So, you should tell your doctor about the problem and, above all, remember to eat a lot of fluids and minerals (contained in fruits, vegetables, and soups).


Author: DoctorMaryam.org

4th Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: