Fibromyalgia and Sweating
I cringe when I think of the many embarrassing occasions when I've had to slip on a jacket over my sweat-stained cardigan. I'm embarrassed knowing I need to change my socks for the third time on any given day because I've sweat through the previous pairs.
When I shake a client's hand, the thought is always in the back of my mind: "Please, please, please, don't notice the sweat."
There is no end to the symptoms of fibromyalgia, and excessive sweating is further proof.
What's the Connection Between Sweating and Fibromyalgia?
Sweating is a "no-no" unless I'm working out, and unwarranted sweating is horrific. After being diagnosed with fibro, I experienced insane sweating.
Every part of my body, my head, face, armpits, hands, and feet were out of control. Black was my go-to color, every day, for every occasion. I used a neck fan at all times, I could only wear shoes for three months before throwing them out, and I never left the house without a handkerchief.
Feeling self-conscious, I often wondered how many people noticed the discoloration of my shirt on my lower back and underarms.
To say life with fibromyalgia is tough to manage is an understatement. As I started to research this excessive sweating tie to fibromyalgia, it all started to make sense.
When our entire body is inflamed from head to toe, our largest organ, our skin, will react. My insides were on fire, so it adds up that my outsides reflected this. I became determined to find a solution to this problem, after all, us Spoonies had enough to worry about without swimming in a pool of sweat.
How to Cope With Fibromyalgia and Sweating
Through my research, I read that a dermatologist may be able to help. A very dear friend of mine and co-worker had flawless skin, I thought she might be able to help find a dermatologist, and thankfully she did.
At my first appointment, I learned that I have a sweating condition called hyperhidrosis. I was told that this condition is widespread among Fibro patients and while there is no cure, there are many ways to curb the upsetting symptoms. Below, are a few suggestions that have worked for me:
- Change your diet. There's no end to the perks of eating vegan (I'm not strict, but I eat vegan about 90 percent of the time), and we can add less body odor and sweat to the list. Dr. Ben Kim and others suggest that nixing diary from your diet gives your immune system a welcomed break, leading to less sweat. He even proposes that a water fast may provide relief from uncontrolled sweating. If water fasting peaks your interest read about the pros, the cons and the how-to here.
- Manage your stress and anxiety. Sweating and stress go hand-in-hand. It's incredibly frustrating to know that stress and anxiety cause sweating when it is the sweating that stresses us out! A catch 22! Ugh. Fortunately, if we practice keeping our stress levels in check, we can fend off some moisture. We all de-stress in different ways, choose a few methods and incorporate them into your every day. Some ideas: meditation, relaxing music, essential oils, bubble baths, nature walks, breathing exercises, reading, cross-stitch, baking, bike rides.
- Experiment with prescription antiperspirant. Possibly the quickest way to rock dry underarms is going for the top-shelf goods. After just a few days of use, many find their sweat considerably reduced. With extended use, it should decrease even more. However, I encourage doing a bit of research before "rolling" with this method due to debates on the safety of some ingredients found in some products. Hot tip: apply before bedtime.
- Surround yourself with cotton. Many of us Spoonies already deal with sensitive skin issues, but if you need another reason to invest in these absorbent threads, excessive perspiration is it. Our bodies need to breathe, and cotton encourages this. Buy cotton clothing, bath towels, bedsheets, (which you should wash or change weekly), and whatever else touches your skin often.
- Keep your cool. Have a fan in every room in which you spend extended periods of time. They don't have to be expensive so that you can spread the cool vibes from your bedroom to your living room, to your kitchen, to your office. Also, I highly recommend traveling with a mini USB fan and stay stocked up on cold packs at work and home.
What's Next for Fibromyalgia Sweating?
As I mentioned, there is no cure for fibromyalgia and sweating, but don't lose hope. Relief is achievable! As you try new and different approaches to dryness, it's a good idea to travel with layers of clothing, and even an entire change of clothes (extra, extra socks!). I'd like to think before my next article is released, you'll be on your way to moisture-free!