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Susan Ivy
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
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Experience:  BSN, MSN, CNS
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I am a 70 year old female who sweats pretty much every night.

Resolved Question:

I am a 70 year old female who sweats pretty much every night. It is not dripping wet and does vary in how wet I get with some nights being almost dry to pretty damp.

I sleep in a men's cotton t-shirt to absorb the moisture.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 5 years ago.

DearCustomer

 

Thank you for writing to JustAnswer with your concern.

 

First of all it would help to know whether or not you are taking any medications or not? If so please tell us what they are.

 

Aproximately when did the sweating begin?

 

Did you experience symptoms like this when you were going through menopause?

 

I'll look for your reply.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

No prescription medications. Taking supplements. Multi, selenium 200 mcg, chelated zinc 10 mg x 2, magnesium citrate 200 - 400 mg day, calcium citrate 300-600 mg, Vit D softgels 2000 IU, kolorex for foot fungal infection, anise seed 500 mg, digestive enzymes 3 x just before meals

 

Sweating was more intermittent earlier and has been getting worse in the past 3-4 months. Don't remember specifically about menopause which probably means it did not happen then.

 

FYI, I recently has 2 pelvic sonograms because of thickened uterine lining and the tech asked me both times if I am taking estrogen. I am not and there is no bleeding present and has not been. Have large fibroid and some smaller ones that did not change much over more than 20 years.

 

Was on hormones around menopause at lowest possible doses at my request. Quit when bad news came out.

Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 5 years ago.
Hello, thank you for replying with the additional information.

SSRI and SNRI antidepressants can cause sweating like this, and there are a few other medications that do so, but it does not look like any that you are taking would, although I don't know for sure about the kolorex - you would likely be able to tell, by whether or not the sweating started after you began the treatment or not.

It does sound like there could be a link to your hormone situation -- so i think it very important that you speak to your gyn or endocrinologist about this, and have levels checked if they have not.. My understanding is that sweating occurs when estrogen drops - so if you had a high level that caused uterine thickening, which is now decreasing - or something along these lines then this may be related to your problem.

Additionally, I have general information on hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) that I can give to you. This can help to guide you on what testing to ask your doctor for. You said your doctors did not listen to you could it be that perhaps you had already have already had many of these test done and that is the reason the doctors could not give you an answer? If not, I do hope you continue to persue the cause of this symptoms which is increasing.

In some cases hyperhidrosis is due to problems with the sympathetic nervous system (the part of the nervous system that controls involuntary phisiological processes, such as sweating).

Other disorders that can result in hyperhidrosis include thyroid imbalances, pituitary disorders, diabetes, gout, mercury poisoning, and tumors.

Treatment will depend on the cause of your sweating, in most cases. If your doctor has not performed testing to look for any of the above causes, then you may need to request them to do so, or perhaps even get a second opinion

Treatments that are available for sympathetic nervous system causes include, botox, aluminum chloride powder, iontopheresis, and surgery to remove the sympathetic nerve gangelions in control of the affected area.

In case you are a big coffee, tea, or soda drinker, caffeine is said to worsen the condition for some people ,so decreasing the amount of caffeine in the diet is recommended.

This information from a Wikipedia article details causes of hyperhidrosis:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperhidrosis

The Mayo clinic has a good article summarizing treatments:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sweating-and-body-odor/DS00305

You could try aluminum chloride to help with the symptoms until the cause is determined. You should be able to ask your pharmacist for a prodcut with this ingredient. Here is an on-line distributer of aluminum chloride for:
http://www.coradhealthcare.com/


You likely will not need to go this far, but here is a link to a center in California that performs a surgery for severe cases: http://www.controlexcessivesweating.com/ From what I have read these procedures are done in other places as well.

If you have questions or need clarification, please reply.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks, Susan.

 

I am going to get a second (3rd) opinion next week. Hopefully she will be more willing to look into what is happening.

 

If not, I will pursue it with the PCP. He is pretty sharp and took over the practice of my now deceased PCP in March 2009 so we are new to each other.

 

Re Kolorex - There was nothing about it having any affect on hormone levels. Not sure if it would. Have been taking it for about 4-5 months now.

 

Anise seed is supposed to have some estrogenic properties yet it seems that would decrease sweating. I take it to prevent any digestive upset from the Kolorex.

 

Thyroid was recently checked. Low normal range. I am not diabetic nor have gout. I do check fasting blood sugar levels at home 2-3 times a month and usually below 100. Dr. said up to 115 is OK on finger testing.

 

I avoid most prescription drugs because of possible side affects, particularly on people in my age group.

 

I have been drinking 2-3 cups of black tea in the morning. Is worth a test to go to one.

Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 5 years ago.
Yes I do see that anise contains a phytoestrogen, which would cause a decrease, rather than an increase in the perspiration if is was caused from lowering estrogen.

I do read that black tea has more caffiene than the other types of teas, so decreasing your intake does seem to be a good idea to try and see if it helps.

Of course to help you with your symptoms, a fan or room airconditioner might be helpful. I imagine you have thought of that, but just in case you didn't it might be something to try in order to allow you better sleep. You might also need an extra sheet to prevent a chill with this though.

Feel free to write back with what you find out that is helpful or stops your problem. In a case like yours it would be helpful to know -- I have seen quite a few people with this problem, although I don't think the hormone issue was evident in the others.
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4057
Experience: BSN, MSN, CNS
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Susan Ivy
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