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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Perspiration

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Perspiration [posted 11/11/98]
Question:  My husband smells like steel after he exercises. He was recently diagnosed with thalassemia. I am concerned he may also have hemochromatosis due to this strong iron smell and the fact that he sets off metal detectors when leaving some stores. He has taken off belts, emptied pockets of keys, wallet, etc. but still will set off metal detectors. He has only one filling in his tooth. Could this be due to his body storing too much iron. Should he be tested for hemochromatosis.

Answer:  Test him if you like, but hemochromotosis will not set off metal detectors.

Perspiration [posted 11/11/98]
Question: I am having headsweats, and they are pretty bad. My head gets soaked And this happens 4 or 5 times a day and at night when I go to sleep I wake up in the middle of the night and my pillow is damp from the sweats. I had a full hyst. when I was 36 yrs. old and have been taking premerin for hot flashes and had no problems. My doctor increased the dose of premerin when the headsweats started happening, but it has "not" helped. I would like to know if this is a side effect of the prozac. Or if you might have any suggestions on what might be causing this. My doctor doesn't seem to know, I would really appreciate your help, thank you.

Answer: Not the prozac, several possibilites. But, of the women who I take care of with this problem, I usually don't find an answer.

Can a Lack of Perspiration Be Due To Medication [posted 10/28/98]
Question: My wife had a pulmonary embolism- is on cardizem, procanbid, coumadin, edecrin and sythroid plus megace. She cannot perspire and no one seems to know why. She vascillates in temperature and worries that her temperature will run away since the body is not automtically regulating. Can you advise what causes this, how dangerous it really is and what can be done about it?

Answer: Can't say off hand, shouldn't be from the drugs. Sounds like an autonomic neuropathy, I guess I'd see a neurologist. The danger varies with the degree of temperature control she has without the sweating. If her temp is up could be a problem, probably not if the temp is ok.

Perspiration: Drug Side Effect or Indicator of Another Problem? [posted 10/8/98]
Question:My mother has high blood pressure and has had 2 ministrokes (manifested behind her eye). She is taking 25 mg of Lopressor twice a day, 60 mg of Adalat once a day and Diazide (not sure if spelled correct, it is diureti). She has been getting very hot throughout her whole body and it is intolerable. She also sweats. Is this a serious side effect of the medication and should it be changed.

Answer: None of these would usually cause the sweats. There are medical conditions that can-check with her doctor.

Controlling Perspiration [posted 10/8/98]
Question:Are there and type of perscription or over the counter medications to control perspiration? What are the best over the counter Anti-perspirants?

Answer: There are prescription drugs available which we don't use much. As to the anti-perspirants. They all use essentially the same drug, check the percentage on the ingredient list and go to the highest one.

Excessive Sweating
Question: I would like some information on excessive underarm sweating. Are there any specific vitamins to inhibit spontaneous sweating (not due to nervousness rather from being the least bit warm)? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Also, why, in some cases, does sweat cause yellow stains underneath the arms? Is this due to some kind of vitamin deficiency? Thank you for your time.

Answer: Sweating is the bodies attempt to maintain its core temperature in a tight range. Consequently, there is no thing as excessive sweating. Patients with high sweat levels are producing lots of heat. This happens in individuals with high metabolic rates, thyroid diseases , obesity etc. Decreasing the sweat will only encourage sweating in other areas of the body. The stain is from the organic materials in sweat and occurs in all individuals.

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