Excessive sweating is healthy

Sweating is healthy

Conversation with Prof. Hademar Bankhofer

"We have to sweat, not just to survive in intense heat," emphasizes the well-known health expert Prof. Hademar Bankhofer. If we couldn't sweat, we'd be overcooked inside. The body is constantly producing heat, and when it gets too much, the evaporation of sweat on the skin ensures that it, and therefore the body, cools down.

A.Vogel (AV): Prof. Bankhofer, what is so healthy about sweating?

Prof. Bankhofer: First of all, not every sweat is healthy. Sometimes it can also be information that we have to pay attention to something, to check something. Sweating is not only related to heat, although we perceive our sweat particularly clearly at these temperatures. If we are talking about the sweating of a healthy person, then there is a rule of thumb that says: Everyone should work up a sweat once a day, because this stimulates the circulation. The body becomes vital and well supplied with blood through this sweating. Physical activity is particularly suitable for this sweating process. So if you sweat over a roast pork with dumplings and think you have done something for your body, you have not interpreted this rule of thumb correctly (laughs).

AV: However, many people suffer from increased sweating, even without being physically active.

Prof. Bankhofer: Excessive sweating always indicates a disorder in the organism. The causes are manifold. The reasons include: overexertion - including emotional exhaustion -, protein deficiency, mineral disorders, overactive thyroid, circulatory and metabolic disorders, obesity, diseases of the lymphatic system or as a typical symptom of menopausal symptoms. Once a diagnosis has been made and treated with the right means, the chances are good that increased sweating will set in. This not only applies to physical disorders, but I also refer to the mental processes. Anyone who sweats out of fear should not look at the sweat first, but at their fear. You have to find inner calm again, whereby relaxation exercises help.

The reason for excessive sweating can be a predisposition, which can be found with the help of a technical discussion. But in some people the sweat glands are simply more active than in others for no reason! In order to determine this and to be sure that the body does not react to disharmony with the sweat, it is good to consult a doctor or naturopath. Sweating is a vital process that is crucial for our health, because not only water, but also toxins and metabolic waste are excreted with sweat. When we sweat, our body cleanses itself.

The second important function is that of the body's own air conditioning system. When the temperature exceeds 37 degrees Celsius on very hot summer days, the diencephalon gives the command via the nerve tracts of the skin: Cool down! This then happens through the sweat. Fluid leaks from over two million sweat glands - especially in the armpits, neck, head, forehead, and palms of the hands and feet. By the way, when the sweat comes out of these glands, it is still odorless and colorless. It only begins to smell when it is broken down by bacteria.

AV: I don't want to use a strong deodorant, but I also don't want to sweat excessively, what can I do?

Prof. Bankhofer: People who tend to sweat should definitely use salt sparingly. Light, wholesome food such as fruit, vegetables, dairy products, little meat and sausage is the best menu. Strong, hot spices, alcohol and too much strong coffee beans promote sweating. So it's better to avoid these foods and drinks on hot days. If you sweat quickly, you should also avoid clothing made of synthetic fibers and opt for natural fibers such as cotton or silk. These substances are permeable and the sweat evaporates the fastest. If possible, wear little clothing and always take an air bath without clothing so that the skin's natural breathing is stimulated.

AV: But what if you tend to sweat on your hands or feet? That's also very uncomfortable.

Prof. Bankhofer: If that is the case, you should dip your hands and feet in lukewarm water several times a day, because this causes the sweat glands to contract. In addition, walking barefoot is very helpful because it massages the soles of the feet and their activity can return to normal. By the way, the ingredients of fenugreek soothe overactive sweat glands. The preparation is simple: mix 12 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds (pharmacy, drugstore) with one liter of cold water and soak for six hours, then strain. Bring the brew to the boil briefly, let it cool down, pour it into the sink or wash bowl, add water. Soak your hands or feet in it for 15 minutes.

AV: How about drinking in the heat? Some people suppress their thirst in order to take in little fluids and to brake the sweat from within?

Prof. Bankhofer: That's really bad! Under no circumstances should you suppress your thirst, as this can lead to massive circulatory disorders. On the contrary: the excreted liquid - that is from half a liter to five liters and more per day - has to be replenished immediately.
Christine Weiner conducted the interview with Prof. Bankhofer on behalf of A.Vogel Gesundheits-Nachrichten.

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