The Natural Way

Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Jim Fain

Is global warming causing you to sweat or is it the dog days of summer? Global warming is about the Earth adjusting herself and we can't do very much about the higher temperatures and humidity. We all need to do the little things we can on the big level to help all of us survive the adjustment. However, we can attend to our physical needs when we sweat too much.

The skin is our largest organ. Taking good care of it should be a no-brainer but most of us just take it granted. Beyond the very long list of all that it does, it houses the sweat glands. Sweat glands regulate our body temperature. The skin also helps us detox through our ability to sweat. Sweating happens for many reasons, sometimes causing a medical condition called hyperhidrosis.


Hyperhidrosis is characterized by overactive sweat glands stimulated by the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system meaning we don't have much control over it. This is the part of the nervous system which is responsible for releasing perspiration throughout the body. This is the body's natural method of cooling itself down during active periods (such as exercise), exposure to warm conditions or worrying too much. A person with hyperhidrosis experiences uncontrolled sweating and or blushing. Those who suffer from this condition are faced with major challenges every day.

Body salts move from the inside of our bodies to the outside and accumulate on the skin. We need the salts on the inside for our other body systems to work properly. The salts most people know about are sodium, potassium and magnesium. When these are depleted we have muscle cramps, headaches, heart problems, lethargy and difficulty thinking. Sometimes, supplements used to put the salts back into our system are called essential electrolytes.

A good electrolyte blend would include sodium, potassium and magnesium, as well as calcium, zinc, chromium and vitamin C. Some of these are lost when sweating while others are simply depleted through use. Of course, hydrating with water is needed to get the salts back into your system.

A simple test

Don't overdo water but be sure you have enough. Lightly pinching the skin on the back of your hand can tell you if you are hydrated enough. If the skin stays up or slowly goes back down then you need to drink more water. If it goes down quickly, you are fine.

Stay cool this summer, pay attention to the world around you but don't sweat about anything, too much.

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