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Excessive Sweating Linked To Mental Health

01/03/2017 12:21 EST | Updated 01/03/2017 12:21 EST

Sweating in the summer heat is just a way for your body to regulate its internal temperature, but sweating through your shirt before a big presentation is a sign of something much more serious.

A new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology has discovered a link between anxiety and depression in people who sweat excessively.

According to researchers from Anhui Medical University in China and the University of British Columbia, people with hyperhidrosis (a condition that causes excessive sweating) are more likely to have higher rates of anxiety and depression than those without the condition.

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Out of 2,000 test patients, 21 per cent of people with hyperhidrosis also had anxiety, while 27 per cent of people with the condition had depression. Only 7.5 and 9.7 per cent of people without hyperhidrosis in the study suffered from anxiety and depression, respectively.

What is unknown, however, is whether or not the sweating is causing the mental health issues or if it is a result of them. Sweating while nervous or anxious is a fairly common occurrence because the fear creates a break in your fight or flight response causing your heart rate to increase, your pupils to dilate and your body to flood with adrenaline, explains the experts at the Calm Clinic.

But according to Dr. Dee Glaser, a professor of dermatology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine who was not involved in the study, the new findings don't necessarily mean controlling hyperhidrosis will alleviate mental health conditions, Health Day reports.

Glaser says these new findings are important for dermatologists to be aware of as it can change their prescriptions and recommendations.

While the Chinese and Canadian researchers are quick to note more research is required, Dr. Youwen Zhou, director of the Vancouver Hyperhidrosis Clinic at the University of British Columbia, says hyperhidrosis patients should speak to their doctors about any mental health symptoms or concerns.

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