My Journey Toward a Hyperhidrosis Diagnosis

by Feb 9, 2020Hyperhidrosis0 comments

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Do you have sweaty hands, sweaty feet, sweaty armpits, or a sweaty head or face? You might have hyperhidrosis (uncontrollable excessive sweating).

Getting a diagnosis of hyperhidrosis can be the first step toward an action plan for finding treatments for excessive sweating. Here’s some info about my journey – and it was a loooong journey – toward learning what hyperhidrosis is and actually getting a definitive reason as to why I’m always so sweaty. My sweaty story starts at around age seven. Read more about my experience recording this patient perspective video.

I waited until I was about age 12 in sixth grade before I finally asked my mom, Why are my hands always so sweaty? What’s wrong with me?

I delayed seeking further medical attention because it didn’t seem like there were a lot of things out there to help me treat my excessive sweating, so I just kind of dealt with it all through middle school and up through high school.

I avoided things like joining the band. I chose choir instead, because I didn’t feel like I could hold an instrument with my hands dripping with sweat.

Then around age 19, I started doing internet searches on my own, and I came across the term hyperhidrosis. But the first websites that I clicked on were all touting the surgery called ETS. Reminder when doing research about hyperhidrosis on the internet: many links that come up in the first page of search results could be paid advertising by companies or clinics looking for more candidates for ETS surgery.

While this surgery can be successful, I have met people in person and online who deeply regret having this surgery due to the devastating side effect of compensatory sweating (CS), which is worse than their original sweating. Practice due diligence when looking for treatments for hyperhidrosis. Only you can decide whether the benefits outweigh the risks for any procedure or treatment.

You can read firsthand accounts of people who got ETS surgery right here on my blog, like Leann from Ontario and Carrie from Ohio.

It took me a couple of years longer to find a nonprofit website called the International Hyperhidrosis Society, and that was where I first heard the medical term hyperhidrosis and finally knew what it was that I had.

Video footage is courtesy of Pharmacy Times Continuing Education (PTCE) and is from their continuing medical education activity titled Examining Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating): A Managed Markets Update on New Treatments, Featuring a Patient Perspective, which was featured as a supplement in the December 2018 edition of the American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC).

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