Thursday, November 17, 2011

What Causes Sweating or What Is Perspiring? by Lynsey Carter

Good normal daily living your life causes sweating, or perspiring by another name. Healthy sweating comes about basically because of:

* hot ambient temperatures, especially in summer months

* most physical exercise or body exertion

* emotional stress

* by eating hot or spicy foods, especially chilli

* a fever that is associated with illness

Well, sweat is produced by glands that are bedded in the deep layers of your skin, known as your dermis. Sweat consists mainly of water,and the other main component primarily being salt. Your sweat glands are located in all parts of your body, just under your skin. But most of your sweat glands happen to be on your forehead, in your armpits, in your palms, and in the soles of your feet. There are two situations in which our nerves will stimulate sweat glands making us sweat:

* during physical heat and

* emotional stress.

Emotionally induced sweating, or cold sweating, is generally restricted to having sweaty palms, sweaty feet and soles, and sometimes the forehead, while physical heat induced sweating occurs throughout or all over your body.

Your sweating causes are normal as a bodily function designed to regulate your body's temperature. As your body heats up, you sweat to cool down and therefore keep your body's core temperature regular.

The cooling effect is caused as the water on your skin evaporates, the surface of your skin cools. Maybe an added bonus of sweating is that it does help with your grip, by slightly moistening your palms. Unless of course you have excessively sweating hands.

Sweating is controlled from a center in the preoptic and anterior regions of the hypothalamus where thermosensitive neurons are located. The heat regulatory function of the hypothalamus is also affected by temperature receptors in your skin. When your skin temperature is high, it reduces the hypothalamic point for sweating and therefore increases the gain of the hypothalamic response system to the variations in your core temperature.

Overall however, the sweating response to a rise in your bodily 'core' temperature is much larger than the response to the same increase in average skin temperature. The process of sweating decreases core temperature, whereas the process of evaporation decreases surface temperature.

Sweat is not pure water; it always contains a small amount (0.2'1%) of solute. Sweat does contain mainly water though. It also contains minerals, as well as lactate and urea. Mineral composition will vary with:

* the individual

* the acclimatisation to heat

* exercise and sweating

* the particular source of stress (exercise, sauna, etc.)

* the time duration of sweating

* and the composition of minerals in the body.

The volume of water lost in sweat daily is highly variable, ranging from 100 to 8,000 ml/day. In a cool climate, or in the absence of any exercise, salt loss can be very low. Salt concentration in your sweat is dependent on your degree of acclimatisation. When you sweat too much, your sodium, or salt loss may need to be replenished by drinking some electrolites (energy drinks - e.g. Powerade).

Copyright (c) 2010 Lynsey Carter