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Using BOTOX To Cure Excessive Sweating?

Last year, I posted a study about how to deal with excessive sweating, a condition formally called hyperhidrosis. With warmer weather on the way, it's as good a time as any to remind you about more natural solutions for this embarrassing problem.

What specifically caught my attention was the FDA's recent approval of botulinum toxin type A -- better known as BOTOX -- as an effective treatment of excessive sweating, particularly for the underarms. I've been pretty interested in all these "designer uses" of BOTOX as of late, particularly since a knockoff brand was blamed for nearly killing four people in Florida from botulism, a condition that paralyzes muscles.

And the least intrusive remedy conventional "experts" recommend -- antiperspirants containing aluminum -- creates a toxic buildup in your body that has been linked to the incidence of Alzheimer's.

Mayo Clinic researchers are also interested in studying the long-term effects of another invasive "treatment" for hyperhidrosis: The disconnection of the sympathetic nerves that direct sweating in the arms and hands and how this affects the skin and blood vessels of the arm.

How one develops hyperhidrosis: One part of the brain controls the sweating response to body temperature, while another area controls the sympathetic, or emotional sweating response. For reasons unclear to researchers, the emotional component kicks into overdrive. That can put a damper on the social lives of typically healthy people who perspire excessively, even in mildly stressful situations, such as a handshake or job interview.

Typically, the best solution is the easiest one, and has nothing to do with an invasive procedure: Reduce, with the goal of eliminating, grains and sugars from your diet.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Vol. 80, No. 5. May 2005: 657-666

KTVT-TV (Dallas) May 3, 2005

Science Blog May 11, 2005

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