Ever since I can remember, I?ve always seemed to have freely sweated long before others I cycle or work with.
I?m 54 now, I?ve had no significant medical problems, I?m of average height and weight, I have yearly medical checks in work and all are normal, eg no blood pressure or heart problems.
It does sometimes become embarrassing at work, where it can be fairly strenuous manual exertion, and I?m dripping but others are not.
Is it anything to worry about other than the embarrassment?
Wet Wet Wet, email
You are probably suffering from hyperhidrosis ? unphysiological and excessive sweating. It affects around one per cent of the UK population. It commonly affects hands, feet and armpits, but can affect the whole body. It is nothing to worry about, but sufferers can be affected psychologically, complain of a wet and slippery grip and have permanently wet and stained clothes.
Treatments are numerous, ranging from cognitive behavioural therapy, topical antiperspirants, beta-blockers and anti-cholinergic drugs.
Botolinium toxin type A injections into the affected areas reduce sweating for 6-11 months (but can impair hand grip strength when injected into the palm), whereas surgery in the form of thoracoscopic sympathectomy actually cuts the nerves supplying the sweat glands (sometimes resulting in increased sweating elsewhere in the body).
I suggest you discuss the various options with your GP; bearing in mind the latter two treatments will need to be funded privately. In terms of cycling performance, you must ensure you hydrate adequately with fluids and electrolytes at all times.
Sports doctor. First-category road racer and medical officer at Westcombe Park rugby club