Category Archives for "Embarrassing Health Problems"

Sweaty Hands

Sweating is a natural body function. It is through the skin that we sweat to regulate body temperature and release toxins. We sweat more in response to excessive heat and this is how the body cools down. Sweating can occurs all over the body but occurs less frequently on the palm of the hands and sole of the feet. Excessive sweating is called hyperhidrosis.

Sweaty hands (Palmar hyperhidrosis)

Individuals who have sweaty hands do have personal and social issues which could drive them to seek medical attention. Some of the personal embarrassments include the inability to firmly grasp objects, drive, turning a door knob, typing on the computer and the inability to do other mundane activities. Socially the source of embarrassment is being constantly told how moist or wet the palms are during a handshake. Intimate relationships can be affected by the excessive sweating of one spouse. There is nothing romantic about being touched by wet cold hands. Sweaty hands can cause high levels of anxiety, nervousness, embarrassment, distress and stress.

Causes

Sweating is a normal and regular body activity especially in warm climates. Excessive uncontrollable sweating is linked to the overstimulation of the sweat glands also called eccrine glands. They are found mainly on the feet, palms, face, armpits and groin. The glands are stimulated when your body is overheated, doing heavy manual work or during exercising. Non-physical stimuli can trigger sweating such as when you’re feeling emotional, or as a result of hormones. Sweating is caused by heightened activity in the sympathetic nervous system which is a part of the autonomic nervous system and it is located within the chest cavity. Unlike the voluntary nervous system i.e. the motor and sensory functions which we have control over, the sympathetic system is involuntary. Some of the triggers are:

  • Emotional situations
    • Anxiety
    • Mental tension
    • Stress
    • Nervousness
  • Hormonal surges

Self-help home remedies

External

  • Doing an apple cider soak
  • Applying talcum powder
  • Soaking hands for half an hour in cold water
  • Soaking hands in a mixture of vinegar and rosewater
  • Soaking hands in baking soda or cornstarch
  • Applying a lotion made of vodka and lemon juice
  • Soaking hands in a mixture of honey and apple cider

Other remedies include:

  • Relaxation exercises such as meditation and yoga

Relaxation exercises focus on the breath, visualization and movement to reduce anxiety.

  • Dietary changes

It is recommended to reduce the intake of caffeine. The ultimate goal should be to eliminate caffeine.

  • Herbal teas such as chamomile, green tea or sage

These are some of the herbal teas which are calming and caffeine-free.

  • Consuming apple cider in the morning
  • Drinking wheatgrass juice up to 4 times daily
  • Charcoal consumed on an empty stomach in the morning

Medical Treatment

  • Botox

Botox injections are better known for the treatment of underarm hyperhidrosis. This treatment is offered by some hospitals

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Hairiness in Women

All through the ages women and men have groomed, styled and even adorned their hair. Body hair however is treated somewhat differently. In some cultures body hair is associated with virility and strength among males. With respect to females, facial hair is not always frowned upon or camouflaged. In some cultures it is admired, painted and deified.

Times have certainly changed in our modern world as the influence of Western civilization has far reaches to cultures all over the globe. More and more men and women are spending a lot of money to reduce the appearance of hairiness. Society is more forgiving of hairiness on men although they can sometimes become the subject of ridicule and comedy.

Excessive Body Hair in Women

In today’s western, fashion-conscious world any visible body hair on a woman is considered socially unacceptable. At the same time hair salons have been increasingly doing more business as there is a great demand to process, weave, style and shave the head in keeping with the current trends among the world’s most fashionable women.

Women spend a hefty sum to rid themselves of excessive body hair. The areas of the body targeted for hair removal are:

  • Face (eyebrow, sideburns, upper lip, chin)
  • Underarm
  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Chest
  • Around the nipples
  • Abdomen
  • Pubic area

Luckily for some females the hair is thin and barely visible. Excessive body hair usually begins in puberty and progressively becomes more prominent with age.

What causes Hirsutism?

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Shaky Hands

It is very easy to miss subtle shaking until you attempt to do an action which requires fine motor skills such as threading a needle or replacing the tiny pin in the arm of the eyeglasses. Have you been having difficulty to steady your hands to do what used to be routine movements? Shaky hands is also called hand tremor. Hand tremors can be associated with neurological, metabolic, toxic and degenerative conditions. This is quite different from the anxious nervousness we all experienced from time to time which causes us to shake before a performance etc.

Common Causes

The most common type of tremor which affects adults is called essential tremors. Even though it is the most common cause of shaking hands we still do not fully understand why this occurs. Some researchers think the degenerative process interrupts the normal brain function of the cerebellum. The cerebellum known as the little brain plays an important role in balance, equilibrium, coordination and motor functions. Degeneration of the cerebellum affects the neurons and causes them to die.

Hand tremors can also be caused by:

  • Seizures
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Cerebellar disease
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Medication side effects
  • Caffeine overdose
  • Alcohol abuse or addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

There is a classic difference between the shaky hands experienced with essential tremors and Parkinson’s diseases. Persons with essential tremors have uncontrollable shaking when they try to perform a motor function (use a muscle) to write, brush the teeth, comb the hair, operate a machine etc. Once they are at rest there is no obvious shaking. On the other hand with Parkinson’s disease the hands shake when at rest (no activity). The shaking stops once the muscles are in use.

Less Common Causes

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Stroke
  • Para neoplastic disorders
  • Spasmodic torticolis

Conservative solutions for mild cases of shaky hands

The good news is, not everyone with shaky hands will require medical treatment. Your doctor may recommend the following practical lifestyle changes:

  • Choose easy to open bottles, tins and medication containers
  • Replace lightweight daily used eating ware such as utensils, cups, glasses, plates and bowls with heavier ones
  • Invest in tools which are designed for easier grip
  • Wear wrist weights to steady hand movements

Medical Treatment Options

There is no single treatment that is guaranteed to resolve shaky hands. Your doctor may which to try you on a group of medications called beta-blockers. Beta-blockers are normally used in the treatment of cardio-vascular diseases such as high blood pressure and tachycardia (Fast heart rates).In recent time beta-blockers are used for anxiety, performance jitters and tremors. Some commonly used beta-blockers are:

  • Propranolol (Inderal) and the long-acting option
  • Primidone (Mysoline)
  • Sotolol
  • Atenolol
  • Gabapentin used to treat seizure
  • Topiramate used to treat seizure
  • Xanax (Alprazolam)
  • Botulinum toxin type a, popularly known as Botox

Shaky hands which result from other causes (non-essential tremors) can be improved by treating the illness such as seizures, Parkinson’s disease and cerebellum diseases.

In cases where the abuse of stimulants is responsible for the tremors the addiction needs to be addressed. This is so in the case of alcohol, caffeine and nicotine.

Discuss with your doctor the possible side effects of the medications as some of them are habit forming. The benefits and risks should always be assessed.
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