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IPFS News Link • Health and Physical Fitness

What Are the Health Benefits of Sweating?

•, By Dr. Joseph Mercola

In addition to regulating body temperature, sweating helps maintain homeostasis in your body, including removing waste products and toxins.1

Sweating can also be used therapeutically to support well-being and reduce chronic disease.2 If you're unable to sweat normally, sweating either too much or too little may signify significant health concerns, another clue of its wide-reaching importance.

Why Humans Sweat

Sweating, also known as perspiration, describes the release of liquid from your sweat glands, which number anywhere from 2 million to 4 million. During puberty, your sweat glands become fully active, with glands in men tending to produce more sweat than sweat glands in women.3

As a method of thermoregulation to help keep your body cool, sweating ramps up if the weather is hot or you're exercising. However, you may also sweat if you're feeling angry, stressed, anxious or afraid. Medical conditions, such as cancer and low blood sugar, can also trigger sweating, as can menopause and fever.

Consuming certain medications, including thyroid hormone and morphine, may also make you sweat, as can drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages or eating spicy foods, a condition known as gustatory sweating.4

When your body temperature rises, sweat glands release water at your skin's surface, which quickly evaporates and cools your skin and the blood underneath. "This is the most effective means of thermoregulation in humans," according to researchers with the University of Mississippi Medical Center.5 Beyond cooling you off, sweating also has "important homeostatic functions," such as:6

Clearing excessive micronutrients from your body

Removing waste products produced by metabolic processes

Eliminating toxins

Support for chronic diseases, including cardiovascular, respiratory and joint diseases

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