What Diseases Have Excessive Sweating As Symptoms?

Hyperhidrosis and diaphoresis are the technical terms for profuse sweating, differentiated by both frequency and occasion. Diaphoresis is usually an isolated event and is usually linked to shock or heatstroke whereas hyperhidrosis represents an ongoing condition of excessive perspiration.

Primary hyperhidrosis is a genetic disorder in and of itself, but when secondary hyperhidrosis occurs later in life it generally as a symptoms of a variety of diseases. Some of the diseases that present with excessive perspiration as a symptom can be quite severe, representing even life threatening or emergency conditions. Some of the most common or severe are worthy of note, but it's important to not use this list for self-diagnosis.

Tuberculosis is one of the more severe diseases that feature excessive perspiration as a symptom. TB, 'Consumption' and 'The White Plague' are a few of the alternative names for tuberculosis. It usually affects lungs, brain, kidneys and even bones. This disease involves infection by mycobacterium and the symptoms in the initial stages are usually rather slight. Common symptoms are chest pains, weight loss, fatigue and excessive sweating. Tuberculosis of the lungs initially causes dry cough developing into severe coughs with bloodstained phlegm, but the complications can and often have lead to disability or even death. TB is still a concern in many parts of the world, including the American Midwest.

Older girl who is sick and sweating

Acute stress disorder may be a prolonged disorder or only affect the patient for a short time. Panic attacks in response to normal stimuli that remind the victim of a traumatic incident are clear indicators and feature such symptoms such as anxiety, nervousness, excessive perspiration, personal instability and maladapted behavior patterns. If they occur for a month or more after the initial trauma, the condition is called posttraumatic stress disorder. Acute or posttraumatic stress disorder interferes with the normal functioning of smooth and cardiac muscles. Other severe symptoms include muscle rigidity, difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia), muscle contractions of the heart (dysrhythmias) and diaphragmatic paralysis.


Diabetes mellitus is yet another long term, systemic problem that features excessive perspiration as a common symptom. Diabetes is caused by irregularities or imbalances in the insulin that metabolizes and regulates blood glucose levels. Diabetes in children is usually the outcome of hereditary factors, while adult onset diabetes can result from poor diet and lifestyle choices. Symptoms other than profuse perspiration include blurred vision, fatigue, nausea, weight loss, vomiting, bleeding gums, diarrhea and depression. In addition to the immediate danger from fluctuating blood glucose levels, diabetes can cause significant cardiovascular problems over the course of a lifetime.

Yet another of the severe problems indicated by excessive perspiration is malignant pituitary tumors, which develop in the pitutary gland located in the brain. Pituitary tumors restrict the secretion of certain essential hormones from the pituitary glands. Common symptoms are headaches, loss of vision and hyperhidrosis. However, these symptoms differ in accordance with the exact location and size of the tumor. This variety of brain cancer is relatively rare, but an excellent example of why secondary hyperhidrosis should never be ignored.

Another central nervous system disorder featuring secondary hyperhidrosis is meningitis, which refers to the inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Left untreated it can prove permanently damaging or fatal. Common meningitis symptoms include increased heart rate, fever, rapid breathing (hyperventilation) and, of course, extreme perspiration.

Apart from these, heart attack, trophoblastic cancer, respiratory distress and bacterial diseases are a few other diseases that have excessive sweating as a common symptom.

While this list is far from exhaustive, hopefully you can see that abnormally excessive perspiration is not a minor concern but should be throughly investigated.

In all vast probability, the problem that causes it is quite treatable, but it's at least worthy of a doctor's appointment to get to the root cause and create a plan from there.