What Your Sweat Can Reveal About Your Health

Sweating is typically something many people try to avoid with products like antiperspirants. But what can be seen as a nuisance can actually provide you with necessary health information like your routine labwork currently does.

Sweating is your body's way of cooling down, as well as ridding itself of toxins. It also is a telltale sign of conditions like anxiety, stress, menopause, and a multitude of other medical issues. There are actually two types of sweat — common sweat, or eccrine sweat, is a lighter sweat that typically occurs on a warm day during exercise. Stress, or apocrine sweat, is a thicker sweat that is produced during extreme stress times and can get odorous when in contact with bacteria (via Cleveland Clinic).

Some people can experience excessive sweating that points to a condition called hyperhidrosis, or anhidrosis, when you don't sweat at all — even after exercise. This is an example of how sweating — or lack thereof — can point to underlying health conditions like diabetes, heart attack, heatstroke, radiation therapy, skin conditions, thyroid issues, alcoholism, and some cancers.

How sweat can be key to your body's health

While you may not think of sweat as a form of testing for health conditions, some researchers believe it could be as beneficial as routine bloodwork. One research team from the University of Arizona Health Sciences is working to find more evidence that molecules in sweat can provide information on your stress response levels, circulatory system, immune system, and nervous system.

The research team also believes that testing sweat could show your health status as it changes throughout the day, whereas blood samples mark health conditions at a specific moment in time.

If you're wanting to keep sweating at bay, be sure your deodorant is also an antiperspirant. Deodorants help with body odor brought on by sweating, but don't actually stop the sweating. You should also be sure to seek medical attention if your sweating is excessive, as it could be a sign of a more serious medical issue.