Diaphoresis: Meaning, Causes, Treatment, And More

Diaphoresis: Meaning, Causes, Treatment, And More

Diaphoresis: Meaning, Causes, Treatment, And More

Jan 24, 2023

Sweating is considered a common condition that controls maintains our body's temperature. Diaphoresis is a medical condition in which a person experiences excessive sweating due to an underlying condition. You might not hear about this term and are confused about how it differs from sweat. A person usually sweats when there is a higher body temperature. 

On the hot summer days, when the outer temperature rises, our body's sweat glands become active and release salty fluid. With time, this fluid evaporates and normalizes the temperature. But diaphoresis, also known as secondary hyperhidrosis that results in excessive sweat caused by various medical conditions. It can also result in a serious skin disease. In this post, we will share the required information about this term.

Definition of Diaphoresis

The oversweating is caused by some underlying medical condition called secondary hyperhidrosis. Diaphoresis definition revolves around the sweat released in a large amount by our body that is not due to the higher body temperature. It is not a normal sweat and  can affects different parts of the body. Women usually experience excessive sweat during pregnancy, menopause, diabetes, and heart disease. 

In some situations, people experience secondary hyperhidrosis under the armpits or other body parts. Research also shows that men face diaphoresis more than women. However, it can create serious medical issues if not treated on time. It is vital to contact the doctor in case your sweat non-stop for a longer time.

Images of Diaphoresis


Most people see this medical condition as normal sweat and don't take any precautions. The sweat glands of our body release salty fluid. When it remains longer and doesn't evaporate, it creates various skin problems like rashes and allergic reactions. If you also ask for diaphoresis meaning and how a person looks when he oversweat, here are the images for your reference. 

What Are The Causes Of Diaphoresis?

Since you know what is diaphoresis, it's time to understand the main causes behind it. This type of sweating isn't considered normal and is the primary cause of severe skin problems. Other secondary hyperhidrosis causes are diabetes, sleep apnea, heart disease, diabetes, pregnancy, menopause, etc. However, some people also experience diaphoresis due to the weak nervous system. Here is the main diaphoresis causes that may lead to a future emergency:


One of the most common causes of diaphoresis is hyperthyroidism. It is the condition when the thyroid glands of our body produce excessive thyroid hormones. When these hormones are active, it results in oversweating. 

The thyroxine hormone produced during the process also speeds up the metabolism and releases salty fluid which doesn't evaporate easily. During this condition, you can sweat even at a cooler temperature. During hyperthyroidism, apart from diaphoresis, you can also face the following symptoms;

  • Faster heartbeats
  • Sweat during sleep
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety


Most women get excessive sweat during pregnancy. It is a common condition resulting from hormonal changes in the first few months of pregnancy. You might experience weight gain along with diaphoresis and some other side effects. Simply put, when the woman's body evolves and adapts to the new changes, it speeds up the metabolism level, leading to excessive sweat. 

In primary hyperhidrosis, which is the condition of oversweating a particular area of the body like hands, armpits, and feet, pregnant women face the other skin reaction. Another reason for excessive sweat during pregnancy is the higher metabolism which raises the body temperature. In any of these conditions, you need to understand the leading cause of diaphoresis and treat it with the guidance of a medical expert.


Recent research by the Sleep Foundation shows that 85% of women experience night sweats during menopause. It is the period during which the mensural cycle in the women stops, which results in a change in the body's hormones. Premenopause and menopause are one of the most common causes of diaphoresis among women. During this, the brain sends a fake signal to the brain about the higher body temperature due to a change in the hormones cycle. 

If you don't know how the sweat cycle begins in the body, here is a quick explanation. The body's sweat glands become active when the brain receives signals from nerves about a higher body temperature. As a result, the salty fluid releases lower temperatures, evaporating over time. But during menopause, the false signals received by the brain result in excessive sweating even at cold body temperatures. The only way to control the diaphoresis caused due to menopause is by taking hormone therapy. We advise you to consult with a medical expert about the required doses of menopause hormonal therapy.


People who have diabetes may also experience diaphoresis. It is an early sign of low blood sugar levels. It is normal to get sweat if you have type B diabetes or experience an up-down in your blood sugar. However, when the lower blood sugar becomes uncontrollable, it may cause hyperglycemia. It is a serious medical condition in which a patient needs to restore the blood sugar level to normal. You might also experience some other symptoms during hyperglycemia:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Blurred vision
  • Shakiness in body
  • Stress & Anxiety

Due to Medications

Diaphoresis can also be caused as a result of taking medications. When people take certain prescription-based and over-the-counter medicines, it may cause side effects that lead to oversweating. However, it is considered normal to have sweating after taking the medications. In case your body sweat uncontrollably, consult with your doctor. Some of the medications which may cause diaphoretic skin are as follows:

  • Anti-depressants medications such as fluoxetine
  • Insulin and oral diabetes medications
  • Antibiotics like Ribavirin, Bacitracin, and Ciprofloxacin
  • Pain-relief medications
  • Drugs used in chemotherapy
  • Antiviral medications

Other Causes Of Diaphoresis

Based on the research and study, experts also found other diaphoresis causes that might differ from person to person. Here is a quick reflection on the causes of over sweating:

  • Heart problems: Various cardiac problems can cause the secondary hyperhidrosis
  • Cancer: It can be associated with different types of cancer, such as bone cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, and liver cancer
  • Anaphylaxis: It is a severe allergic reaction that is caused when you are exposed to allergic things. One of the common examples of anaphylaxis that may cause oversweating is stress rashes and cankles on the lower feet. 
  • Limited alcohol or drugs: People who try to limit the usage of alcohol and drugs may also experience diaphoresis.

What Is Diaphoresis ICD 10?

As you better understand the oversweating and its main causes, it is also crucial to know the ICD 10, which is the code used to describe the diaphoresis medical term. It is the code by the World Health Organization(WHO) to classify secondary hyperhidrosis based on the laboratory findings, symptoms, and problems faced by patients in daily life. 

According to the ICD-10 Data, it is the billable specific code ICD-10 specific code used to indicate the diagnosis process of excessive stress. The 2023 ICD-10-CM diagnosis code R61 applies to excessive sweat, night sweats, and secondary hyperhidrosis.

Difference Between Diaphoresis And Normal Sweating

One of the most asked questions by people is what is the difference between diaphoresis and sweating. First, you need to understand that normal sweating is also called hyperhidrosis. So, when we mention hyperhidrosis, we mean it is normal sweating. Here is the major difference between these two terms:  



Diaphoresis is the medical condition that leads to the excessive sweat due to medications and some underlying medical condition. 

Hyperhydrosis or sweating is the release of the salty fluid by sweat glands as a result of high body temperature.

It is a genetic problem.

It is a non-genetic problem.

Diaphoresis is mainly caused due to the menopause, pregnancy, heart attack, diabetes, medications, etc.

Hyperhidrosis is mainly caused by the unwell nervous system. It is the result of the overactive sweat glands which results in oversweat.

It is a less common medical condition.

It is a common condition that can be seen in normal people.

The diagnosis of the secondary hyperhydrosis is physical examination and sweat test.

The diagnosis process of primary hyperhydrosis is blood, urine, and sweat test.

It can be treated by taking the doctor prescribed medication and hormonal therapy.

It can be treated by taking prescription based creams, cold wipes, and injections.

How To Treat The Condition Of Diaphoresis?

Since there are multiple causes behind diaphoresis among people, you need to understand the main cause before start taking any medication or therapy. We advise you to undergo the diagnosis process to know the main reason behind this underlying condition. However, these are some of the recommended treatment options to stop excessive sweating:

Take Botox Injections

If the leading cause behind the diaphoresis is the overactive sweat glands, then botox injections in prescribed doses can bring short-term relief from excessive sweating. When you take the botox injection, it prevents the release of sweat fluid temporarily.


Taking prescription-based antiperspirants can bring relief from diaphoresis. It contains 10-15% aluminum chloride that controls the overactive sweat glands. When it enters the nerves, it plugs the sweat glands and signals to stop the excessive sweat.

Menopause Hormone Therapy

Women with diaphoresis due to menopause or pre-menopause can undergo menopause hormone therapy. During this therapy, the doctor tries to stimulate the estrogen and progesterone hormones in the body. After a few sessions of this therapy, you might experience relief from hot splashes and over-sweating problems.


Electrical shock therapy is only recommended when the sweat in your body doesn't stop even after taking the medications. During this therapy, a medical expert gives a small electrical shock or current to stop the sweat on hands, feet, and certain body parts. Since it involves electrical shock, we advise you to take this therapy after proper consultation with your doctor.

Take Oral Anticholinergic Medication

Your doctor might suggest you take various anticholinergic medications to control the diaphoresis. These oral medications are the proven way to stop excessive sweat. However, it is advised to only take these medications in a prescribed amount.

What Can I Do Myself To Prevent The Diaphoresis?

You may hear the famous quote, "Prevention is better than cure." It applies to every medical condition that can be prevented by taking simple prevention steps. One of the best ways to avoid oversweating is by changing your current lifestyle. Here are the simple tips you can follow to prevent yourself from excessive sweating:

  • Wear breathable and loose-fitting clothes.
  • Maintain blood sugar levels.
  • Eat a balanced diet that includes proteins, carbohydrates, fibers, etc.
  • Avoid spending time in high-temperature places.
  • Take cold showers whenever you experience oversweating.
  • Do regular exercise
  • Apply the absorbent powder to the body parts.
  • Use clinically proven antiperspirants.

Wrap Up

Getting sweat in the summer is normal and reflects our body's ability to behave with the external temperature. Diaphoresis is the indication of oversweat that is caused by various underlying medical conditions. It affects both men and women equally and can become a severe health problem. Some of the main causes behind secondary hyperhidrosis are pregnancy, menopause, diabetes, heart attack, cancer, and many more. It is advised to consult with medical experts before adopting any medications and therapy.

We hope you have a better idea about diaphoresis now. In this post, we explained this term in simple and easy-to-understand language. If you have any feedback, please email us at info@healthtipsandguide. For more informative content on various health problems, subscribe to our newsletter. We will see you in the next post with another tip.



Is Diaphoresis An Emergency Condition?

Diaphoresis is the oversweating that is caused by different medical conditions. It can turn into an emergency if not treated on time. If you face the symptoms like nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and clammy skin, we advise you to call emergency health services.

What Are The Main Causes Of Diaphoresis?

Some of the causes of diaphoresis are as follows:

  • Hyperthyroidism

  • Diabetes

  • Heart attack

  • Pregnancy

  • Menopause

What Are The Hormones Responsible For The Oversweating?

The thyroid hormone and thyroxine are responsible for oversweating. Due to these hormones, our body experiences a higher metabolism that causes sweat.

Can Stomach Problems Cause The Diaphoresis?

Yes, stomach problems like loss of appetite can cause diaphoresis. During the inflammation in the stomach, our body raises the body temperature, which may result in oversweating.

Can Excessive Sweat Cause The Skin Rashes?

Excessive stress can create hot flashes that create harmful effects on the skin. It is normal to have skin rashes during diaphoresis.

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