December 1, 2011

Anhidrosis- I Don't Sweat

Anhidrosis causes us to not sweat or hardly sweat and we are more prone to heat stroke than anyone else.

My whole life my internal heating and cooling system has never worked properly. When I get hot I never sweat, seriously. People around me will be melting, dripping with water and I have no perspiration whatsoever.

Now some women may think this is great, no perspiration stains on my clothing, no running make-up or wet clothes at the gym, but it’s not really a good thing.

I cannot go in a sauna; this would be suicide for me. I have tried them out and all that happens is that I start to pass out. Luckily, I have gotten out before actually reaching unconsciousness because that could be fatal. This was before I knew what was wrong (I still didn’t have a name for it) and that I wasn’t like most people. I now steer clear of saunas.

This is also part of why I’ve never been much of an outdoors person; this coupled with my Raynaud’s syndrome (yeah, I’m messed up at both ends of the spectrum) keeps me from extreme temperatures. If it’s really hot or really cold, I stay inside otherwise bad things happen.

I’ve never had to wear a sweatband, never needed a towel at the gym or had unsightly wet spots on my underarms. I do still wear antiperspirant because even though there is no moisture I do still have body odor if I get overheated. Not sure how that works but it does.

Some of my friends have been jealous when we are out in the heat because I appear to be cool as a cucumber but that isn’t the case. I’m just as hot, maybe more so, than everyone else it just doesn’t show on my body.

When I was a kid I was mostly an indoors type person. I could never play sports because if I got overheated I passed out. Kind of hard to win a game if one of your players keeps becoming unconscious. I’m not much of a sports fan anyway.

I can hike, if its not too hot and I am in the shade at least part of the time and I can exercise if it’s in an air-conditioned environment. My husband calls me lizard woman.

My family looks out for me. We live in the southwest where it can get very warm in the summer time. They’ll tell me it’s too hot for me to be outside. I have to have air conditioning in my car or I could pass out while driving. A couple of times we’ve had power outages in the summer due to storms or fires. When that happened I kept wet towels around my neck to stay cool until the power came back on. If it had lasted very long or been extremely hot I would have gone to a hotel.

There isn’t really any cure, you just have to deal with it and know your limitations. If you have anhidrosis or think you do take these precautions.

Don’t get overheated and pay attention to the weather; your meteorologist is your friend. Use water to stay cool; since you don’t sweat you can moisten your body with water. This does the same as perspiration does for everyone else. Even though you aren’t losing water through your pores you still need to drink plenty of water. Hydration is important for everyone, even lizard people.

I have no idea what causes it, I’m pretty sure I was born with it because I have always been sensitive to the heat and don’t ever remember sweating. I’ve read the list of reasons some people get it and I have none of them.