fitness · menopause

Catherine complains about sweating again, but this time there’s science involved

Summer has officially arrived, and warmer temperatures are here! This means many things, one of which I’d like to discuss/complain about: Major sweating. I’m not referring to a healthy pink glow here. We’re talking dripping, red-faced, soggy sweat– even at 10am. Even while doing very light activity. Even while dressed head to toe in moisture-wicking fabrics whose marketing materials guarantee a dryer, more comfortable active you.

They're lying.
They’re lying. At least to me.

I’ve written a feminist guide to mid-life sweating post with my tips here. Mina and Sam and others have also blogged about sweating in affirming ways.

But I’m back because I just last week learned a thing that science has known, but didn’t bother to tell me: the medication I take (an SSRI anti-depressant) is a known contributor to excessive sweating! When I asked Madeline, my psychopharm doc, she said, “Oh yes! This is definitely a thing.”

Did everyone else know this already? Am I the last to be informed?

Given that medications helped get me into this soggy mess, I wondered whether medications could help me out of it. The answer is maybe a little bit, but not for me. Why? Because science is complicated.

HRT (hormone replacement therapy) is commonly prescribed for menopausal symptoms. There’s lots of say about this, but you should do your own google search and consult your own experts. For me, it’s not an option.

There are other anti-sweating medications around, but they have all sorts of side effects and varying levels of effectiveness. Dr. Madeline (who knows what she is about, imho) says no to the sweat-be-gone drugs.

Instead, she recommended a portable battery-operated fan, ice packs or cold compresses on the back of the neck. The fan is a hard no for me, but I do have an extremely cute ice pack.

I own one of these. How could I not? It’s got little yellow duckies on it with the pale blue background! So cute! And it doesn’t leak.

Should I start carrying it around? That seems a bit much. I already tote a bandana for mopping up sweat around my face. Maybe go all in and order a rubber ducky tote bag to carry my sweat-mitigation gear?

Yes, it's a tote bag with images of rubber duckies. Very cute.
Yes, it’s a tote bag with images of rubber duckies. Very cute.

Honestly, maybe it’s not a terrible idea– toting around sweat-mitigation gear, that is. And engaging in sweat-mitigation and sweat-acceptance habits. After all, the body I have now is worth caring for just as it is. And this body sweats a lot. Time to deal. Cold drinks, bandanas, changes of clothes, cool breathable fabrics, fabrics that don’t show sweat as much, cool bedrooms, and more cool/cold-water swimming are all promising strategies.

Readers, do you have any sweat-mitigation or sweat-acceptance tips? We’d all love to hear anything you have to offer.

2 thoughts on “Catherine complains about sweating again, but this time there’s science involved

  1. I bought some sweat absorbing tops that essentially have pads built in the armpits for sweat absorption. Unfortunately they aren’t cute enough to wear solo and the last thing I want in summer are layers.

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