What are we sweating for?

in StemSocial3 months ago

Our body, that perfect machine, has many functions that are still unknown, as much as science and technology have advanced, there are many blind spots in the knowledge regarding its functioning and of course, the same happens with the origin of certain diseases.

But I do not want to focus on what is not known but rather on what is known. Because there is much that people do not know about their body, and it is logical that the more we know about something we could have a better use of this in addition to a better care to prevent diseases and always feel better, which is basically what we should focus on.

I want to talk this time about something that to a greater or lesser extent we all do, Sweating, but have you ever wondered why this happens, what is its purpose?, read on, what I'm going to explain will surely interest you.



Pixabay/ Author: un-perfekt

Let's talk a little about the structure of the sweat glands, which are responsible for producing sweat.

Before continuing I must say that there are two types of sweat glands, the epicrine and the apocrine. I will focus this post to talk about the first ones, however I would like to comment that the apocrine glands are practically said that in the course of the next centuries it is thought that they will disappear from our body, its function is basically to produce pheromones, but beyond this function is not known other.

Now let's go to the description of the epicrine glands. They are tubular glands that are distributed throughout the skin, almost without exception. They release the substance they produce, in this case sweat to the skin. These are found specifically in the adipose tissue, next to the sebaceous glands and the hair follicle, and are tiny tubes formed by cells whose lower end is closed and the upper or external end goes towards the skin, which is where the sweat is released.



Source: Wikimedia Commons / Freely licensed

These glands are surrounded by adapted muscle cells that facilitate the sweat expulsion process.

It is logical to think that there are also a large number of blood vessels that provide both water and the other elements that are expelled through sweat. So far I hope you can easily visualize this structure. But the main question of this publication and is what I want to answer: What are we sweating for?.

Sweat actually has several functions, which I will describe below: What are we sweating for?

  • When we sweat, a good part of the composition of sweat are acidic substances, this has its raison d'être, since it stays on the skin and creates an environment with acid pH which is very effective as protection against pathogenic microorganisms.

  • In turn, this function goes hand in hand with the fact that it facilitates the expulsion of toxic substances from our body, and even some medications can be expelled via the sweat glands. This is the reason why when we consume some drugs we smell it. Even when we ingest B complex, when we sweat we also expel its odor via sweat, which serves as an insect repellent.



Pixabay/ Author: janeb13

But I would like to emphasize what in my opinion is the main function, and this is, dissipating heat from our body to maintain balance in this aspect.

This can be a bit complicated to visualize many times, but I will try to explain it, as usual, in a simple way. When we exercise or when we have a fever, our body temperature tends to rise, which can be detrimental if it reaches a certain point. That is when protective mechanisms are activated to lower the temperature to a point that is not harmful, and sweating is part of this mechanism.

When we sweat, the sweat takes with it the heat of our body, which evaporates, thus balancing the temperature. It is a physical phenomenon of heat energy transfer that our body uses to avoid the damage caused by high temperature.



Pixabay/ Author: stux

Now, let's look at what I just explained in light of what many people do when a child has a fever. They usually give them some medicine to lower the temperature, for example, acetaminophen or diclofenac, and then cover them completely with a blanket, this is totally contraindicated.

What is indicated in these cases is that they take a bath, so that the water that passes through their skin does the same thing that sweat does, take away the body heat and in this way, lower the temperature. I even dare to say that when children with very high fever are completely wrapped up, limiting the possibility for the sweat to evaporate and carry away the heat, which is exposing them to an even worse situation in terms of temperature control.

My recommendation, even for adults who apply this complete covering with a blanket, is not to do it, it can be very counterproductive.



Pixabay/ Author: BarbaraBonanno

I hope that with what you have read up to this point, you have a better notion of what I am talking about in relation to this issue of sweating and its importance in our body.

There are some extreme conditions, for example Hyperhidrosis, which are those people who sweat in an exaggerated amount, whether in hot or cold conditions (which is a very rare condition to see), there are also those who do not sweat at all (even stranger condition), but regardless of these types of presentations that are very complicated to treat, what corresponds to the majority is to understand that sweat is a mechanism of regulation of the body, excretion of certain substances.

I hope this explanation has been clear for all those who like to read this publication. Have a great Sunday and a good start of the week.


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This is very educative.
I really never knew about the apocrine glands before now

Diclofenac for fever?
I was just thinking it's for muscle pains and moreover because of their nephrotoxic effect, I don't like them 😓

you have a better notion of what I am talking about in relation to this issue of sweating and its importance in our body.

Your post was quite helpful... Thanks for sharing
I wish you a productive week ahead too

Thank you very much for commenting.
Diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, meloxicam, all of these medications are pain relievers, but they are also useful for fever each of these.
Just as acetaminophen works for pain.

I am glad to know that this post has been useful for your education.

Sure it was..... Thanks a lot

Incredible mechanism of our body!
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