When you are stressed, cascades of physiological reactions occur that can change your body chemistry, how you sweat and even how you smell. The sweat reaction caused by stress is part of a complex process that begins when your hormones are released in response to a sudden and emotionally stimulating event.
When such an event happens, your body quickly sends a warning message to the emotional processing centre of the brain, which is called the amygdala. The amygdala interprets this message, and then relays a more complex “fight or flight” signal to the hypothalamus, the control centre of the brain.
In response, the hypothalamus sends a cascade of hormones through the bloodstream, activating the sympathetic nervous system. At this time the nervous system releases the three main stress hormones: Adrenaline, Cortisol, and Norepinephrine. The release of these hormones can cause multiple reactions in your body. For example, your heart rate can quicken, your fingertip temperature can decrease, and you can sweat. You’ll also become more focused and have faster reflexes, which will allow you to tackle your challenge with greater aptitude and efficiency.
Since stress sweat is hormone-activated, it is different from regular sweat in two important ways: (1) stress sweat smells the worst (2) stress sweat can happen instantly.
Stress sweat has a poor odour because it activates a different gland than exercise or heat sweat. This gland is the apocrine gland, which gets triggered via the adrenaline in the blood stream. While sweat from heat and activity comes from the eccrine sweat glands and is mostly made up of water, stress sweat comes from both the eccrine and the apocrine gland. The apocrine glands are larger and are concentrated in the underarms. They release a milky-looking substance that contains cholesterol, lipids and proteins. These materials become an assorted buffet of nutrients for bacteria, which in the process of eating the nutrients, produce more armpit odour.
When you have stress, adrenaline is released very quickly through the bloodstream. This means that stress sweat can happen instantly and perhaps without any warning. The instantaneous nature of stress sweat is different from heat and exercise sweat because the latter two respond physiologically much slower. Additionally, you can anticipate when you might be out during a hot day, or when you are going to work out, but you can’t always predict when a stressful event will come your way.
In order to stop sudden underarm sweating caused by stress, try a clinical product that has proprietary betacyclodextrin technology, like Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid. This product releases fragrance when you sweat and arms you with freshness as you respond to life’s challenges.