Sweating after eating is a condition that can be caused by a number of factors. This condition can also be an indication of a metabolic disorder known as gustatory sweating. The degree of sweating may differ from one individual to the other i.e. the sweating may range from normal to profuse sweating that may occur on the face, chest, or neck immediately after eating or while eating.
Why Do I Sweat When I Eat?
Causes of sweating after eating range from physiological factors (such as the type of food or beverage ingested), to pathological factors (such as diabetes):
Sweating while eating may be as a result of spicy foods. After eating taste provocative foods such as spiced foods, tarts, or drinking beverages that stimulate sweat glands, such as hot soup, or tea, you may end up experiencing food related perspiration. Food sweats occur on the face, especially on the nose, the nasolabial skin, or above the upper lip. Here, the perspiration appears immediately the food is ingested or beverage, and stops after swallowing.
Sweating while eating is common among young people living in warmer climatic regions. Here, the conditioning effect of the warmer climate coupled with the temperature of the food or the provocative taste of the food offsets the hypothalamus leading to sweating. There have been strange cases where the individual sweats on the knee. However, this unusual cases may be as a result of genetic disposition.
Alcohol intake and caffeine can also trigger sweating after eating.
Hot sweats after eating, and night sweats can be an indication of hormonal changes due to andropause or menopause.
Excessive sweating after eating can also occur for no reason (Idiopathic).
Sweating after eating may be due to a medical condition. For instance, patients who have experienced an injury or surgery involving the parotid gland are likely to experience secondary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) after eating.
Certain disorders affecting the central nervous system such as syringomyelia or encephalitis can lead to gustatory sweating. The disorders alter the sweating mechanism in the medulla leading to sweating after eating.
Injuries to the sympathetic trunk located in the thorax can also lead to a sweating response after eating.
Gustatory sweating is associated with other conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, shingles, or multiple headaches. Gustatory hyperhidrosis is evident in patients with long-standing diabetes. The condition is associated with nephropathy, including periphery nephropathy and dysautonomia. Here, patients experience perspiration after eating particularly on the head and neck, shoulders, and chest.
Sweating after eating is not unique to people with diabetes. However, people with long-standing diabetes are likely to experience gustatory sweating compared to those without. There are incidences where the thought of food leads to sweating. This condition may be due to metabolic dysfunction.
Some people experience excessive sweating after eating sugar. This is because some people are sensitive to sugar intake, particularly refined sugar. In this case, you should try to avoid eating sweets or sugary foods on an empty stomach and maybe opt for a sweet after a full meal. Sweating after eating sweets or sugars may also indicate the onset of hypoglycemia.
Gustatory Sweating Treatment
Excessive sweating after eating may be difficult to treat due to the complexities of factors that may lead to the condition. As a result, identification of the underlying illness may treat the sweating after eating. Another solution is Botox injection which may control the excessive sweating after eating. However, if you opt for this treatment approach, be sure to consult a physician who has experience in hyperhidrosis.
To a certain degree, gustatory sweating can be controlled with “glycopyrrolate” containing topical creams. Some doctors suggest the use of treatments containing oxybutynin chloride, propantheline bromide, or the use of clonidine. These creams can be applied on the face and neck control the sweating.
Most incidences of gustatory hyperhidrosis occur after surgery or injury to the parotid gland. However, if you suffer from sweating after meals and you have no history of injury or surgery, then you should go for a physical exam or consult with your doctor concerning your medical history. Try to identify the types of foods that make you sweat. For instance, certain foods such as carbs could lead to night sweats or hot flushes after eating.
Presently, there is no permanent cure for the condition. The creams only give temporary relief from the excessive sweating. Be sure to consult with your physician so as to get the best treatment for the issue. Don’t struggle with eating-induced hyperhidrosis on your own, the good news is that this condition can be managed.