According to Healthline - Many people sweat after eating or while enjoying a meal. Especially, if the food consumed is hot or has a spicy flavor. This condition is natural, but if the volume of sweat that comes out is excessive or accompanied by other disturbing symptoms, it is not impossible that this indicates another disease that needs to be watched out for.
Under normal conditions, sweating in the head and neck area during and after eating is called gustatory sweating. This condition may not be a cause for concern. But in some people, gustatory sweating can also be a sign of diabetes and neurological disorders.
Causes of sweating during and after meals
Sweating during and after eating can be caused by certain types of food or other things related to health problems. The following are some common causes that can trigger the condition:
1. Hot food
Sweating after eating can be caused by hot temperatures. When we eat hot food, our body temperature will adjust to it by increasing the temperature, thus triggering the release of sweat which serves to maintain core body temperature. This is a normal condition and nothing to worry about.
2. Spicy food
The most common reason people sweat while eating is eating spicy foods. This is because chili peppers contain a chemical called capsaicin. This substance triggers nerves that make the body feel warmer, thus triggering the formation of sweat to make the body temperature cool again.
When sweating because of spicy food, the face will usually appear red. The nose and eyes are also watery.
Alcohol content in food and drinks can also cause excessive sweating. This is because alcohol can dilate peripheral blood vessels which causes the body to then release heat and experience an increase in temperature.
4. High-sugar foods
Sometimes eating foods high in sugar encourages the body to produce too much insulin which causes a drop in blood sugar levels in some cases or what is known as reactive hypoglycemia. Excessive sweating is one of the signs of the condition.
5. Frey's syndrome
Frey syndrome is one of the most common causes of sweating after eating. This condition is caused by a disorder of the parotid gland. Unlike the other causes, sweating in people with frey syndrome usually only occurs on one side of the face that has nerve damage.
People who experience this syndrome will usually sweat in the scalp, face, ears and neck area after consuming any food. But foods that trigger saliva production are more likely to trigger sweating.
In addition, this condition does not only occur during and after eating, but also when thinking or talking about food.
In people with Frey's syndrome, the nerves can be damaged so that they do not work optimally. This makes the nerves issue the 'wrong' instructions, so that when the body is supposed to salivate, sweat is made instead.
6. Diabetes mellitus
Sweating after eating is also a symptom that can be experienced by people with diabetes. There is no research that can determine the exact cause of this, but it may be related to diabetes complications such as nerve and kidney damage and poor blood sugar control. Nerve disorders in diabetics can make chewing activities trigger sweating.
7. Diseases that cause nerve disorders
Sweating after eating can also be caused by other diseases that can cause damage to parts of the brain and nerves related to saliva and sweat production. Some of these diseases include:
Viral infections that affect the face such as Bell's palsy or shingles (chicken pox) of the face
Injury to the face
How to reduce excessive sweating during and after meals
If you sweat after eating spicy or foods that trigger a rise in body temperature only, then this is nothing to worry about. You may not need to see a doctor and just need to watch your food intake.
Patients with Frey syndrome with symptoms that are not too troubling do not have to see a doctor. This condition usually resolves itself within a maximum period of 5 years without any treatment.
But if the condition of sweating after eating makes you feel very uncomfortable, even interfering with your confidence or daily activities, there are several treatments that can be used as options, such as:
This topical medication has compounds that reduce sweat production. Antiperspirant can be applied to the affected skin directly. It should be applied at night when the skin is dry and washed off when you wake up in the morning.
Topical anticholinergic medications
Anticholinergic medications can be applied like a roll on to the affected area and can relieve symptoms within 3 days.
Botox injections can block the nerves that cause sweating after eating. Research shows that this is the most effective method of treating gustatory sweating. The effects of botox last for about 9 to 12 months.
These are the things you need to know about sweating after eating. If you want to overcome this condition, you should consult a doctor to get the most appropriate treatment.
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