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Palms smelling sweet, excessive sweating, hyperhidrosis, thyroid problems

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
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Question
So what would make my palms smell sweet?
Posted Fri, 13 Apr 2012 in Women's Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 4 hours later
Hello,

Thanks for your query. It will be very helpful for me in understanding your condition better if you could answer some of these questions:
1)     Is the sweet smell associated with excessive sweating?
2)     Do you have such kind of smell from the armpits or groins also?

Sweating or perspiration is basically odorless, it can take on a smell when it comes into contact with bacteria on your skin. Most often, it's the bacterial breakdown of apocrine sweat that causes a strong odor. However if you are getting a sweet smell from your palms then lactic acidosis and diabetic ketoacidosis (if you have a history of diabetes) need to be ruled out. Lactic acidosis is when lactic acid builds ups in the bloodstream and this usually happens after an intense exercise. It can also get higher when the liver is severely damaged or diseased, because the liver normally breaks down lactic acid.

You should get your blood sugar levels checked and your blood lactic acid levels checked to rule out these two conditions.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. Please do send back the answers to these questions. I will be happy to answer your queries. Wishing you good health.






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Follow-up: Palms smelling sweet, excessive sweating, hyperhidrosis, thyroid problems 44 hours later
Hi. I wrote you earlier this week about a sweet smell that I noticed on my palms. I am not sure if this is how I reply, but I will also try to reply to the previous email you sent me, so I apologize for the duplicates.
Thank you, kindly for your advice. Here is my answer to your questions:
1) Is the sweet smell associated with excessive sweating?
Recently I have been suffering from hot flashes and facial "flushes", often at work- but it is a fast paced, high temperature job, so I just associated it with the changing of the seasons. However, I just feel it is a bit abnormal. I am not that old- so its not like early menopause hot flashes (Im 29), just feelings of uncomfortableness.


2) Do you have such kind of smell from the armpits or groins also?

I do notice a bit of the sweet smell from my armpits- but I assumed that it was because I was wearing more deoderant bc of the hot flashes. My urine also has a sweetish smell to it as well- which is a bit worrisome.
I was adopted and have no biological family health records to refer to. My blood sugar is chronically low- last time I had it checked it was about 52-- it usually is around that number- as well my BP has always been low- rarely above the range of (80-90) / (45-65) . I wore a holter monitor last year for 3 days, but they found nothing wrong. I had a stress test, ekg, ecg, ... all the doctors said is that I may have a very slight take iron supplements.

I do not have insurance. And I am just worried that I am overthinking things. I just wanted to get an opinion- I often get nervous/intimidated at the Dr.'s office and feel like I can not properly express what I want to. Thank you, again for your time!
Marisa
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 5 hours later
Hello,

Thanks for your query.

You could be thinking too much about the problem. That is the first thing I would express.

Otherwise you seem to be suffering from Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). It may be primary (without known cause and usually starts during childhood or adolescence and persists all life) or secondary (as part of an underlying condition like Hyperthyroidism or similar endocrine diseases and dermatological conditions like eczema, psoriasis).

Hence, I'll suggest getting the thyroid function tests done.

Treatment usually involves antiperspirants like aluminium chloride (20-25%) in 70-90% alcohol, Iontophoresis (applying low intensity electric to the palms and/or soles immersed in an electrolyte solution), botox treatment and surgery if none of the above methods are helpful. There are no specific drugs available for this.

Pls consult a primary physician first and rule out any treatable causes. Visiting a primary would not cost much and you can negotiate for a discount if you pay by cash.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. Please do send back the answers to these questions. I will be happy to answer your queries. Wishing you good health.

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