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Have anxiety disorder and started sweating. Should I be concerned?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2000
Answered : 926 Questions

I am a 27 year old male with no diagnosed health problems aside from anxiety disorder, which I've struggled with for years, although I don't see this as being the cause of this issue.

I notice that my cheeks/other parts of my face begin to sweat the moment I eat certain foods. Chocolate, peanut butter, certain cheeses and tomato sauce all seem to make this happen. My cheeks get cold and kind of clammy feeling within seconds of ingesting these foods, and they get a bit moist. I find that if this happens early in the day, it continues as I eat throughout the rest of the day.

I've read that this is known as Gustatory Sweating, and that it can perhaps be associated with diabetes? I've also read that this could be idiopathic, or perhaps even associated with a tyramine sensitivity.

My question here - Is this something I should be concerned about? Have you heard about or seen this in the past? It's been happening with peanut butter for as long as I can remember, but I've recently noticed that other foods cause this issue as well and that it happens more often lately.
Posted Sat, 29 Dec 2012 in Anxiety and Stress
Answered by Dr. Divya Kuttikrishnan 3 hours later

Thanks for writing in.

You are right. This most likely is a condition known as gustatory sweating. It would be worthwhile to get your blood sugar levels checked (Fasting and post prandial).

If the symptoms are really that bothersome, you might want to talk to your doctor about medications like topical anticholinergics or intradermal botulinum injections.

For the anxiety disorder, I would suggest you sign up for yoga classes , if you have a good instructor in your area. Regular practice of yoga is beneficial for both the mind and the body. Probably, once your anxiety levels come down, your gustatory sweating might also decrease.

I hope I have answered your queries. Do get back to me if you have further queries.

Have a great day.

Dr. Divya Kuttikrishnan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have anxiety disorder and started sweating. Should I be concerned? 29 minutes later
What is the likely cause of the gustatory sweating? Is it likely that I have diabetes? Could it be a tyramine sensitivity?. This all has me very nervous, and I don't have health insurance....
Answered by Dr. Divya Kuttikrishnan 40 minutes later
I understand your concern.

I am not saying you have diabetes, but that is one condition we have to rule out. It is better you get your blood sugar levels checked.
If the levels are normal , good. Avoid foods which seem to aggravate the symptoms.

I am presuming that you don't have any skin lesions on the face/any surgeries on the face, in the past.

In a few percentage of people, the cause of gustatory swelling is unknown (idiopathic gustatory hyperhidrosis)

Tyramine sensitivity, even if it is the case, like wine,cheese, chocolate etc, are more likely causes of migraine(headache).

Please try to relax... Please follow my advise on yoga .

Hope this helps.

Dr. Divya Kuttikrishnan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have anxiety disorder and started sweating. Should I be concerned? 32 minutes later
Hi Dr,

Thanks for the response. It appears that I had a basic metabolic profile done in April 2012 and my blood sugar levels were normal at 93.65mg. I believe this test was random and not after fasting. Does this rule out diabetes?

Also, I've experimented with yoga for anxiety. I find that basic breathing meditation is most effective for me.

Answered by Dr. Divya Kuttikrishnan 27 minutes later
A value of random blood glucose > 200 mg/dl indicates diabetes. Since your RBS is 93.65mg/dl, diabetes is quite unlikely.

Good. Do continue with your basic breathing meditation :)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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