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Do You Sweat After You Eat? Here's Why

November 25, 2020 4 min read

sweat after eating

Do you sweat after eating? For many people, it is commonplace to sweat after eating a spicy entree. It is perfectly normal to sweat after eating certain types of foods and drinking certain drinks. But what if you sweat during all of your meals or when you simply think about eating? How concerned should you be? Keep reading to discover what could potentially be causing this and what to do about it.

Reasons You Sweat After Eating

Some of the reasons you might sweat after eating include physiological factors, hyperhidrosis, and other medical conditions. The best way to find out the cause is to talk to your doctor.

Psychological Reasons

While the reasons for sweating when eating food is often linked to a medical condition, it can also have psychological reasons. Anxiety can cause you to sweat after eating foods that usually do not make people sweat. This type of sweating typically occurs on your face and neck. Stress, which has similar factors as anxiety, can also be a trigger.

In addition to stress and anxiety, anger or fear can also cause you to sweat after eating. If you are sweating while eating without any other physical symptoms, check with your doctor or psychiatrist for further examination.

Only 10% to 15% of people who sweat after eating seek medical attention.

Gustatory Hyperhidrosis

Gustatory hyperhidrosis is when you excessively sweat after eating any kind of food or when you simply think about or look at food. Sweating is typically localized to your face, forehead, head, and/or scalp. Sometimes the cause of gustatory hyperhidrosis is unknown. Although in some cases, it can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition like diabetes or Parkinson’s disease. It can also be a result of nerve damage that adversely affects sweat production or sweat signals.

Frey’s Syndrome

Frey’s syndrome is the name of a rare condition that is often used interchangeably with gustatory hyperhidrosis. People with Frey’s syndrome sweat and experience facial flushing on one side of their face during or after meals. The cause of Frey’s syndrome is specifically related to a damaged parotid gland (largest salivary gland) or the nerves around it. The damage may be caused by infection, injury, surgery, or nerve damage. When the parotid gland is damaged, the related nerves send mixed signals that produce sweat along with saliva.

Other Medical Explanations

In general, sweating after you eat can be an early indication or symptom of diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic condition when your body is unable to control blood sugar or glucose. When your body produces too much insulin following a spike in blood sugar, it can cause hypoglycemia, which in turn, can cause sweating. In extreme cases, a spike in blood sugar can sometimes lead to diabetic neuropathy or loss of nerve function. About a third of patients with diabetic neuropathy experience hot flashes after eating.

Ways to Manage Sweating After Eating

To manage the condition of sweating after you eat, first consider your diet. If you find that certain foods or types of foods trigger your sweat, start by eliminating those from your diet. If you still have problems, you may want to talk to your doctor.

Cut Out Foods that Make You Sweat

One way to manage this condition is to cut out foods that make you sweat. Different types of food may make you sweat for different reasons. People can also have intolerances or allergies to certain foods, which oftentimes induces sweating.

In general, avoid or consume in moderation, foods and beverages that are high in sugar, high in carbs, caffeinated, alcoholic, spicy, high in protein, and processed.

  • As mentioned, sugar and carbs make your blood levels spike. This can trigger sweating, especially for people with diabetes. These types of foods also produce a thermic effect when eaten because they are more difficult to break down.
  • The caffeine in drinks affects your central nervous system and causes your heart rate to increase and blood pressure to go up. Your body then begins to simulate the flight or fight response, triggering your sweat glands.
  • Alcohol can cause your body to overheat. When this happens, your heart rate increases and your internal body temperature rises. As a result, your body starts to sweat to cool things down.
  • Spicy foods trigger the receptors that react to heat, causing your body to produce sweat.
  • Foods high in protein can have a thermic effect when digested. This means they give up part of the energy they contain as heat.
  • Processed foods are much harder to digest. When your body struggles to digest food after a meal, perspiration increases.

You can also add to your diet the foods that can help reduce sweating

foods that make you sweat

Talk to Your Doctor About Your Condition

Only 10% to 15% of people who sweat after eating seek medical attention. If you are concerned about your condition or if it worsens, be sure to talk with your doctor. Your doctor can check for any underlying medical conditions and recommend a course of treatment based on your symptoms. Below are several common medical treatments used to treat the condition.

Common Medical Interventions

  • Anticholinergics are a type of medication that inactivates the nerve receptors receiving the signals to produce sweat. As a result, it reduces sweat production. Common side effects include blurred vision, constipation, and dry mouth and eyes.
  • Botox is also considered an effective medical treatment for facial sweating. The nervous activity of the hyperactive sweat glands is calmed once Botulinum toxin is injected in the target area. The treatment lasts a few months, and likely, requires subsequent injections.
  • The least invasive treatment is antiperspirants, which block sweat glands and temporarily suppress sweat production. A prescription-strength antiperspirant contains the highest level of the active ingredient that stops sweating. A common side effect is eye or skin irritation. 

Sweating after eating is common, especially during the holidays when we tend to indulge in comfort food and adult beverages. However, when sweating after all meals becomes commonplace, take the first steps by looking at your diet and talking to your doctor.

Are you struggling with sweat in other areas too? If so, Ejis sweat proof basics (available from our shop or on Amazon) prevent sweat stains and odor. Our sweat proof boxer briefs and undershirts are made of premium fabric fused with odor-fighting silver. They have an ultra-thin waterproof layer to protect clothing from your sweatiest parts. The men’s collection also includes dress socks to combat sweaty and stinky feet.

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