Sweating is a result of the body’s natural response to food - when we eat, our bodies release digestive enzymes and other chemicals that break down food into small parts. These broken-down nutrients stimulate nerve cells in the sweat gland, triggering the production of sweat.
Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and galactose in our small intestine. Galactose is converted into monosaccharides and then into fructose and galactose-1-phosphate (galla). Fructose levels rise quickly after eating, which leads to increased sweat production. One of the things that happens during this process is that insulin is released - this hormone helps to control blood sugar levels. When insulin is released, it causes your blood sugar level to spike and in consequence your sweat glands start producing more sweat.
Causes of sweat while eating
Sweating while eating can be a common occurrence for some. It can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as anxiety or stress. Some people report sweating while they’re actually eating. However, thinking or talking about food can also cause sweating while eating.
A doctor will consider factors like your symptoms and medical history when determining a potential underlying cause.
One of the most common known causes of excessive sweating is a history of head and neck surgery, especially surgery to remove a parotid gland in the head.
People who’ve had head and neck surgery can experience trauma to close-knit tissues, especially in these regions.
It’s thought that parotid gland surgery can accidentally damage the nearby nerves, which mixes up certain nerve signals, such as those for sweating.
Usually, whether you know it or not, you salivate and typically produce extra saliva when you eat. This is your body’s way of aiding in the digestive process. If nerves to your parotid glands are damaged, you may start sweating instead of salivating due to your body’s “mixed signals.” This phenomen is called Frey´s syndrome.
Sometimes, sweating while eating is a side effect of a medical condition other than Frey syndrome. other conditions that doctors know can cause sweating while eating include:
- Cluster headaches
- Diabetes mellitus
- Facial herpes zoster (shingles)
- Parkinson’s disease
Each of these conditions can affect how nerves transmit messages to each other. The messages may become “mixed up,” resulting in sweating instead of salivating, or sweating in addition to salivating.
Sweating after eating vs. Frey´s syndrome
Gustatory sweating is similar to Frey syndrome, and the two terms are often used interchangeably.
Sweating after or during eating is not uncommon. When individuals consume spicy or hot meals and beverages, the majority of them experience sweating on the face, scalp, or neck. When a rise in body temperature via sweating stimulates the body, it reacts naturally. This is a common response, not a sign of worry.
A person with Frey´s syndrome has a problem with their parotid gland and may start to sweat and flush on the scalp, face, ears, and neck after eating any food. Typically, Frey´s syndrome occurs on just one side of the face. Although both cheeks have a parotid gland, only one may have been damaged. However, foods that make people produce a lot of saliva are most likely to trigger the reaction.
How to deal with sweating while eating?
First, understand that sweating while eating is a natural response to the physical activity. That being said, there are different ways to deal with sweat. Make sure to drink plenty of liquids and eat food that doesn’t contain too many spicy ingredients - these are two ways hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) can develop. In addition, take time to rid yourself of all the sweat - the best way to do this is by sweating it out. Sweating can help you break down toxins and remove sweat build-up, so make sure to work up a sweat during your workouts or a hot bath. Keeping some items on hand to reduce sweat and moisture on your face like tissues or blotting papers. Finally, keep yourself cool and comfortable - wear loose-fitting clothing that doesn’t restrict ventilation and apply cooling devices such as ice packs to localized areas of excessive sweating.
Foods That Make You Sweat
According to sweat experts, sweating while eating is the body’s way of releasing excess body heat. However, sweating while eating is mainly the result of eating foods that are high in salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats. So, if you want to avoid sweating while eating, avoid these foods. Replace them with healthier choices that will help you stay on track with your caloric intake. Additionally, eating fewer calories can help reduce the body’s need to produce sweat during exercise.
Alcohol can cause a lot of sweating and body heat. It can also lead to impaired temperature regulation, making it easy for you to overheat. If you're planning on drinking alcohol, make sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day so that your body has enough time to cool down properly. Avoid drinking on an empty stomach or consuming large amounts of alcohol at once.
2. Spicy Foods
Spicy foods can make you sweat because of the heat they produce. The hotter the food, the more likely you are to sweat. Foods with capsaicin (e.g chili peppers) will make you sweat most!
3. Hot Foods and Drinks
Hot foods and drinks can cause excessive sweating.
Caffeine is a diuretic and can cause sweating. Therefore, it's important to be aware of the effects of caffeine on sweat production if you're trying to stay hydrated while drinking coffee, tea or other caffeine-containing drinks. Foods that contain caffeine will also make you sweat more. If you are consuming caffeine while eating food, the effect will be magnified since food increases absorption rates of caffeine.
5. Food Intolerances
Food intolerances can cause excessive sweating, which is often called histamine intolerance. Histamines are a type of chemical that play an important role in the body's immune system and digestive system. When food allergies or food intolerances are present, the body produces too many histamines as a result. This usually happens when the person eats foods that contain ingredients they're allergic to or contains chemicals that irritate their skin or stomachs. If you have any food allergies, it's important to be aware of hidden allergens on labels since some items may seem safe but actually contain trace amounts of allergen. By avoiding these foods, you will reduce your risk of developing sweating problems related to food sensitivities.
6. Processed Foods
Processed foods are the main contributors to our sweat problem. They contain a high amount of sugar and salt which leads to excessive sweating. The harmful chemicals in processed foods can also cause skin problems like eczema. To reduce your sweat problem, make sure to read the ingredients list and reduce your intake of processed foods as much as possible. You can also try incorporating more healthy food into your diet such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains etc., which will help you maintain a healthy body composition and avoid excessive sweating
7. Protein (Meat Sweats)
Protein is a vital nutrient that helps the body grow and function properly. One of the ways protein helps the body digest food is by increasing the amount of sweat your body releases. Animal proteins, such as meat, cause you to release more sweat. Dairy products and eggs also contain a lot of protein, so if you're going to eat them while working out, it's important to drink enough fluids too to avoid sweating heavily throughout the day.
8. Sugar and Carbs
Sugar and carbs are two of the most common food items that cause people to sweat while eating. This is because when you eat them, your body releases insulin which in turn causes your blood sugar level to spike. This high blood sugar usually leads to feelings of hunger soon after eating, as well as a lot of sweating. If this happens on a regular basis, it might be a good idea to reduce the amount or swap out the food item for something else altogether.
Useful tips on how to stop sweating while eating
Sweating while eating can be really uncomfortable and even embarrassing. But it doesn’t have to be that way. By following a few useful tips, you can stop sweating while eating and feel more comfortable during your meals:
1 Drink plenty of fluids - this will help to keep you hydrated and reduce the amount of sweat that’s produced
2 Avoid spicy food - spicy foods can increase sweating, and excessive sweating is a common cause of hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
3 Sweat it out - by sweating, you’ll be able to break down toxins and remove sweat build-up from your body
4 Stay cool and comfortable - wear loose fitting clothing that doesn’t restrict ventilation, apply cooling devices such as ice packs where necessary, and drink plenty of fluids
5 Be aware of the signs of hyperhidrosis - if you’re sweating excessive amounts, there are a few early warning signs that you need to watch for: body odor, excessive sweating on the face and neck, changes in mood or behavior. If any of these symptoms arise, it’s important to see your doctor for further evaluation.
Medical treatment for gustatory sweating
There are limited treatment options for those with gustatory sweating, however, the treatments that are available have been shown to be effective and improve quality of life. Many of the treatments that reduce and stop facial sweating caused by primary focal hyperhidrosis are the same ones that are effective for treating gustatory sweating. Botox injections are the primary treatment option for those with Frey’s syndrome. Botox has the ability to stop gustatory sweating and has even lead to remission in some patients. Other less invasive treatments can be antiperspirant lotions or face wipes with Aluminum Chlorohydrate.