Diabetic Gustatory Sweating

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South Med J. 2002;95(3) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Gustatory sweating is a potential manifestation of autonomic dysfunction in diabetes. This syndrome is seen in long-standing diabetes and is associated with nephropathy, peripheral neuropathy, and other signs of dysautonomia. Symptoms of profuse head and neck diaphoresis with eating may suggest this clinical diagnosis. We present a patient who had complicated diabetes with symptoms of gustatory sweating and other evidence of dysautonomia. Diagnosis and treatment possibilities are discussed, with a review of the literature and an emphasis on bedside testing.

Gustatory sweating is a known manifestation of autonomic dysfunction in diabetes mellitus.[1,2,3,4,5] This syndrome is not only symptomatically disturbing to affected people, but also can affect glycemic control.[1] Recognition of gustatory sweating is significant in that it provides an explanation for the symptoms, indicates possible concurrent diabetic complications, and allows the consideration of specific treatment modalities. Given the nonspecific diagnosis of diabetic gustatory sweating, familiarity with this entity and other manifestations of autonomic dysfunction can help to elucidate the appropriate clinical context.