Is sweating after eating a sign of diabetes

Is abnormal sweating after eating a sign of diabetes?

Is it true that abnormal sweating after eating is a sign of diabetes?

Excessive sweating can have several causes, and diabetes is one of them. Many persons with diabetes sweat excessively, infrequently, or at inconvenient times.

Diabetes is an endocrine illness and can affect different body systems. As a result, diabetes can disrupt the body’s ability to maintain body temperature equilibrium to produce the amount of sweat to cool the body (1).

Read on to find out if abnormal sweating after eating is a sign of diabetes and get some tips on how to prevent or manage the sweating.


Sweating (also known as perspiration) is a physiological activity that aids in temperature regulation. It involves giving off water by the intact skin as vapor from the skin surface (insensible perspiration) or as sweat, a form of cooling in which there is an active secretion of fluid from the sweat glands and evaporation from the body surface.

The secretion is mostly water (about 99 percent), with small amounts of dissolved salts, fats, and amino acids.

Body temperature rise, changes in ambient temperature (the temperature of the air surrounding your body), or emotional state can cause sweating. The armpits, face, palms, and soles of the feet are the most prevalent sweating locations on the body (2, 3).

Sweat, how does it occur?

There are about three million sweat glands on your body. Eccrine and apocrine sweat glands are the two types of sweat glands.

Eccrine sweat glands are found all over the body and their secretions are watery and odorless and serve to cool the body in hot environments or during physical activity.

The autonomic nervous system, a component of your nervous system that operates independently of your control, regulates sweating from eccrine glands.

Apocrine sweat glands are located in the hair follicles of the scalp, groin, armpits, around the nipples, and anus. Modified apocrine glands are found in the external auditory canal.

These glands become active at puberty; their secretions are viscous and oily with a distinct odor. When apocrine sweat breaks down and combines with microorganisms on your skin, you can get body odor.

Sweat is secreted through ducts in your skin when the weather is hot or your body temperature rises due to exercise or fever. It moistens the surface of your body and cools you down as it evaporates (3, 4, 5).

Causes of sweating

Sweating is a natural part of life that occurs on a regular basis. Increased sweating can be caused by a variety of factors.

  • Sweating is mostly caused by the higher body or ambient temperatures.
  • Sweating can also be caused by emotions and stress. Emotions include embarrassment, anger, fear, and anxiety.
  • It could also be a reaction to the meals you consume. Gustatory sweating is the name for this sort of perspiration. Spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages can all trigger it.
  • It can also be caused by medication and certain conditions including fever, infection, malignancy, and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels)
  • Sweating might be triggered by the hormonal changes that accompany menopause. Night sweats and sweating during hot flashes are common in menopausal women.

Sweating and diabetes, what is the connection?

Diabetes can impair normal sweating in an individual so that there is too much or too little sweating. Such individuals have difficulty in regulating their body temperature in hot or cold temperatures.

People with type 1 diabetes may discover that they sweat profusely in their upper bodies but not so much in their lower bodies, particularly their feet (6).

The following are the most typical causes of unusual sweating in people with diabetes:

  • Blood sugar levels being low
  • Nervous system impairment caused by diabetes

Low blood sugar levels -Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia refers to blood sugar levels that are below 70 mg/dl (3.9 mmol/L) that can trigger a fight-or-flight reaction, causing the release of hormones that cause sweating.

Hypoglycemia can occur:

  • due to certain medications like insulin
  • eating a small amount of meals or missing a meal
  • engaging in more strenuous activities than expected (7)

Hypoglycemia might result in perspiration for two reasons:

Low blood sugars can influence activity in the autonomic nervous system, which regulates automatic reactions such as sweating and digesting.

Another possible trigger is the production of the hormone epinephrine, also known as adrenaline. Adrenaline, also known as the “fight-or-flight hormone,” is a stress hormone released by the body. Sweating is one of the side effects of a surge in adrenaline (7, 8).

Diabetic neuropathy

Autonomic neuropathies affect the autonomic neurons (sympathetic, parasympathetic or both) and are associated with different site-specific symptoms.

Diabetic neuropathy is a loss of nerve function caused by elevated blood sugar levels for an extended period. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), almost half of people with diabetes suffer from nerve damage or neuropathy.

One clinical manifestation of diabetic autonomic neuropathy is sudomotor dysfunction with increased or decreased sweating. Increased or excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) might impact just a part of the body or the entire body (9).

People with diabetes-related hyperhidrosis may experience excessive sweating in the following circumstances:

  • during periods of normal or little activity such as sleeping
  • during periods of stress
  • when trying to get warm in a cool environment by wearing extra clothing or from a heat source

Although not life-threatening, it can be distressing and cause psychological damage.

Sweats at night

Low blood glucose, which can occur in persons taking insulin or diabetic drugs known as sulfonylureas, is a common cause of night sweats.

When your blood glucose falls too low, your adrenaline levels rise, causing you to sweat. Sweating should stop after your blood glucose levels return to normal. Night sweats can also be caused by factors other than diabetes, such as menopause.

Gustatory sweating

Gustatory sweating occurs immediately after eating and is characterized by excessive sweating. It is a complication of diabetes, especially in people with autonomic or diabetic neuropathy.

According to ADA, gustatory diabetes is sudomotor dysfunction with profuse sweating on the face and next in relation to food intake (or in some cases the smell of food) (10)

Suggestions for dealing with diabetes-related sweating

Excessive perspiration can be difficult to manage. It can make you feel self-conscious, and it can be tough to handle when you’re out in public or away from home.

It’s recommended to get checked if you’re not sure why you’re sweating but think it might be related to diabetes or prediabetes.


Your doctor may prescribe antiperspirants (clinical strength or prescription), nerve-blocking medications such as anticholinergics, and some antidepressants to reduce or control sweating with diabetes.


Treatment with an electric current (iontophoresis) or nerve surgery, if other treatments have not helped

Home remedies or lifestyle changes

  • Maintaining a habitual personal hygiene
    • Bathe regularly and use antiperspirant
    • wearing natural clothes such as cotton shirts, socks, and underwear
    • changing clothing items daily or when they get sweaty
  • Engaging in less strenuous activities to reduce stress-related sweating
  • Appropriate blood sugar management


In conclusion, sweating after eating could be a sign of diabetes. Sweating is a vital mechanism that allows the body to keep a constant temperature. Sweating excessively might be embarrassing. Overheating can result from not sweating enough, which can be harmful.

While excessive sweating can affect anyone, some of the causes are linked to diabetes. It’s critical to see a doctor and determine the root of the problem. People who sweat a lot are more likely to get skin infections.


Michael Sarfo
Content Creator at Wapomu

Michael Sarfo is a graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon. He is a content creator for and a writer for Wapomu

Dr. Solomon Kwesi Otchere (Pharmacist)

Dr. Solomon Kwesi Otchere is a Pharmacist by profession in Ghana. He is passionate about informed healthy lifestyle and diet options necessary for preventing many disease conditions. He also empowers patients and clients to make savvy choices on medications needful to promote good health.

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