Facial sweating after food: a new sign of diabetic autonomic neuropathy

Br Med J. 1973 Mar 10;1(5853):583-7. doi: 10.1136/bmj.1.5853.583.


Facial sweating during eating (gustatory sweating) has been observed for the first time in a group of diabetics, and is considered to be a feature of the autonomic neuropathy which affected them all. The sweating, which was sometimes very severe, was produced by many foodstuffs, cheese being the most powerful stimulus. Atropine inhibited sweating stimulated by eating cheese, and oral anticholinergic drugs effectively eliminated the symptoms. These bizarre symptoms are probably due to abnormal nerve regeneration occurring as a consequence of the spontaneous autonomic neuropathy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Atropine / pharmacology
  • Autonomic Nervous System
  • Cheese / adverse effects
  • Citrus
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / diagnosis
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / physiopathology*
  • Face*
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity*
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck
  • Nerve Regeneration
  • Parasympatholytics / pharmacology
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds / pharmacology
  • Retinal Diseases
  • Shoulder
  • Sweating* / drug effects
  • Tyramine / pharmacology


  • Parasympatholytics
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
  • Atropine
  • Tyramine