Gustatory sweating in diabetes mellitus

Diabet Med. 1996 Dec;13(12):1033-7. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9136(199612)13:12<1033::AID-DIA280>3.0.CO;2-B.


Gustatory sweating has been only rarely reported in diabetes mellitus and is thought to be due to axonal regeneration within the autonomic nervous system. We investigated the relationship of gustatory sweating to other diabetic complications. 196 patients in four groups (diabetic nephropathy, diabetic neuropathy, diabetic controls, and non-diabetic renal failure) were questioned about gustatory sweating. Somatic and autonomic neuropathy were assessed by clinical signs, vibration perception threshold, and heart rate variability. Sixty-nine percent of patients with nephropathy and 36% of those with neuropathy reported gustatory sweating, whereas less than 5% reported it in the other two groups. Five subjects reported that gustatory sweating either disappeared or significantly improved immediately after renal transplantation. Analysis of the nephropathy and neuropathy groups separately showed a strong correlation between gustatory sweating and degree of neuropathy (p < 0.01). This study shows that gustatory sweating is much more common than previously believed and demonstrates that it is often very closely linked with diabetic nephropathy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / physiopathology*
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection
  • Sensory Thresholds
  • Sweating, Gustatory*
  • Vibration