Why do people sweat when they eat?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “why do people sweat when they eat?”. We will also talk about the cause and the cure of the complication.

Why do people sweat when they eat?

Sweating during eating is a natural phenomenon that occurs due to the cat’s body cooling itself down. This is called perspiration.

Eating hot and spicy foods generally induces people to sweat and the heat of the body increases. Certain types of food and drinks can cause people to sweat as it raises their body temperature.

But unlike normal sweating, some people can sweat even by just thinking about or talking about food or drinks. This condition is called gustatory sweating which is caused by damage to the auriculotemporal nerve that is responsible for the production of saliva in the Parotid gland.

What is the condition of people sweating when eating?

The condition that makes people sweat when eating or even thinking or talking about food is called Gustatory sweating.

What is the cause of Gustatory sweating?

Gustatory sweating occurs due to the damage to the auriculotemporal nerve that is responsible for the production of saliva in the parotid gland. Parotid glands are present in both cheeks and are responsible for the production of saliva which is needed in the digestive process.

When the auriculotemporal nerve is damaged, it does regenerate but gets mixed up with the sweat glands, thus the confusion happens to the body function where it is supposed to salivate will start to sweat.

That’s the reason why people with the condition start sweating when thinking or talking about food. They even sweat more on the face, temple, lips, neck, and other body parts too when they start eating.

Here we will discuss the causes of why and how the auriculotemporal nerves are damaged to cause gustatory sweating.

Specific food or drink

Some people are triggered to sweat due to some specific type of food or drink. It is advised to avoid those kinds of food or drinks if it is causing sweating.

Frey’s syndrome

Frey’s syndrome is also a part of gustatory sweating which is caused by the damage of the nerve while performing the surgery on the head to remove the parotid gland. When the nerve is damaged to only one side of the face, the sweating only occurs on one side of the body.


Shingles are caused by the virus zoster herpes, the same virus that causes chickenpox. When the rashes appear on the face, they attack the nerves and damage them. 

If the auriculotemporal nerve has been damaged during the process, the gustatory sweating condition is the byproduct of shingles.

In this case, sweating happens on both sides of the face and the body since the shingles rash affects the whole parotid glands.

Diabetes mellitus

Gustatory sweating is a potential manifestation of autonomic dysfunction of Diabetes mellitus. This condition is often seen in the cases of long-standing diabetes mellitus patients with associated complications such as neuropathy and nephropathy. 

Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a disorder where the body does not have control of certain movements which results in unintended and uncontrolled movements. It also affects the nervous system and can cause gustatory sweating.

Is there any cure for Gustatory sweating?

There has been no proper treatment just for the condition since it is not an illness and a byproduct of other underlying health conditions that damage the nerves that control saliva production in the Parotid glands.


Injecting botox into the area of the nerve damage can treat the condition. It is a temporary solution to the problem since the effect of botox lasts for 9-12 months only.

Once the effect of botox wears out, it needs to be injected again.

Curing underlying illness

Since Gustatory sweating is also caused by underlying health conditions, curing those can also help cure the condition. 

What triggers Gustatory sweating?

Gustatory sweating is triggered when the person with this condition thinks, talks, or is eating food. The nerves that are supposed to release saliva to help digest the food confuse themselves to secrete sweat instead.

Gustatory sweating is not a harmful condition but can rather be embarrassing in social structure with heavy sweating even when talking or thinking about food. It can even occur when eating ice cream. 


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “why do people sweat when they eat?”. We also talked about the cause and the cure of the complication.

I hope you find this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.




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