The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Diaphoresis is excessive sweating commonly associated with shock and other medical emergency conditions.

Recognition of diaphoresis is expected of EMTs.

Wikipedia does not dispense medical advice. When in doubt, always consult a physician.


Physiological (normal) causes

Normal physical causes of diaphoresis include exercise, menopause, fever, spicy foods, and high environmental temperature. Strong emotions (anger, fear) and rememberance of past trauma can also trigger profuse sweating.

Pathological causes

Diaphoresis may associated with some abnormal conditions, such as hyperthyroidism and shock. If it is accompanied by unexplained weight loss or fever or by palpitations, shortness of breath, or chest discomfort, a physician should be consulted. Diabetics relying on insulin shots or oral medications may have low blood sugar.

Various drugs (including caffeine, morphine, alcohol, and certain antipsychotics) may be causes, as well as withdrawal from alcohol or painkiller dependencies.

Diaphoresis is also seen in an acute myocardial infarction, from the increased firing of the sympathetic nervous system.

Treatment (of symptoms)

When diaphoresis is pathologic, the underlying cause should be treated. When the casue is menopause, the woman may wish to ask her physician about estrogen replacement.

See also

Last updated: 05-07-2005 07:03:15
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04