Why do pickles and apples make me perspire?
August 5, 2008 9:32 AM   Subscribe

Why do things that are citrusy make me sweat? And is this a potential problem?

I know this is strange but I have always been curious. I am in great shape and health and I couldn't be feeling better. For some reason, when I bite into something like a pickle or an apple (green apples especially) I will slowly start to perspire. I have tried to research it but I really don't have a clue where to start.
posted by jwfree to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Several of my friends have allergies to certain fruits, citrus in particular. Something about the bacteria or chemicals in the fruit fools your sinuses into thinking its pollen or other allergens. Anywho, it sounds like you might be mildly allergic to citrus. Its extremely common, and your perspiration is probably a result of some minor irritation.
posted by Texasjake987 at 9:45 AM on August 5, 2008

No idea what it is, but I have this too. I will first start to feel my face flushing, then if I keep eating I'll begin to sweat. I notice it the most with apples, oranges, and peaches. I've always interpreted it as some sort of mild allergy; but nothing that's kept me away from the tasty fruit!

I'm curious to hear what others have to say about this.
posted by greenmagnet at 9:45 AM on August 5, 2008

I doubt citrus allergy is the problem since neither apples nor pickles are citrus fruits (unless its lime pickle)

I used to get that reaction from "sour" sweets - the ones that are so sweet and tangy you make a face like you're sucking on a lemon but they're not actually sour.
posted by missmagenta at 10:12 AM on August 5, 2008

I don't know, but solidarity. I had a similar issue with oranges (and oranges only) which eventually went away. The neurologist in the crowd said that it's a symptom of peripheral neuropathy (the wiring which is supposed to go to your mouth to salivate partially gets messed up and signal goes to your sweat glands). I don't have any reason to believe that I have neuropathy, so maybe it's a crossed signal that can happen in other ways. The medical jargon is "gustatory sweating".
posted by a robot made out of meat at 10:24 AM on August 5, 2008

Oh, and probably the #1 reason for it to exist is poorly controlled diabetes.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 10:26 AM on August 5, 2008

Sour candy does this to me. Sour Patch Kids, Warheads, etc. cause a "sweating" reaction. Interestingly enough, the perspiration seems to be focused on an area around and below my eyes. That said, I'd be inclined to buy into Texasjake987's theory...
posted by ElDiabloConQueso at 11:37 AM on August 5, 2008

I will second a potential link to diabetes. I have diabetes and neuropathy, and often sweat when I eat, whether spicy or not. Not all the time, but often.
posted by genefinder at 12:30 PM on August 5, 2008

It sounds like it's the acidic foods that cause this reaction.

It's probably not the case but you might want to look into Frey's Syndrome.
posted by euphorb at 1:17 PM on August 5, 2008

You might clarify your research as to whether the specific allergen is actually pectin instead of citrus, per se.
posted by Quarter Pincher at 4:33 PM on August 5, 2008

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