Dealing With Sweating Abnormalities When You Have Fabry Disease
Fabry disease is a rare X-linked genetic disorder characterized by the inability of the body to break down a type of fat called globotriaosylceramide (Gb3 or GL-3) due to deficiency of the alpha-galactosidase A enzyme.
Sweating abnormalities such as anhidrosis (decreased sweating) and hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) are among the many symptoms of Fabry disease. Here are some tips on how to manage these sweating issues.
Estimate the severity of the condition
A thermoregulatory sweat test helps determine the severity of sweating abnormalities in controlled laboratory conditions. In this test, the heat and humidity are adjusted to make you sweat. The sweat reacts with a special powder that is coated on your body prior to the test and changes color as you sweat. This color change helps the doctor determine the extent of sweating abnormalities.
In some cases, a skin biopsy may be requested by your doctor to assess the sweat glands under a microscope.
Get treated for Fabry disease
Usually, sweating abnormalities get automatically resolved when the underlying disease is treated. First-line treatments such as enzyme replacement therapy using Fabrazyme can help substitute for alpha-galactosidase A function and reduce sweating abnormalities.
Excess bacteria on the skin can block sweat pores and reduce sweating. Bathing helps regulate the amount of bacteria on the skin and allows the sweat glands to produce adequate amounts of sweat.
Wear light clothing that helps in aeration
Natural fabrics such as cotton, wool, and silk help in air circulation and allow for proper sweating. Changing your socks often and using shoes made of leather can also help prevent your feet from sweating excessively. Going barefoot whenever possible can also increase air circulation over your feet and lessen excessive sweating.
Use astringents and antiperspirants
Astringents such as formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, tannic acid, and trichloroacetic acid can help prevent hyperhidrosis by temporarily closing the sweat pore. These are available over the counter and can be applied over the areas where excess sweating occurs.
Antiperspirants are compounds such as aluminum chloride hexahydrate or aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex that can be topically applied on the body. These compounds react with the sweat glands and form “plugs” that prevent excess sweating.
Stress can affect the rate of sweating. Try practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga, mindfulness, and meditation to relax and put yourself at ease.
Last updated: Nov. 27, 2019
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