Hyperhidrosis (or excessive perspiration) is not a common reason for patients to consult their physicians. It usually comes up as an incidental symptom, but at times it is severe enough to be taken seriously and even be treated surgically or with Botox injections.
There are two forms: primary hyperhidrosis of unknown cause affecting hands, axillae and feet, and secondary hyperhidrosis resulting from other medical conditions such as acromegaly, cancer, hyperthyroidism, menopause, spinal cord injury, etc. The secondary type may have the same distribution as primary hyperhidrosis, may be diffuse or affect limited areas of the body.
Primary hyperhidrosis has received some attention from the medical profession with a variety of treatments offered. It even has a self‐help group and quite a good website. However as with so many syndromes, there appears to be no understanding of the ultimate cause(s). Treatments are directed at the effects.
However with the neural therapy model of understanding, causes may be found, and even better, cures. I can present two different cases from my practice:
The first was an otherwise healthy, athletic 15-year old girl who presented with primary hyperhidrosis. Her mother reported that even as an infant she had excessive perspiration of her scalp. The sweating worsened with heat, exercise and mental stress. When running her shoes pooled with sweat.
Because her symptoms had begun so early in life, I questioned the mother about birth trauma. Some fetal distress had occurred from cord compression and the child had symptoms of colic in the early months. As readers of a recent newsletter (vol. 7, no. 10) may remember, the umbilicus may harbour an interference field as a result of cord compression. And colic may also be a result of vagus nerve irritation (usually from cranial base strain during the birth process).
Autonomic response testing did indeed indicate an interference field at the umbilicus, but neural therapy (using the Tenscam device) resulted in no change in the hyperhidrosis. Re-examination a month later showed interference fields at both the umbilicus and the left vagus nerve (at its exit through the cranial base). Both were treated and this time the patient noted 5 days relief. On the third visit again the vagus nerve interference field was present and was treated.
Circumstances did not permit a follow-up visit for another two months, but by this time perspiration was occurring only when the patient was very nervous. No interference field was found and no treatment offered but at 6 months follow-up symptoms were quite minor.
A second instance was a case of secondary hyperhidrosis, this time as part of Frey's syndrome. This is a peculiar condition in which perspiration occurs over the parotid area in response to eating. It often results from parotid gland injury, especially surgery. The theoretical explanation is that autonomic nerve damage, (both sympathetic and parasympathetic) results in abnormal nerve regeneration. However in my patient's case there was no history of parotid gland injury or of the adjacent nerves. Surgery had been performed on the adjacent right temporomandibular joint, but with an interval of 33 years before onset of the sweating. The sweating was preceded by eight years of on-and-off lower jaw dental pain and the dentist had not been able to identify any cause; in fact he suspected referred pain from the temporomandibular joint.
On the first visit, interference fields could be detected in the right tonsil and the lingual side of tooth 4.6 (American 30). Both were treated with a Tenscam device and the pain (but not the sweating) disappeared for a few weeks. On the next visit, the dental interference field was again present and another was detected in the upper nose. Both were treated with the Tenscam and this time the sweating disappeared for three days and the pain for longer.
On the next visit, the above interference fields were not detectable, but a new one was apparent in the lower abdomen, coincident with some unusual constipation and lower abdominal pain. Neural therapy this time resulted in a month's relief of both pain and sweating. One final treatment of tooth 4.6 gave permanent relief of pain and the Frey's syndrome.
Both these cases demonstrate that (at least in some patients) hyperhidrosis is a curable condition. The second case is doubly interesting because it challenges the theory that Frey's syndrome is due to abnormal nerve regeneration. No nerves were damaged, but clearly the autonomic innervation of the skin over the jaw area was stimulated by signals from interference fields in a tooth, and possibly also the nearby tonsil (or superior cervical ganglion) and the nose.
Robert F. Kidd, MD, CM