A man’s heavy sweating led to unexpected diagnosis

Washington: A case study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine wrote about how a 60-year-old man who struggled with unexplained sweating episodes for three years was diagnosed with temporal lobe seizures by the doctors.

The man, who was otherwise healthy had “an average of 8 discrete episodes of sweating” every 24 to 32 days, the authors said, according to a report published in CNN.

He had no other symptoms, and all tests that doctors ran on him returned normal results.

During one of his office visits, the doctors saw the man having one of his sweating episodes, where the patient reported he “felt it coming on; he lowered his head into his hands and had slowed verbal responses for approximately 2 minutes.”

The doctors described his sweating as “profuse” and detailed a pool of sweat left on an examination table.
This led the doctors to believe that it might be a seizure and led them to perform an ambulatory electroencephalography, known as an EEG, which led to his diagnosis.

The patient has since been prescribed anti-seizure medication and has had only one cluster of sweating episodes in the past 18 months.

Speaking about it to CNN, Dr. Christopher Ransom, who was not involved in the study said that diagnosing seizures and epilepsy is often very challenging, in part because seizures can reproduce almost anything one is capable of experiencing or doing, depending on where in the brain a seizure starts and where in the brain a seizure spreads to. Dr Ransom is an assistant professor of neurology at University of Washington School of Medicine.

Doctors often need to test or actually witness a patient’s seizure to diagnose the cause of the symptoms, Ransom said.

He also noted that the reported sweating and flushing can often be attributed to more of an aura type of event, which is still a seizure, but it’s the beginning part of the seizure that will lead to more profound symptoms and alterations of behaviour.