While eating sour food or candy, I start to sweat if it's sour enough. My body feels much hotter although my actual temperature is the same, my forehead starts sweating a lot and I feel like it just got twice as hot wherever I am.

Is this a biological phenomena or is my DNA just stupid? Is it somehow related to the digestive system, that sour food is harder to digest?


2 Answers 2


In general, sweating is caused by too much heat, even if you're not aware of the heat. This can happen if the bowel moves and so raises the core temperature. Such movement is often accompanied with sweating, and since you only feel the normal temperature on the skin, it is cold sweat. But at the same time your core is hot so you think it's cold, but it will later mix to normal.

Anyway, it points to unusual bowel movement. This can be due to food allergy or, in a milder form, in food intolerances which are quite common. When it comes to sour ingredients, they are often in fruits, so I'll make a shot in the blue and say that you have a food intolerance against some fruits. You can check this hypothesis by trying chemically pure acetic acid to sour your food. If that doesn't result in sweat/hotness then it's probably the fruits.


The Wikipedia points even directly to salicylate in fruits but I think you cannot exclude allergies against essential oils like limonene and such. Plants are really chemistry factories and not all is well that you can get with them.

  • $\begingroup$ I do happen to have some fruit allergies, I had no idea it could be connected. I'll try to get my hands on some acetic acid and test what happens like you said. Thank you! $\endgroup$ Nov 8, 2012 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ Note that usual vinegar may trigger a grape intolerance/allergy and even seemingly "chemical" acetic essence may be in part extracted. $\endgroup$
    – R Stephan
    Nov 8, 2012 at 17:13

I don't think this is a normal physiological response, but I would seek medical advice to be sure.

I did a quick literature search with keywords "sour", "food" and "sweating" and came up with one article about SUNCT syndrome. SUNCT syndrome is a short-lasting, unilateral, neuralgiform headache syndrome with autonomic phenomena on the symptomatic side. In other words, 3 patients of 6 studied, suffered headaches and sweating on one side of their forehead only. It seems to be predominant in males, with a mean age of onset around 50 years. The attacks are strictly unilateral, generally with the pain persistently confined to the ocular/periocular area. Most attacks are moderate to severe in intensity and burning, stabbing or electrical in character.

  1. Kruszewski P, Zhao JM, Shen JM, Sjaastad O. SUNCT syndrome: forehead sweating pattern. Cephalalgia. 1993 Apr;13(2):108-13.
  • $\begingroup$ The only symptom I recognize from the ones you mentioned would be the sweating. I get no headaches or pain whatsoever. It could be SUNCT syndrome but as the main symptoms are missing I doubt it is. Thank you for your time and effort! $\endgroup$ Nov 8, 2012 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ That's alright, it was a stab in the dark. $\endgroup$
    – user560
    Nov 8, 2012 at 21:04

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