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Old 08-28-06, 11:15 AM   #1
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Odd injury -- can't sweat. This ever happen to anyone else?

Hi there. I've stumped my regular doc and a dermatologist, and I'm wondering if anyone in the cycling community has ever had a similar injury.

In short, I can't sweat anymore.

The longer version is this:

Two weekends ago, my wife and I rode our bikes from our home in DC to Annapolis, MD. It's a 30ish mile ride. I didn't drink much, and got very dehydrated. In fact, for about 5 miles, roughly miles 20-25, I stopped sweating and had goosebumps all over my body. We came across a gas station at mile 25, and I downed about 3 liters of gatorade. For the entire ride, I was wearing a backpack with our locks and changes of clothes in it.
I made it to Annapolis, and we made it home (slower than usual, though -- I was still weak). It took about 24 hours before I peed.

Since that incident, most of my body can't sweat. From the top of my head to about my chin sweats like normal, but my back, chest, upper arms, legs, and to an extent my forearms (they get a very thin sheen of sweat on them now with exercise).

I did a quick 20 mile ride from my home in DC to Bethesda, MD along a bike trail. Usually I'd have to peel my sweat-soaked shirt and bike shorts off me. But since the dehydration incident a couple weeks ago, my shirt and shorts stay bone dry. I drink about 2 liters of water or gatorade before, during, and after these type of rides.

Instead of sweating, I feel pinpricks under my skin, which I understand is the sweat trying to get out of my body, but can't due to plugged sweat glands. They present a red rash and zit-like things for a few hours after exercise.

We're pretty sure I have something called "Prickly Heat Rash" or "Anhidrotic Heat Exhaustion." My docs can't figure out why my head sweats like normal, and why the rest of my body doesn't. What's even weirder is that we rode 101 miles this weekend, and I stayed hydrated, but I didn't sweat, nor did my core body temp go up like you'd think it would when you can't sweat to cool off.

All my bloodwork, electrolytes, etc are 100% normal. Anyone ever have this happen to them, or have an idea what the heck's happening to me?


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Old 08-28-06, 12:05 PM   #2
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It's possible that you damaged some of your sweat glands during the dehydration episode. This wikipedia article on heat rash alludes to the fact that sweat gland cells take several weeks to regenerate. It seems likely that if you make an effort to stay hydrated and take lots of hot showers, your body will eventually start sweating normally again.
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Old 08-29-06, 05:13 AM   #3
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also could be a long shot but thyroid problems can produce this problem. i imagine they have taken a complete blood work-up, if not then I would get this done
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