Sweating and clammy skin

Sweating and clammy skin

Posted by thom on Jan 19, 2015 4:33 pm

What are some possible causes for clammey skin and sweating other than UTI or autonomic dysrefexia. After 43 years of dry skin this issue has begun. Tthom

Re: Sweating and clammy skin

Posted by AskNurseLinda on Jan 19, 2015 7:23 pm

Thom, you have hit the most common causes of sweating and clammy skin, UTI and AD. It seems that you have ruled both of these sources out for your specific condition. The next thought would be to take each a little further, if not a UTI, perhaps a respiratory infection or other infection elsewhere. Don't forget non-SCI related issues such as appendix, gall bladder attack or cardiac problems. AD could still be a source, even if this has not been an issue in the past.Tight clothing or tight leg bag straps are always an issue. As we all age, our bodies react differently leading to new responses to old problems. Temperature regulation can be an issue even if it has not been in the past. Those would be the most logical sources of your changing skin responses. Medication change could be a more removed source. Even if you have been on a medication for a long time, your body can start reacting differently to it.  Another longer range thought but still an issue could be a syrinx which is a cyst in the area of spinal injury. This would not be a typical symptom for syrinx, however, it is possible. These would be some of the causes of sweating and clammy skin. It seems you are well in touch with your body so you would probably pick up on early signs that others would not. The good news for you is that you have noticed a change in your body. Any change should be reported and investigated. Please let me know how this works out. Nurse Linda

Re: Sweating and clammy skin

Posted by quadc5 on Apr 29, 2015 1:30 pm

Hi
I have similar problem for the last 4 years.
Does any of quads present on this forum experience morning headaches and weird uncomfortable feeling like numbness or tingling on face during all the time? If you put a hand on my face, one side of face is colder that the other side. Colder side is also little damp and tingling feeling. Sweaty and clammy skin on face!
 It’s not AD. Blood pressure is normal for me (95/60). It’s not UTI. Bowel-movement is regular. No pressure sore..etc..(21 years in wheelchair, quad C5)
I don’t know if coldness on my face comes from dampness or is vice versa. But someday is worse than the other, I noticed that is much stronger when weather changes (when also nerv pain kick in).
I don’t believe that I am the only quad with that problem… more likely other are suffering quietly.
Thank you
Sincerely,

Re: Sweating and clammy skin

Posted by AskNurseLinda on Apr 29, 2015 4:03 pm

Disturbances of the autonomic nervous system comes in many forms. Autonomic Dysreflexia is life threatening due to elevated blood pressure from overfilled bladder, bowels, skin issues, etc. Fortunately, you are keenly aware of the signs and symptoms. However, what you are describing is a manifestation of a problem with the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is the part of the nervous system that the body regulates automatically or independent of your control. I think autonomic and automatic make a nice correlation to remember the symptoms. Face flushing and sweating are things that the body automatically does. We cannot voluntarily control these things. For some reason, your body has misinformation being processed by the autonomic nervous system. It is not at all uncommon in individuals with nervous system problems either as a result of spinal cord injury or other nervous system problems. The fortunate side of this is that there is medication which can help control these episodes. Every medication has benefits and risks so you will want to discuss with your healthcare provider to find the best treatment for you. Even without the elevated blood pressure, you are having symptoms so you will want to try to isolate the source, if there is one. It could be the process of waking up in the morning. The bigger answer here is that this is not that unusual due to a neurological problem and there is treatment for you. Nurse Linda

Re: Sweating and clammy skin

Posted by quadc5 on Apr 30, 2015 9:44 am

Dear  Linda,
Thank you for the fast answer.
For many years I am trying to isolate the cause of the problem which leads to my problems / symptoms (damp, cold/hot, tingling, all this uncomfortable feelings all over my face). There is possibility that I have a Syringomyelia but neurosurgeons don’t wont to operate (for them is better to put-up whit all that uncomfortable feelings then risk even worst paralysis). Other doctors (and I visited many) didn’t know about solutions you are referring to!  Only medications I am taking now is Lyrica for pain and Lioresal for spasm.
Can you give me the names of these medications so that I can speak with my neurologist.
Thank you
Sincerely,
Marko



AskNurseLinda:
Disturbances of the autonomic nervous system comes in many forms. Autonomic Dysreflexia is life threatening due to elevated blood pressure from overfilled bladder, bowels, skin issues, etc. Fortunately, you are keenly aware of the signs and symptoms. However, what you are describing is a manifestation of a problem with the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is the part of the nervous system that the body regulates automatically or independent of your control. I think autonomic and automatic make a nice correlation to remember the symptoms. Face flushing and sweating are things that the body automatically does. We cannot voluntarily control these things. For some reason, your body has misinformation being processed by the autonomic nervous system. It is not at all uncommon in individuals with nervous system problems either as a result of spinal cord injury or other nervous system problems. The fortunate side of this is that there is medication which can help control these episodes. Every medication has benefits and risks so you will want to discuss with your healthcare provider to find the best treatment for you. Even without the elevated blood pressure, you are having symptoms so you will want to try to isolate the source, if there is one. It could be the process of waking up in the morning. The bigger answer here is that this is not that unusual due to a neurological problem and there is treatment for you. Nurse Linda

 

Re: Sweating and clammy skin

Posted by quadc5 on May 8, 2015 5:35 am

Dear  Linda,
Thank you for the fast answer.
For many years I am trying to isolate the cause of the problem which leads to my problems / symptoms (damp, cold/hot, tingling, all this uncomfortable feelings all over my face). There is possibility that I have a Syringomyelia but neurosurgeons don’t wont to operate (for them is better to put-up whit all that uncomfortable feelings then risk even worst paralysis). Other doctors (and I visited many) didn’t know about solutions you are referring to! J Only medications I am taking now is Lyrica for pain and Lioresal for spasm.
Can you give me the names of these medications so that I can speak with my neurologist.
Thank you
Sincerely,
 

Re: Sweating and clammy skin

Posted by AskNurseLinda on May 8, 2015 12:14 pm

Lyrica is a gabapentin and lioresal is the medication for spasms so it sounds like you are on the absolutely correct medication regimen. You could speak to your neurologist about next steps but be sure to compare the risks and benefits for your condition. Nurse, Linda

Re: Sweating and clammy skin

Posted by GoSaints77 on May 26, 2015 3:12 pm

I'm happy I came across this topic.  I’ve been paralyzed since 1988 @ 18, and to date have really had no real issues to complain about.  I don’t even remember exactly what my paralysis is, but lower T10 incomplete possible and T12 complete.  Basically I loose sensation and movement from about the waist down.  Anyway, since 1988 I’ve kept off medications that were normally prescribed to me in the beginning for common issues such as spasticity, bladder infections (I do self cath, been cleaning cath’s since 1988 with nothing more than anti-bacterial soap?), and I forget what else I may have been taking as a younger guy.  Now that I’m 45, have been married for 23 years, having raised 3 kids (not that parenting ever seems stop, even when out of school and the house!) and have held down a pretty decent career to take care of the family and enjoy as much as this wonderful world as I could from the seat of quicky wheelchair...  I've am and continue to be an active guy/dad/husband... we enjoy snorkeling, scuba, white water rafting, 4 wheeling/trail riding (regularly, and wow a great way to get out and see the world when you can't walk! Get out there wheelchair folks…), snowmobiling, skiing, hiking, boating, fishing, traveling, sailing, cruising the Caribbean, going to New Orleans every chance we can get!...and the list continues on… But now I'm afraid life (paralysis) is quickly caching up to me and I’m starting to notice some body changes and a ‘few’ issues that I’ve never had before that are getting in the way of what I'd call 'normal' life.  Wheelchair life of course... 

One of my main two problems I’m now experiencing is darn horrible sweating below my injury level at night when I sleep.  And only at night (normally) when I sleep. After reading some, I believe it cannot be AD due to level of my injury.  (I don’t think)… I know when I have a bladder infection, I get a fever etc. and have had only 10 or so since 1988.   I believe it be a leg injury, simply because I also now have a left leg that when laying down only twitches, or jumps kind of and will sometimes shoot a painful shot up my growing area, although technically I can’t feel that area (can’t explain it, but I feel the darn shooting pain I can tell you that!), but I have no clue even where to start to find out how to resolve this issue.  My regular daily doctor?  I’ve only seen him for the past 10 years for my normal common issues I’m trying to ensure don’t get me… high blood pressure and high cholesterol/ Triglycerides (both controlled with medication, diet, and exercise).  He doesn’t seem to be the logical choice to start…  I have health insurance, and I’m not afraid to start using it!  Any tips on a profession in the medical field that would be a good start for issues that revolve around SCI’s beyond my family doctor? 
 
The second issue is now arm/hand/fingertip numbness in primarily my right arm... It can be resolved by moving my arms, swinging them etc., stretching my arm, and messaging my neck, forearm, shoulder blade area.  It’s like my arm, normally only below my elbow will go to sleep, and most of the time it is just in a few fingers, but it feels like my leg used to feel when it fell asleep when walking.  Very irritating and sometimes when awaking at night with the issue, it can be alarming...  I've gone to a chiropractor, and I do get some relief.  He says pinched nerve, spinal realignment, etc.  I believe the orthopedic doc. may be the route to go here if it a nerve issue relating around the spine.  If anyone has experienced anything similar I’d be curious what the outcome was.  Thanks for the “nurse” guidance, great stuff.  

 

Re: Sweating and clammy skin

Posted by AskNurseLinda on May 26, 2015 3:49 pm

It is always nice to meet someone who has made their injury a part of their life now as opposed to the injury being their life. Not everyone can do this but it is good when it happens. Making your adaptions work in your life has been very successful for you.
Changes in neurological status happen as we all age. With spinal cord injury there are some considerations. Such changes that you list can be the result of a problem within the spinal cord injury site so you need to talk with your healthcare provider to see who s/he would recommend to rule out a 'syrinx' or a cyst within your injury site. That is the first step and cannot be passed over.
As for the numbness in your arm, it could be from your injury but other issues can arise. I don't know what mobility you use but a nerve injury in the arm is not unlikely for those with heavy upper extremity use. Carpal tunnel is an entrapment of the median and/or ulnar nerve at the wrist causing numbness in the hand and arm, especially in the thumb, pointer finger and sometimes middle finger. There is also an entrapment site at the elbow called cubital tunnel. This is the ulnar nerve trapped which leads to numbness in the hand and arm but in the ring, pinky and sometimes middle finger. Nerve entrapments from over use can also start in the neck.
Both of your problems can be diagnosed by a neurologist who can direct you to the best person for treatment in your area. Your healthcare provider will be able to make a referral or s/he might begin the diagnosis process themself to head in the right direction. In either situation,  you are right to seek treatment for this problem. Nurse Linda

Re: Sweating and clammy skin

Posted by GoSaints77 on May 28, 2015 8:32 am

Thank you Nurse Linda for taking the time to respond.  You are too kind... Have a nice day.

Re: Sweating and clammy skin

Posted by Wolf on Nov 21, 2017 1:09 am

Re: Sweating and clammy skin

Posted by CaptainPike on Feb 7, 2018 7:13 pm

Hello, my name is Phil and I have a C5 complete SCI.  I am 59 years old, injured 2005. [Car wreck]

I am quite familiar with A/D. And I have come to be able to sense high blood pressure, by my familiarity with the symptoms (when I see flashing black spots in the bottom of my vision, I know my diastolic is over 200). So the symptoms and having – abdominal pain (a kneeding squeezing pain) then I break out in sweat ONLY WHERE I HAVE SENSATION. It is usually just one side – but my right shoulder, neck etc.

So I first I thought this was some bowel activity. It feels almost the same as moving my bowels (after not having taken enough Colace, LOL). But this problem is not related to a blocked up catheter, or some residual bowel business.So several times a day that goes PAIN, occasionally profuse SWEATING, and that fingernails-on-the-chalkboard, darling little rush of A/D, then usually the chills.

I have a wound on my left clavicle. I don't believe his pressure related but that's what people think. It is a wound that has been not healing for a few months, coincident with this new, and is very discouraging, cold sweating discomfort. I don't even know how to get the kind of help I need to discover what's going on. I've had ultrasound imaging of my lower abdomen and groin area, since I have some blank pain I was worried about kidneys and they have done quite a bit of blood work with no result which might have narrowed down what could be going on.

I lay there in bed at night and think – you know prostate cancer, brain tumor, whatever. It's so painful and such a drag sweat a Titanic sinking gob of perspiration. I live in a cold climate and we've had charges read around 0°F since the end of November, and I'm really suffering.

What kinds of things would cause pain or other trauma in the area? Gallbladder? Pancreas? My last colonoscopy was three years ago – nothing notable. Any help you can offer I will appreciate it greatly.

This is my first post, hope it isn't too long

Re: Sweating and clammy skin

Posted by AskNurseLinda on Feb 7, 2018 8:04 pm

Hello, Phil, You sure are in the middle of an AD situation. The sources of AD can be many. Certainly, the pressure injury can be the stimulus so that should not be overlooked. As it is not healing, you might want to discuss with your healthcare provider the opportunity of working with a wound care specialist. An open area of the skin is never a situation that you want to leave unattended. Healing that area may take care of the AD situation.

Other sources of AD would include the temperature changes. Cold weather can lead to drafts or just general chilliness which are both stimulants for AD.

If the bladder is clean and you do not have any catheter kinking or are late in catheterization, you can also check your bowel for impaction especially higher up in the bowel. Sometimes a sluggish bowel can lead to AD as well.

You can relieve your thoughts about infection because if you had an internal infection, it would show up in your white blood count as being elevated. Cancer might show up in the white blood cell count as well. Since you do not mention an abnormality, we can assume you are ok there.

Some other things that you mention are gall bladder disease. Unfortunately, SCI does not eliminate gall stones which can move into the bile duct, clogging it, and then with a change of position the stones can move out of the way. Only a study of the gall bladder can identify the presence of stones.

In the meantime, you can take medication to control the AD until you heal the wound. They you can try without the medication to see if the symptoms resolve. Sometimes, AD can become a part of your life that is miserable. It sounds like you are ready to resolve the issue as you continue to look for the source. Nurse Linda

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