Woman’s nonstop drenching sweats were a medical mystery
Janet Ruddock had tried to live with what she assumed were hot flashes, which began sometime in 2001. While sitting at a friend’s cottage that summer, Ruddock suddenly experienced a drenching five-minute episode, her intractable sweating went into overdrive. Ruddock hadn’t consulted her doctor, assuming that the episodes — which ranged in severity and lasted from a few seconds to more than five minutes — would dissipate with time. But after a year the sweating showed no sign of abating and she became increasingly embarrassed when it occurred in public. The doctor performed a complete physical but found nothing amiss. Ruddock was prescribed hormone replacement therapy, which is sometimes used to treat severe hot flashes. When the first drug failed to help, she began taking a second, which didn’t seem to do much, either. Ruddock kept a symptom diary but noticed no pattern. Her sweating was not triggered by temperature, stress, activity level or time of day. And unlike many menopausal women, she never experienced night sweats. Oddly, her palms, underarms and the soles of her feet remained dry. Some weeks were better than others, containing days with only mild episodes, while at other times the sweating was much severe. Can you tell what was causing the trouble?
Option 1: Diabetes
Option 2: lymphoma
Option 3: Overactive thyroid
Option 4: Something else