A BBC TV interview with Prince Andrew (of the British royal family) is described below:

On claims he was sweating, he said: "I have a peculiar medical condition which is that I don't sweat or I didn't sweat at the time," he said, blaming it on "an overdose of adrenaline in the Falklands War".

He said he had only started to be able to sweat again "in the recent past".

Prince Andrew 'categorically' denies sex claims, BBC News, 17 November 2019

The medical disorder whereby a person is unable to sweat is named 'anhidrosis' or 'hypohidrosis'. Can this disorder be caused by "an overdose of adrenalin"?

  • 3
    This might be better served in Medical Sciences, they can probably speak on it better than we can.
    – DenisS
    Nov 18 '19 at 15:59
  • 1
    It seems rather improbable the effect was direct like that. Hypohidrosis is linked to excess acetylcholine (rather than adrenaline). It may be caused by a number of drugs that the palace might not want to disclose the prince was taking, including (tricyclic) antidepressants. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18217788?dopt=Abstract The number of muscarinic antagonists (which would cause the same effect) is rather large though and includes many other drugs. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscarinic_antagonist
    – Fizz
    Nov 18 '19 at 23:07
  • 1
    Something like (treatment for) overactive bladder might be equally embarrassing for the palace to disclose ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6160033 The latter also correlates with higher stress levels, including with PTSD ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5116264
    – Fizz
    Nov 18 '19 at 23:08
  • 2
    The Sun quoted two MDs/experts (unusual for them eh?) who both disagree with The Atlantic style direct link thesun.co.uk/fabulous/10367149/… It may be one of the few case in which the tabloids have better info than more "serious" media. (Nothing like celebrities to motivate them to do go work eh?) "In fact, high levels of adrenaline can lead to increased sweating, not less. There is no evidence that trauma leads to anhidrosis."
    – Fizz
    Nov 18 '19 at 23:18
  • 2

While I can't say he's lying, there's no evidence that acquired anhydrosis is related to chronic stress (or chronic elevations of adrenaline/norepinephrine.)

Acquired anhydrosis is uncommon but not rare, and is usually caused by diseases that also happen to attack either the nervous system or the sweat glands themselves. It can also be caused by injuries to the skin (burns/heatstroke.)

Idiopathic acquired anhydrosis (anhydrosis with an unknown cause) is a very rare disease which is reportable in the medical literature. None of the reports I've seen address chronic stress.

Just going on common sense, if his claim were true, we'd see a higher incidence here in the US in combat veterans. No such study exists.

Most likely he was sweating from the usual causes: he was nervous or hot.

Acquired Idiopathic Generalized Anhidrosis
Acquired idiopathic generalized anhidrosis: a distinctive clinical syndrome
Acquired idiopathic generalized anhidrosis: clinical manifestations and histochemical studies
Skin sympathetic nerve activity in acquired idiopathic generalized anhidrosis
Acquired idiopathic generalized anhidrosis in combat veterans

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .