The WHAT, WHY, and HOW of Sudomotor Testing.
WHAT is Sudomotor Testing?
Sudomotor, as in Sudoriferous Glands, is a test that assesses the nerve health in your hands and feet that control your sweating. A 3 minute examination can provide your physician with information that could lead to diagnosing Neuropathy (decline, damage and/or death of the nerves in your hands and feet, most commonly associated with Diabetes, but not exclusively). There is a longer version of this test that takes approximately 7 minutes, and provides more information specifically about the sweat gland anatomy.
WHY should I do this test?
Do you sweat excessively? Or maybe you don’t sweat at all? Do you ever experience tingling or numbness in your hands and feet? All of these conditions can relate or eventually lead to sudomotor issues.
Additionally, patients with diabetes have a greater risk of developing Neuropathy. With an earlier diagnosis of Neuropathy, patient outcomes can be improved, as treatment plans can be started and prioritized sooner to slow the disease. Especially since there is no known cure for neuropathy.
HOW is the test performed?
Testing equipment: These sensors are strictly receiving information
2 blood pressure cuffs (ankle and arm) - these are evaluating the blood pressure in your arm and leg during the assessment.
2 pulse oximeters (finger and toe) - these look at the oxygen level in your blood, as well as evaluate your artery health.
3 lead EKG - 3 sticker electrodes will be put on your chest which listens to your heart work, as well as accurately evaluates your heart rate throughout the entire test.
Patient Set up:
Bare hands and feet are placed on special plate sensors. Ideally, you would stand on the footplates, but you can also sit down if necessary and place your hands and feet on the sensors while sitting.
With hands and feet on the plates, a suspensory signal (you shouldn’t feel anything) will be sent through your hands and feet. All you have to do is stand/sit there for 3-7 minutes (depending on the test). Keep as still as possible, without talking, and definitely without moving your hands or feet.