Managing Excessive Sweating in Our AADC-deficient Daughter

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by Richard E. Poulin III |

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Singapore, a tropical island located near the equator at just over 1 degree north latitude, is known for its lush gardens, warm waters, and year-round sunshine. As idyllic as this paradise is, it was not an ideal place to raise our daughter, Rylae-Ann, who has aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency and struggles with excessive sweating.

A common telltale sign of AADC deficiency is autonomic dysfunction, as the National Organization for Rare Disorders notes. This part of the nervous system is responsible for involuntary bodily functions. As a result, AADC-deficient children may exhibit symptoms such as excessive sweating and temperature instability.

Our daughter would profusely sweat throughout the day, even if it was cool out. We found that the following tips helped to minimize her sweating and keep her comfortable in the warm temperatures.

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Incline wedge

At the same time that we were learning to keep our daughter upright to prevent aspiration, we were also looking for materials to help her remain cool while sleeping. We selected an incline wedge made from a specially designed gel material that keeps the user cool. Incline sleeping wedges made of memory foam tend to retain heat, and overheating will make it even more difficult for your child to fall asleep. The incline also reduces the risk of aspiration when our little ones are lying down.

excessive sweating | AADC News | Rylae-Ann is lying down with her head and shoulders propped up by a gel incline wedge pillow, which helps to keep her cool and reduce the risk of aspiration.

An incline wedge pillow made of gel helps Rylae-Ann stay cool while lying down. (Photo by Richard E. Poulin III)

Cooling pad

Going outdoors meant heat. After a quick search online, we found a cooling pad made from the same gel that was in her incline wedge. Although it wasn’t specifically designed for our stroller, we had no trouble inserting it. When we were planning to visit the beach or be outdoors for an extended period, we kept the cooling pad in the fridge the day before. We were also able to use it during car rides and at the homes of friends and family.

excessive sweating | AADC News | Rylae-Ann reclines on a cooling pad while out and about in her stroller.

A cooling pad insert makes Rylae-Ann’s stroller an ideal chair wherever we are. (Photo by Richard E. Poulin III)

Appropriate clothing

We couldn’t take Rylae-Ann out in the cute outfits sold at baby stores. Instead, we had a plain but comfortable cotton onesie that was especially helpful for keeping our daughter cool. It was made of a thin, mesh cotton material that was breathable and dried quickly. It was so valuable that we bought the same onesie in different colors. As Rylae-Ann grew, we stretched the onesie into a shirt. Eventually, we found shirts and pants made of the same material.

I thought that cute little spandex fitness clothes would be the best, but a fabric made of 95% cotton and 5% spandex kept her the coolest. Hats and sunglasses are easy accessories for AADC-deficient children and provide additional protection against the sun.

excessive sweating | AADC News | Rylae-Ann wears a gray cotton onesie while reclining in a mesh rocker that allows for airflow.

Rylae-Ann wears her cotton onesie while relaxing in a mesh rocker. (Photo by Richard E. Poulin III)

Shading

We used a stroller that provided shade but didn’t entirely cover her when going out. We blocked the sun when setting up our area at the beach or park. Provide your child with shade while still allowing for airflow. Even in the shade, a lack of airflow can cause overheating. When entering the water at pools or the beach, we found shady areas and avoided direct sunlight as much as possible. Make sure to do the same when in the car. Sunlight entering the car window can cause your child to sweat excessively while you are driving and unaware.

excessive sweating | AADC News | Rylae-Ann sits in her baby carrier in the shade under a tree at the park. She's wearing sunglasses and a white tank top.

Rylae-Ann enjoys the shade under a tree at the park. (Photo by Richard E. Poulin III)

Fan

Air conditioning is excellent at keeping a room cool. However, running the air conditioner 24/7 wasn’t an option financially in Singapore. Air circulation has been proven to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome by 72%. Even when we were running the air conditioner, we found that we still needed a fan to help reduce sweating and keep our daughter comfortable.

In addition to having an excellent indoor fan, invest in a high-quality portable fan. We have bought many because the first ones were cheap, poorly made electronics. Although they served their purpose, we used them so often that they couldn’t hold up.

When we finally spent a little more, we found an ideal fan that we could attach to Rylae-Ann’s stroller, car seat, and even random places in the house. If she was sitting in her highchair, she could have a fan pointed at her. The portable fan is easily recharged and should fit in your bag. It quickly became an essential item that we didn’t leave home without.

excessive sweating | AADC News | Rylae-Ann sits in her stroller while out for a walk. A portable fan attached to the stroller tray blows air in her direction to keep her cool.

Rylae-Ann stays cool in her stroller with her portable fan adding extra relief. (Photo by Richard E. Poulin III)

Mesh products

When selecting products for Rylae-Ann, we opted for mesh ones. For example, our baby carrier had a minimal design and was made of a mesh material. The same was true for our child’s highchair, car seat, and rocker. If Rylae-Ann was using it, we made sure the product’s features would allow for airflow and not promote sweating. Considering how air flows through a product meant that even if our child was using it and sweating, it dried quickly. Add the portable fan and cooling pad mentioned above if you cannot find the product you are looking for in a mesh or warm-weather design.

excessive sweating | AADC News | Rylae-Ann's mom holds her in a mesh baby carrier strapped to her front. They are standing outside their house and both wearing sunglasses.

Mommy and Rylae-Ann are ready for an outing using a mesh baby carrier and sunglasses. (Photo by Richard E. Poulin III)

Plenty of fluids

Additionally, be sure your child has plenty of water. Excessive sweating means water loss, which can lead to dehydration. Drinking more water helps replenish the fluids lost through excessive sweating.


Note: AADC News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of AADC News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase deficiency.