Night Sweats:

Night Sweats: Causes, Picture, Symptoms and Treatment

Night sweats are repeated episodes of too much sweating during nights which has nothing to do with hot room temperature or environment. In most of the cases therein lies some underlying health issue which causes this excessive sweating problem during nights and needs medical attention for complete relaxation. Depending upon the actual causes of night sweats its treatment procedure depends.

In most of the cases, night sweats are co-related with the perimenopausal stage symptoms in women associated with the hot flashes. However not every night sweating problem is limited to menopausal transition phase symptoms only. Both men and women can get a victim of this health issue which affects their normal sleeping habit during nights resulting in restless nights with other discomforts.

You can easily differentiate between normal sweating and night sweats as because a person affected with later drench with his or her own sweating, the beds and pillows get wet with the excessive amount of sweating. The night sweats issue considered as severe when it is associated with fever, flushing, and chills.

Causes

There are many underlying health issues which can develop its symptoms in the form of night sweats. Often this issue occurs as side effects of certain medications. In those cases replacement of concerned medications with some other medicines helps to ease the symptoms of night sweats.

Other than medications side effects there are many more underlying concerns which can trigger this health issue. Some common causes of night sweats are mentioned below.

Menopause

If you are a middle-aged woman and facing the night sweats issue since a very long period then chances exist that you are in your menopausal transition phase. Night sweats are the very common symptom of this particular stage in a woman along with hot flashes.

The doctor will ask about your period pattern if they find there is an abnormal frequency along with other signs like hot flashes, chills, mood swing, infrequent or absent period, slower metabolism rate, vaginal dryness, etc then you are definitely in your perimenopausal stage and nights sweats are occurring due to internal changes in your body.

During the transition period of menopause, several hormonal changes occur in the body resulting in the production of two important hormones such as estrogen and progesterone are reduced to a significant level which causes to develop different symptoms. Night sweats occur as a result of a reduction in these important hormones in the body.

On an average women reaches to their menopause stage at the age of 50 however its symptoms started to develop in their 40s only and in certain rare cases in women, these symptoms may develop as early as their 30s only and remains to continue till you actually reach to your menopause.

However, it is very important that you discuss your symptoms with the health care specialties to confirm whether the night sweats issue that you are facing is because of menopause symptom or some other concern is lying underneath.

Cancer

Night sweats sometimes occur as early-stage symptoms of some types of cancer diseases. Lymphoma and leukemia are some common types of cancers which cause to develop its symptoms in the form of night sweats. Other symptoms which are associated with cancer along with night sweats include fever and unusual weight loss.

If anyone developing these symptoms along with night sweats then without further delay they should consult with the specialist doctor as early stages diagnosis and treatment procedure can protect your life from the suffering of intense later stage cancer symptoms.

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar can develop sweating during the night times. Especially people who are taking anti-diabetic medications or insulin are most likely to develop hypoglycemia during nights which remains accompanied by sweating. It is important to discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider.

Some Neurologic Conditions

In some cases, certain neurological conditions are found responsible for causing night sweats. The neurologic concerns which can increase your sweating level accompanied by night sweats include stroke, autonomic dysreflexia posttraumatic syringomyelia, post-traumatic syringomyelia, and autonomic neuropathy. Proper consultation with the doctor is required under these conditions.

Hormonal Disorder

Night sweats may occur under the condition of certain hormone disorder in the body leading to hot flashes accompanied by night sweats. Some common hormone disorders which can trigger this health issue include hyperthyroidism, carcinoid syndrome, pheochromocytoma, etc. With proper hormone therapy treatment, these disorders can be relived.

Infection

Night sweats many times occurs as a result of a certain kind of infection in the body. Tuberculosis is the most common type of bodily infection associated with night sweats as its symptoms. Other than that some kind of bacterial infections too can cause night sweats problem in the affected person.

Some common type of bacterial infections associated with night sweats includes Endocarditis (Inflammation in the heart valves), Osteomyelitis (inflammation within the bones caused by infection), Abscesses (tonsils, boils, diverticulitis, appendix, peritonsillar, perianal), and AIDS/HIV virus infection (human immunodeficiency virus).

These are critical issues so immediate treatment is required for the concerned patient.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a kind of sleep disorder in which the throat muscles of the affected person relaxes during sleep which is an unusual condition that leads to snoring, breathing trouble, excessive fatigue during the day time and night sweats issues occur during the night time. Under certain cases, your breathing may stop completely and recover when you notice it.

People awaken suddenly in nights with gasping and choking. This is a critical condition and you cannot deal with it ownself. It requires immediate medical attention. For mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea some changes in lifestyle, usage of nasal decongestant before sleeping, mouth guard and continuous positive airway pressure machine is required to accommodate in order to ensure clear airway passage during nights.

For more intense cases surgery is the ultimate option to get relieved this health issue completely. So if you are facing all these symptoms along with night sweats then most probably you are affected with OSA which needed prompt medical intervention to get rid of.

Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is a condition in which you can face excessive sweating without any causal reasons like excessive workout or heating temperature etc. This health condition is divided into two types which are primary and secondary hyperhidrosis.

In the cases of primary hyperhidrosis, the underlying causes of excessive sweating remain undetected means whether you are sweating due to some medical issues or due to some medications remain undetected.

On the other hand in the cases of secondary hyperhidrosis, night sweats occur due to some underlying health problem or due to some medications intake. Another difference between the primary and secondary hyperhidrosis is that in the cases of primary hyperhidrosis the patient only notices excessive sweats on a particular area of the body such as armpit, palms, forehead, and soles of feet. Also, this sweating issue generally occurs when you stay awake.

In the cases of secondary hyperhidrosis the larger section of your body develops sweating or in many cases all over body area remains affected. Also in these cases, night sweats are the basic common symptoms.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a condition which occurs due to the overactive thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland that exists in your neck and regulates the functionality of the metabolism function in your body.

Under the cases of hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland started to produce an excess amount of thyroxine hormone leading to disturbances in the normal functionality of many organs.

Night sweats, unintended weight loss, anxiety, rapid or irregular heartbeat, increase in appetite level are some common symptoms of this health condition. So if your night sweats problem is caused by this underlying health issue then you require to take proper medication to cure your hyperthyroidism then and only you will get rid of night sweats and other associated symptoms of this health condition.

Anxiety Disorder

The symptoms of anxiety disorder don’t remain limited to mental health only especially when it reaches the extreme level it starts to show its signs in the form of physical disturbances. A person suffering from anxiety disorder can develop excessive night time sweating or night sweats.

Apart from night sweats, other physical symptoms include nausea, fatigue, rapid heartbeat, diarrhea, breathing troubles, etc. If your anxiety is causing you night sweats problem then it simply denotes that your condition is out of your control and you need medical consultation.

Common anxiety disorders which can develop night sweats as its symptoms include social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. Other than these three types of anxiety disorder another mental health issue i.e. obsessive-compulsive disorder can also lead to night sweats as its symptoms.

Proper medication like anti-anxiety medications, therapies, and some lifestyle changes helps to ease these symptoms along with night sweats.

Medications

Some times consumption of certain medications causes night sweats issue as its general side effects. In these cases, the affected person will not develop any other physical symptoms as it happens in the cases of cancer, infection, etc. Some common medications that can cause night sweats trouble include the following

  • Antidepressant- Antidepressants are the most common types of medications that can cause night sweats as its side effects. Usually, all types of antidepressants can develop night sweats issue. Some antidepressants medications that are commonly linked with night sweats issue include selective serotonin inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, bupropion (Wellbutrin), venlafaxine (Effexor), etc.
  • Psychiatric Drugs- Apart from antidepressants other psychiatric drugs that are prescribed for different mental health issues are also associated with the night sweats problem as its side effect.
  • Aspirin- Medications which are used to lower the fever can cause night sweats. Such medications include aspirin, acetaminophen, etc. However, in these cases, the night sweats issue is limited to a very shorter period and automatically disappear once your fever is reduced to a normal level of temperature.
  • Other Medications- There are many other medications which can cause flushing or night sweats as its side effect if taken in higher doses. Such medications include Tamoxifen (Nolvadex), Niacin (for lipid disorder), Nitroglycerine, Hydralazine (Apresoline), Sildenafil (Viagra), Cortisone medications, etc.

Symptoms

causes of night sweatsExcessive sweating in nights which can drench your clothing and bed sheet is considered as night sweats health issue. There are many underlying health issues which can cause this problem. So the symptoms will vary from diseases to diseases. Whichever disease you are affected from will develop certain specific symptoms along with night sweats and flushing (sudden warmth and redness in face or trunk).

  • In the cases of certain infections and cancer, fever and chills occur along with night sweats.
  • In the cases of high fever, you can develop shaking and chills along with night sweats.
  • If you are in the transition phase of menopause then you can develop some symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swing along with night sweats.
  • If you are suffering from lymphoma then you can develop unexplained weight loss problem along with night sweats.
  • Night sweats that occur as s a side effects of certain medications intake then the other symptoms in these cases will depend upon that specific medication that has caused night sweats issue.
  • The other underlying health issues which cause to increase in normal sweating level in the affected person may cause excessive sweating at any point in time of the day along with night sweats.

Diagnosis

In order to detect which underlying health issue is causing you night sweats problem a physician will ask about your medical history, the medications that you are taking currently and other troubles that you are facing suddenly along with night sweats.

This detail discussion and information will help your healthcare provider to analyze the actual cause of your night sweats issue. Once they will identify the underlying conditions responsible for this problem the treatment of that particular health condition will start.

Along with an improvement in your health, you will slowly notice a reduction in your night sweats which get totally vanished when the concerned underlying issue is treated completely.

Some common test procedures that a doctor may ask depending upon your different symptoms include imaging tests including X-ray and CT scan, blood test, and other special test depending upon the specific condition.

Treatment

The treatment of night sweats health issue depends upon its specific underlying health problems. After the diagnosis process whichever health problem is detected responsible for this issue, the treatment for the concerned diseases or conditions is started by the healthcare professionals.

Night sweats that occur as a symptom of perimenopause are treated with hormone therapy such as Estrogen therapy and Combined estrogen and progestin therapy. The application of these therapy helps to ease different symptoms of the perimenopause stage along with night sweats.

Medications such as anti-depressants, psychiatric medications, aspirin, etc. that causes nights sweats issue as its side effects are relieved with the replacement of those medications or by reducing the doses of responsible medications. Night sweats that occur as a symptom of cancer diseases or certain infections are needed thorough treatment which includes long term processing.

If there is no specific underlying issue is detected responsible for night sweats then certain lifestyle changes help to improve the condition.

Lifestyle changes that prove effective in relieving night sweats issue include sleeping in cool temperature with cotton clothes and sheets, avoiding the excessive intake of alcohol, spicy foods, caffeine, keep your body hydrated by drinking enough water, maintain a healthy weight and follow a low fat and low sugar diets, etc.

It is very important for every individual that if they notice persistent night sweats problem for a very long duration, should seek medical help without delay. As you yourself cannot treat this health problem especially in the cases where the causes of night sweats remain some underlying health issue.

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