Common Causes Of Night Sweats
Theres no easy way to distinguish different types of sweating, so getting to the root of the cause can help you take steps to preventing or managing if and how you experience them, Dr. Ford says. Night sweats can be traced to any one of these causes:
- Protecting the skin from sun damage.
- Taking the right vitamins and supplements .
- Staying actively involved in life.
If youre going through menopause, you may find relief from your symptoms by avoiding triggers such as caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods and cigarettes, Dr. Ford says.
Making good health decisions generally will result in occurrences lessening over time the majority of women who experience night sweats find that they go away within a few years, he says. Only a small percentage of women find that they persist beyond that.
When Should I Be Concerned About Night Sweats
The good news, according to Dr. Majestic is that night sweats typically arent a symptom of a serious medical condition.
Night sweats are most concerning when they have been ongoing for two weeks or longer, and are accompanied by other symptoms, Dr. Majestic says. Be aware of symptoms such as unintentional weight loss, fevers or chills, body aches and joint pain, or enlarged lymph nodes.
If you notice night sweats accompanied by any of these warning signs, Dr. Majestic recommends speaking with your healthcare provider as soon as possible to screen for certain conditions.
During your appointment, your physician will take a detailed medical history and may also order blood tests and determine the underlying cause.
Are Perimenopause And Menopause The Only Causes Of Night Sweats
No. Night sweats can occur for a variety of reasons and can occur in both women and men. Other health conditions in which night sweats are seen include:
- Infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, human immunodeficiency virus
- Colds, flu, fever
- Bacterial infections, including endocarditis , osteomyelitis , pyogenic abscess
- Hormonal diseases, including overactive thyroid, diabetes, endocrine tumors
- Substance abuse, including alcohol, heroin, cocaine
- Neurologic disorders, including autonomic dysreflexia, autonomic neuropathy , syringomyelia , stroke
- Panic disorder, anxiety
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Cancer, including leukemia and lymphoma
- Side effects of cancer treatments, including aromatase inhibitors, tamoxifen, opioids, steroids
- Side effects of other medications, including some antidepressants and diabetes medications, steroids, acetaminophen, aspirin, and high blood pressure drugs
Women who experience other than menopause-related night sweats typically have other symptoms, as well. Only your doctor can determine the cause of your night sweats. Almost all causes are treatable. If you have ongoing night sweats, see your doctor.
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When To Be Concerned About Night Sweats
If night sweats disrupt your sleep for more than 2 weeks or have suddenly changed in intensity or frequency, its probably a good idea to see a medical professional. Sweating at night can be caused by physical conditions like hormonal disruptions, certain illnesses, or medication side effects.
Your physician can recommend screening tests and review your current prescriptions. Its crucial to rule out medications and to make sure your night sweating isnt due to an underlying illness.
How Can I Prevent Autonomic Neuropathy
Addressing conditions that may cause neuropathy can help prevent its development. Some suggestions include:
- Keep your blood sugar stable if you have diabetes. Eating a low-sugar and high-fiber diet might help regulate diabetes.
- Stop smoking cigarettes. Talk to your doctor about treatments that can help you quit.
- Stop drinking alcohol. Seeking the services of a counselor may be helpful.
- Exercise daily to help manage certain health conditions and lose weight if necessary.
- Prevent high blood pressure by drinking plenty of fluids, exercising regularly, and eliminating stressors.
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When To Call A Doctor
Night sweats a really common complaint, Weinstein says. If they are really bothersome and interfering with life, its time to see a doctor. The Mayo Clinic also specifically recommends talking to a doctor if your night sweats come along with fever, unintended weight loss, pain, diarrhea, or coughing.
Weve gone over a broad range of conditions here, but we hope your takeaway is this: With so many potential causes, you are well within your right to consult a doctoreven if its simply to assuage your concerns. In most cases your doctor will review your symptoms, do a physical exam, and probably do some bloodwork or other lab exams as they see fit, Okeke-Igbokwe says. From there, you and your physician can work together to identify potential night sweats causes that may be affecting you, talk about treatments, and get you closer to sweat-free sleep.
Characteristics Of Hot Flashes Include:
- An intense feeling of heat
- Flushing or redness, especially on the face, neck, and chest
- Tingling in the extremities
Essentially, women become anxious about having night sweats, knowing that the repercussion could mean that they cant get back to sleep, will be tired and moody the next day, and will struggle to perform the next days tasks. And they get to repeat the same fears and symptoms the next night.
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Certain Autoimmune Conditions Like Rheumatoid Arthritis
Notice a pattern with tuberculosis, brucellosis, and HIV/AIDS? Theyre all bacterial or viral infections that can lead to a fever, and thus be one of the underlying night sweat causes. It makes sense that anything that can make your temperature spike with a fever can also lead to night sweats. That includes causes beyond infections, like rheumatoid arthritis.
This condition happens when your bodys immune system mistakenly goes to battle with your synovium, the lining of the membranes that encase your joints, according to the Mayo Clinic. You may be most familiar with the joint-related symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, like having achy, swollen joints that are stiff, especially in the mornings or after not moving in a while. But thanks to that inflammation, the condition can also cause issues, like a fever, that lead to night sweats.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, your doctor can recommend the best medicine to help soothe pain and inflammation, along with slowing the progression of the illness, the Mayo Clinic says. They can also weigh in on whether or not physical therapy or surgery makes sense for you.
Illnesses And Disorders That May Result In Night Sweats
Some people have other illnesses or disorders that cause excessive sweating at any time of day or night. But night sweats are different and they may be temporary or recurring.
Some other medical or health conditions that case night sweats include:
- Anxiety or autoimmune disorders
- Viral illnesses such as colds and the flu cause night sweats, but they resolve on their own and the associated fever and sweating typically respond to anti-fever medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen .
- Abusing or withdrawal from substances like opioids, cannabis, cocaine, benzodiazepines or alcohol.
- Sleep disorders such as night terrors or obstructive sleep apnea.
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Are Night Sweats A Sign Of Anxiety
Night sweats are a common, distressing symptom of anxiety.
Many people with anxiety often awake at night, only to find themselves dripping in sweat, their bedding soaked. Our complete guide to excessive sweating tells it all.
You may not be receiving the quality of sleep necessary to function over the course of the day.
No doubt this can cause great discomfort. In some cases, night sweats can intensify anxiety, making it more difficult to cope.
This is largely brought on by constant worrying. One may fear that the night sweats are a sign of health issues that could be fatal.
Indeed, night sweats can be an indication of other health issues.
Nevertheless, it could also be a result of anxiety and nothing more.
Read on for more on the connection between night sweats and anxiety, as well as a test to identify what triggers your anxiety.
How To Get Relief
Relief for your night sweats really depends on the underlying health condition thats causing them in the first place. For instance, the treatment for night sweats caused by hyperhidrosis will vary wildly from the treatment for night sweats caused by anxiety. Getting a proper diagnosisand working with your doctor to find a treatment plan that works for youis the best way to make your night sweats stop. That may require a more involved diagnostic plan than youd like since there are so many potential causes to rule out. But getting quality sleep is essential, and if night sweats are messing with your rest, trying to get relief is worth it.
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The Influence Of Hormonal Changes And Imbalances On Nighttime Sweating
Night sweats can occur in men, women, teens and children when a fluctuation in hormones occurs. It is particularly common amongst teenagers and adolescents transitioning into or through puberty as well as in women experiencing a fluctuation in estrogen or men experiencing a drop in testosterone. While these fluctuations might most commonly occur in specific periods of ones life — e.g. mid-life, perimenopause, menopause or adolescence — some can occur unexpectedly, at certain intervals or after particular events. For instance, surgeries that affect hormonal imbalance, stress events and different points throughout ones menstrual cycle might all spur night sweats.
Nighttime Sweating Before and After Periods
Night Sweats During Menopause
Is Hyperhidrosis Linked To Anxiety
Hyperhidrosis is sometimes a secondary symptom of social anxiety disorder. In fact, according to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, up to 32 percent of people with social anxiety experience hyperhidrosis. When you have social anxiety, you may have intense stress when youre around other people.
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The Medications You’re Taking
“Some medications can affect the parts of your brain that control your body temperature or your sweat glands,” explains Dr. Ram. “This means these medications can also induce night sweats.”
The types of medications associated with night sweats include:
- Hypoglycemia medications
“Talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing night sweats as a result of a drug you’re taking for another health condition,” Dr. Ram advises. “In some cases, your doctor may be able to prescribe an alternative version of the drug.”
What Causes Night Sweats In Women
- menopause, which often causes night sweats and hot flashes
- right after delivery, in which case the doctor may refer to “postpartum night sweats”
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About Night Sweats Anxiety And Stress
It has been estimated that 70% of women experience night sweats at some point during their lives. The experience is characterized by brief flashes of heat that cause excessive sweating during sleep.
Many people who experience the sensation often wake up feeling cold, clammy, and drenched in sweat. For most women, night sweats are the result of hormonal changes that occur during the menopausal transition.
Night sweats are also a common and distressing anxiety symptom that can cause sufferers to wake up dripping in sweat. The experience can be incredibly uncomfortable and promote further anxiety.
Stress can also cause night sweats, especially among menopausal women who are experiencing fluctuating estrogen hormone levels.
When To See The Gp
As Gilani explains, if you’re worried about night sweats, speaking with a GP can help. Because there are so many potential causes – and no easy way of differentiating one type of sweating from another – they will ask you a number of questions to build up a fuller picture.
“To investigate night sweats, a GP will take your medical history, and may examine you to determine if there is an underlying medical condition. Depending on the findings, they may then order tests such as blood tests, X-rays, or other specialised investigations,” she says.
You should always see the GP if your night sweats are accompanied by a very high temperature, cough, diarrhoea, localised pain or other symptoms of concern. And while night sweats every so often are probably nothing to worry about, it’s worth seeking advice if they’re persistent.
“If you find that you are also losing weight for no apparent reason, it’s important to see a GP as this could be a sign of a more serious condition,” says Gilani. “Also, if you have been diagnosed with lymphoma or HIV, night sweats accompanied by unexplained weight loss may be a warning sign that your disease is progressing.”
If your night sweats can be traced to menopause, you may want to look into hormone replacement therapy . And if the GP believes your medication is to blame, solving the problem may be as simple as prescribing something different.
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Night Sweats: 7 Reasons You May Be Sweating At Night
Whether you’re exercising, it’s hot outside or you’re just overdressed, you expect to sweat sometimes a lot. When you’re sound asleep, you do not.
If you experience night sweats, you’re probably all too familiar with waking up damp in sweat. You’ve probably also said to yourself, more than once, “This can’t be normal.”
“It’s normal to experience variations in your body temperature while you sleep, and sometimes this can lead to sweating,” says Dr. Aarthi Ram, neurologist and sleep medicine expert at Houston Methodist. “While they’re understandably annoying, night sweats are sometimes harmless and there are steps you can take to reduce the amount you sweat while you sleep.”
Here are seven things that may be causing your night sweats, as well as ways to counteract them.
Learn Skills To Reduce Anxiety
Worrying about getting adequate rest can escalate anxiety and interfere with sleep quality. The best way to get out of this cycle is to learn and practice new anxiety coping skills. For the best results, practice these new strategies regularly in all settings, not just while trying to fall asleep.
Stay in the present. If you notice your worrisome thoughts escalating, write them on a pad of paper or mentally put them in a parking lot for tomorrow. Worrying now creates agitation about things that have not happened.
Some of the most effective tools come from cognitive behavioral therapy , dialectical behavioral therapy , and mindfulness meditation. You can try any of these suggestions to reduce anxiety and increase distress tolerance.
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Tips To Reduce Night Sweats
If night sweats are due to an underlying health condition, treating the condition will usually help reduce the night sweats. You can take additional measures to sleep more comfortably, including:
- Keep Cool: Although night sweats occur regardless of ambient temperature, turning on your air conditioning, buying a mattress that sleeps cool, or using breathable bedding can be more comfortable and help reduce sweating. It is also easier to get a good nights sleep if your room is set to a comfortable temperature.
- Wear Comfortable Clothing: Loose pajamas made of a breathable, moisture-wicking fabric, like cotton, can help keep you cool while allowing sweat to evaporate more quickly.
- Use Relaxation Techniques: Since stress and anxiety can worsen night sweats, relaxation techniques may be helpful for both coping with and reducing night sweats. Meditation, mindfulness, guided imagery, and breathing exercises are all popular techniques. Working with a professional for cognitive behavioral therapy or hypnosis may also be helpful.
- Avoid Dietary Triggers: Alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods can all affect sweating and your internal temperature. Avoiding them, particularly at night, may help reduce your night sweats.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight may cause night sweats in some people. Obesity is also a risk factor for other conditions that may cause night sweats, such as sleep apnea, and weight loss is sometimes recommended to treat these conditions.
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