What Causes Night Sweats


When you wake up at night drenched in sweat, do not immediately think of night sweats because there might be other factors why you were drenched in your perspiration like your room is too warm or you are wearing too many night clothes. On the other hand, if despite the cold climate and you still wake up swimming in your own sweat, then you may be experiencing severe hot flashes or what doctors would like to call night sweats.

This condition can be caused by different factors but an overheated environment is not one of them. It is a medical condition that requires a doctor’s attention. Here are some of the known conditions that causes this problem:

  1. Menopause. The transition that a woman experiences during menopause is often accompanied with hot flashes. These hot flashes do not just occur in the morning, but also at night which causes over-sweating or night sweats.
  2. Idiopathic hyperhidrosis. This is another medical condition where a person’s body perspires too much without any clear identifiable medical cause.
  3. Infections.  Of course, there are infections that causes night sweats and those that do are often chronic. Most people would have had the infection for quite some time before they sought medical attention. Tuberculosis (or TB) is the most common infection that is closely associated with these annoying sweats. Tuberculosis causes pneumonia often accompanied with high fever, night sweats, cough and weight loss. If you’ve been experiencing those sweats for a month or two but you don’t have any other symptoms, then Tuberculosis can be a possibility. However, there are other bacterial infections that causes these sweats like endocarditis (or the inflammation of the valves of the heart), osteomyelitis (inflammation of the bones) or abscesses. These sweats can also be a symptom of HIV infection or AIDS. Besides, fungal infection can be another cause too. For instance, histoplasmosis is an illness caused by fungal infection that causes those sweats. This particular disease can be seen only in the southeastern, and central United States.
  4. Cancers. Some cancers can have night sweats as its early symptoms. Just like lymphoma, a non-infectious disease caused by a tumor in the lymphatic system. Other than night sweats, people who have lymphoma have swollen lymph nodes in the neck, fever, and experience sudden weight loss. Lymphoma is not just the malignancy that have these sweats as symptoms because there are other infections that are closely associated with the sweats.
  5. Hypoglycemia. People who have low blood sugar are more likely to experience them than people who have normal sugar levels. If you take insulin or any other anti-diabetic medication, you may experience glycemia during the night and sweating.
  6. Medications. If you are taking specific medications, then you may suffer from them depending on the medicine that you are taking. In most cases when patients do not have cancers or infection, medication is another angle that doctors consider as a cause for night sweat especially if the patient is taking anti-depressants and other psychiatric drugs. Viagra can cause them too.
  7. Hormone disorders. Several hormone disorders are associated with sweating (night sweats) or flushing. Some of these hormonal disorders include hyperthyroidism, pheochromocytoma and carcinoid syndrome.

Night Sweat Symptoms

A lot of people have experienced waking up at night drenched in their own sweat. Some even have to find another place to sleep because they have to let their bed dry for the night. They are not just simple perspirations because if you experience them, you are literally drenching with sweat. If you are a woman and you have been experiencing them lately, then it could be a symptom of menopause. They occur at night and during the day, profuse sweating is called hot flashes.

This does not mean, however, that night flashes are sole symptoms of menopause. Of course, there are other symptoms for menopause and night sweat can be symptoms for other conditions as well. For instance, infections, malignancy and other diseases may also cause you to perspire too much during the night. Often, when these sweats are caused by an infection, perspiring often occurs when the body temperature drops after a fever.

Now we know an infection can be the cause  and a collection of pus due to an infection is often termed as abscess. This is not only affect the skin but the liver or spleen as well. When these organs have abscess, then you are likely to experience fever and night sweats and no other symptoms. At this point, it may be wise to seek medical help for further diagnosis.

Above of all, it is strongly recommended that you should see a doctor if you are noticing there are some common symptoms.



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