Last Updated October 14th, 2021
What are night sweats ?
Extreme or excessive perspiration in your normal bedroom temperature during the nights as a result of any medical conditions is a condition which is known as night sweats.
Night sweats are very uncomfortable and can easily wake you up. It can happen due to various illnesses and other medical conditions. Some of the most common conditions which can result in night sweats are fever, weight loss, localized pain, diarrhoea, etc. Night sweats are a very common symptom of menopause. It is not a very serious symptom in most of the cases.
What are the causes of night sweats?
There are several causes why night sweats occur. Some of the most common causes of the night sweats are as follows:
- There are a few medications which can cause night sweats in an individual. Depression medications or antidepressants, the medications which are used for treating Diabetes and even the hormone-blocking medications which are mainly used to treat certain kinds of cancers are the medicines which can cause night sweats in an individual.
- One of the most common causes of night sweats in women is menopause. The night sweats are also accompanied by hot flashes in women in the case of menopause.
- Idiopathic Hyperhydrosis is one of the most common causes of getting night sweats. When the body produces excessive sweat without any particular medical reason that be identified, is the condition which is referred to as the Idiopathic Hyperhydrosis.
- There are various infections as well which can cause night sweats. Tuberculosis is the most common infections which cause night sweats in an individual. Several bacterial infections such as Endocarditis(a condition resulting in the inflammation of the valves of the heart), osteomyelitis( a condition which leads to the inflammation of the bones), etc can even lead to an individual experiencing night sweats
- HIV(Human Immunodeficiency Virus) which causes AIDS(Auto-Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is also a reason why a person might experience night sweats
- Some types of cancers can also result in night sweats in people. The most common type of cancer which results in night sweats is Lymphoma. The individuals who are undiagnosed and have cancer can also have symptoms like fever and abrupt loss of weight
- Low blood sugar which is also called Hypoglycemia can also experience night sweats. Especially the people who are under the medications for Diabetes such as taking insulin or any other oral tablets for diabetes can experience night sweats
- In the case of various hormonal disorders such as Pheochromocytoma, Carcinoid Syndrome and hyperthyroidism a person might experience night sweats along with hot flushes.
- There are various neurological conditions causing night sweat. Some of the most common neurological conditions causing the excessive night sweats are dysreflexia, posttraumatic syringomyelia, stroke and autonomic neuropathy.
- Consumption of too much tea, caffeine, alcohol and illicit drugs can also result in experiencing night sweats.
What are the other medical conditions which can lead to Night Sweats?
There are various other medical conditions which can lead to night sweats. Some of the most common conditions leading to night sweats are as follows:
- Anxiety disorders are a very common condition which can lead to night sweats
- Autoimmune disorders can also result in night sweats
- Autonomic neuropathy (a condition in which your autonomic nerves get damaged)
- A bacterial infection called Brucellosis
- Carcinoid syndrome is a condition where there is a development of a cancerous tumour in the intestines
- Addiction to various illicit drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, opioids, cannabis, benzodiazepines or substance use disorder.
- Withdrawal from various drugs can also lead to night sweats
- Endocarditis in which the inner lining of the heart gets infected is also a condition which is signified by the night sweat symptoms
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma or Hodgkin’s disease(a condition in which the blood cancer starts in the lymphatic system)
- Leukaemia or blood cancer
- Myelofibrosis which is a bone marrow disorder is also a condition which can lead to night sweats
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Osteomyelitis is a common kind of bone infection in which a person can experience night sweats
- Pheochromocytoma is a condition in which there is a tumour growth in the adrenal system. An individual experiencing the same condition can also get night sweats.
- A pyogenic abscess (a pus-filled cavity caused by an infection)
- Sleep disorders or disturbed sleep (such as obstructive sleep apnea)
- Syringomyelia is a condition which is signified by the development of a fluid-filled cyst in the spinal cord of an individual.
- Diseases related to thyroid
What is the cause of Night Sweats in men and women?
In the case of men, night sweats are very common if they are going through any one of the conditions as listed above. When a man undergoes ‘manopause’ which is signified by the lowered levels of testosterone, he has high chances of experiencing night sweats. During the time of menopause, almost every woman experience night sweats. She might also get hot flashes during the time of her menopause. This happens due to various hormonal changes. The doctor might also suggest a Hormone Therapy for treating the night sweats in pregnant women.
When should I go for a doctor?
If you are experiencing night sweats too often or too frequently, you should definitely seek help from your health practitioner. When your night sweats are associated with other symptoms like fever, hot flushes, cough and sudden weight loss without any particular reason, you should definitely consult your doctor. The worsening of certain conditions like Lymphoma or HIV is indicated by too frequent night sweats. In this kind of cases, you should definitely go for a checkup and consult your doctor.
How to treat Night Sweats?
The treatment for the night sweats depends on the cause of it. You will be undergoing various diagnosis to detect the reasons for getting night sweats. The treatment will be done accordingly following the diagnosis.
- If you are experiencing night sweats because of menopause you will be recommended to undergo hormone therapy. This can even help in the reduction of the hot flashes and the other symptoms related to menopause.
- There are various medicines which are specifically administered to treat night sweats. Some of the medications are clonidine, gabapentin, venlafaxine etc.
- There can be underlying infections which can be the causes of night sweats. In this case, the doctor might suggest some medications such as antiviral drugs or other medications which are helpful in treating night sweats.
- If you are suffering from any kind of cancer, your health practitioner can suggest your surgery or a combination of chemotherapy drugs.
- If you are experiencing night sweats due to the intake of some medications, then your doctor is going to readjust your dosage or might suggest you to stop taking those medications.
- You will be advised to limit the consumption of caffeine, tea or any other beverages which are causing night sweats.
- In the case of any kind of illicit drug consumption leading to experiencing night sweats, your health practitioner might ask you to stop the habits of those drug intakes completely. He might also suggest various medications for treating the night sweats. Some mediations will be suggested also to help you quit the usage of such drugs.
- You will also be recommended to regulate your sleeping habits. The doctor might suggest you remove your blankets from the bed, wear something which is lighter and keep windows open in the bedroom. This will help in preventing night sweats.
- You might be recommended by your health practitioner to follow a diet which is totally low fat and low sugar.
- Rehydrating and maintaining a stable natural weight is very generally recommended by all the health providers who treat patients experiencing night sweats for various reasons
- Your health provider might suggest you practice some breathing exercises which usually helps an individual to relax.
How to prevent Night Sweats?
There are various ways of preventing night sweats. Some of the most common ways are as follows:
- The consumption of alcohol and caffeine should be highly limited
- Cut down completely on the usage of tobacco and other illegal drugs
- Always keep your room airy and cool. Open windows of your bedroom if required. You can also use a cooler or a fan to keep it cool always.
- The individuals who get night sweats shouldn’t strain their body by exercising and especially during the night. Night workouts are strictly not allowed for the people who experience night sweat.
- Spicy food and hot beverages should not be preferred at al before going to bed.
- If you are suffering from any infection or any other illness, try to get it checked immediately to prevent getting any night sweats.
What is postpartum night sweat?
Sweating is a very common thing during pregnancy due to various hormonal changes that a woman undergoes. After giving birth to the newborn, several women experience night sweat. Generally, it lasts for 6 weeks post giving birth. This is called postpartum night sweating. I some cases the symptoms can be longer than the general time period of 6 weeks. If you are experiencing night sweats very frequently and for a too long time even after giving birth, it is always recommended to consult your doctor.
When should I see a doctor if I am experiencing Postpartum Night Sweat?
It is always recommended for pregnant women to consult a doctor post giving birth if she is undergoing the following conditions along with night sweats.
- If you are experiencing chest pain
- In the case of irregular heartbeat
- A persisting headache is also a symptom which when associated with night sweat, you should consult your doctor
- Shortness of breath is another symptom when you should consider consulting a doctor
- A sudden shift of appetite or loss of appetite
- Persisting or recurrent fever above 100° F accompanied by the postpartum night sweats should be always consulted with the doctor
How is postpartum night sweat treated?
Postpartum night sweat can be treated very easily generally at home by proper diet and exercises, etc. Some of the most common ways of treating the postpartum sweat are as follows:
Staying in cool surroundings : You have to keep your own body cool. This helps the best in preventing sweating. The few ways which can be used by women experiencing postpartum sweating are as follows:
- Keep the windows of the bedroom open before going to sleep
- Try to keep a fan on while sleeping
- If you are keeping windows closed, then prefer an air conditioner in the bedroom
- Use bed sheets or blankets which are not so heavy. Avoiding heavy bedsheets and blankets is going to keep you cool and is very helpful in preventing postpartum night sweating
Prefer drinking cold water :When a woman is experiencing postpartum sweating, she is automatically losing so much of fluids from her body via sweat and even as urine. In this case, a woman should prefer drinking more water and never let her body dehydrate. Drinking cold water helps in preventing the postpartum night sweats as well as it is very helpful for the normal body functioning of a woman after pregnancy.
Try eating more soy: Eating more soy products are proven to help many women recover from various symptoms which are very common after pregnancy. Eating various products which are rich in soy can also help in the improvement of other postmenopausal symptoms as well such as hot flashes etc. it is recommended for the prevention of the postpartum night sweating. Some of the most common foods which are rich in soy are as follows:
Wear fabrics which are natural and loose: Always try wearing something which is more airy and comfortable. This helps your body to cool down and hence prevents the night sweat after the childbirth period or the postpartum period. The natural fabrics such as cotton, linen and silk, etc, are more comfortable since it allows the heat of the body to escape. Hence it is always recommended to wear clothes which are loose and made out of natural fibres. Even when sleeping, you should prefer using a cotton or a linen sheet.
You should especially avoid wearing anything which is tight and is made up of materials or fabrics which are synthetic like polyester or lycra. These fabrics prevent the heat of the body to escape and results in postpartum night sweating and hence should be completely avoided.
Reduce eating any Trigger food: In the case of certain people, there are some specific foods and beverages which can trigger various symptoms during the postpartum time period such as hot flushes and postpartum night sweats. There are some food items and beverages which can generally trigger a person during the postpartum period. Names of some of the common food and beverages as such which can trigger various symptoms as such are as follows:
- Beverages like tea or coffee
- Any food items containing caffeine
- Any kind of alcoholic drinks
- Spicy foods and fast foods
- Any kind of hot foods and beverages
Destressing and trying to relax: Destressing is one of the most important ways of preventing postpartum night sweats. Learning various techniques for lowering your stress such as various breathing techniques can bring several effective positive changes. This procedure is highly helpful in preventing the postpartum night sweats. Proper paced breathing and hypnosis can be very helpful in the relaxation process. When a woman during her postpartum period is trying to sleep or is experiencing excessive night sweat, she might try the following techniques
- She should try focusing more on the relaxation of the muscles in various parts of the body. This process is called progressive muscle relaxation. It helps in the relaxation of the muscles in each body part, from the head to the toes.
- Practising meditation and being mindful is one of the oldest and the best way of calming your mind and relaxing your body.
- Positive thinking plays a very significant role in preventing any postpartum night sweats since it chases away all the issues regarding anxiety.
- Box breathing is a breathing technique which comes under deep breathing is highly helpful in relaxing an individual.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle :Healthy eating very important during the postpartum time as well. Eat healthy foods which are highly nutritious and is rich in various essential components which are required by the body. Exercising in a very regulated way is also a great help for improving the physical as well as mental health. It is always recommended to eat healthily especially vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats.
Massages and trying Pilate exercises : Due to postpartum night sweating, it is very difficult for women to get the proper amount of sleep. The discomfort and uneasiness due to the excessive sweating make it very difficult for women to sleep after their pregnancy period. Massages can be really helpful in helping to sleep. Some of the most common techniques which can help a woman getting a postpartum night sweat sleep are as follows:
- Pilate exercises which help in strengthening the core of a person as well as increases flexibility
- Massaging the back can be really relaxing for a good sleep
- Foot reflexology
- In the case of insomnia, the CBT(Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is very helpful for treating it
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