Most of the people complain about night sweats to their doctors’. Sweating during sleep is normal if you’re wearing warm clothes or your bedroom is unusually hot. However, true night sweats i.e., severe hot flashes can drench your clothes and sheets. They are not related to an overheated environment and are a sign of serious health issue.
Night sweats can occur due to many reasons. To find the real cause, you must see a doctor and get a detailed medical history. Some of the conditions that can lead to night sweats are:
- Neurologic conditions – Night sweats can occur due to some neurologic conditions such as posttraumatic syringomyelia, autonomic dysreflexia, autonomic neuropathy, and stroke etc.
- Menopause – Night sweats are common in women who are going through menopause or perimenopause, or around the time of menopause. If menopause is the cause of night sweats, talk to your doctor for hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
- Infections – Tuberculosis infection, bacterial infections such as osteomyelitis (inflammation in the bones), endocarditis (inflammation of the heart valves) and abscesses causes night sweats in humans. Night sweats can also be a symptom of HIV infection. Make sure to get yourself tested to know your condition and seek proper treatment.
- Medications – Medications such as antidepressant drugs, psychiatric drugs, and fever drugs including acetaminophen and aspirin can lead to night sweats. Approx. 8-22% of people taking antidepressants experience night sweats.
- Idiopathic hyperhidrosis – It’s a condition in which the body chronically produces too much sweat without any identifiable medical cause.
- Cancer – Night sweats can be an early symptom of lymphoma cancer. People with undiagnosed cancer experience other symptoms too, such as unexplained weight loss and Seek proper cancer treatment. Cancer treatment varies by cancer types and stage. Common treatments include chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. The chances are you may experience night sweats due to cancer treatment medications such as opioids, tamoxifen, and steroids.
- Hormone disorders – Night sweating can happen due to several hormone disorders, including pheochromocytoma, carcinoid syndrome, and hyperthyroidism.
Most people experience the discomfort of night sweats at least once, this is not a problem. However, if you’re experiencing persistent night sweats, consult with your doctor immediately. It’s important to consult with your health care provider because sweating at night can your body’s way of letting you know something is wrong.