Night sweats scientifically known as nocturnal hyperhidrosis are severe hot flashes occurring during the night, which can result in excessive sweating that could wet your clothes and sheets. Sometimes, due to the bedroom temperature being higher than the surroundings, or due to too many clothes on your body, you can sweat, but this is quite normal and has nothing to do with night sweats. So, if you suffering from true night sweats, which is occurring without any apparent reason, it is advisable to consult a doctor immediately.
Causes of night sweats
There are different conditions that can cause night sweats in men, women and even children. To know the exact cause one must visit a doctor, who will get the detailed medical history of the patient by performing different types of tests. Listed here are some of the major underlying conditions that are responsible for causing night sweats:
This is a stage in which hormonal changes take place in women because of the drop in the level of a hormone known as estrogen. Menopause can cause hot flashes in women during the day as well the night. Menopause can affect males too according to medical professionals due to the drop in the level of a male hormone known as testosterone. This menopause condition can be one of the causes of night sweats in men as well as in women.
- Low blood sugar level
Blood sugar (glucose level) in human blood should normally be between 70 to 130 mg/dL. When this blood sugar level falls below 70 mg/dL, several problems began to show up such as anxiety issues, dizziness, and sometimes blurred vision. Sometimes a drop in blood sugar level at night can make you sweat excessively, causing night sweats. Patients suffering from low blood sugar often take certain medications which can be one of the causes of night sweats occurring both in males and females.
- Bacterial infections
Brucellosis is a type of bacterial infection that is passed on to humans from animals through unpasteurized milk and certain other dairy products. This infection can be one of the other causes of night sweat that can only be treated with proper antibiotic medications. Sometimes, this infection can take up to months to get cured.
- Certain medications
Taking certain medications can have a wide variety of side effects, night sweat being one of them. Sometimes, antidepressants, certain types of painkillers can cause the patient to develop nocturnal hyperhidrosis over the course of time. So, it is advisable to visit a doctor if you are under certain medications mentioned above and at the same time experiencing excessive sweats at night.
This refers to the malfunctioning of the thyroid, a gland that is responsible for controlling many functions in our body including metabolism. During this condition, overproduction and release of thyroid hormones take place in our body which results in weight loss, anxiety, and nocturnal hyperhidrosis. Hyperthyroidism can be one of the main night sweats causes as it puts our body’s metabolism on the peak during night time. The body, in turn, tries to lose heat, which happens in the form of excessive sweating.
- Nerve problem
Sometimes certain neurological problems can cause night sweat. Neurological disorders such as autonomic dysreflexia due to a sudden increase in blood pressure, post-traumatic syringomyelia due to a spinal cord injury, strokes and autonomic neuropathy, lead to damage in the nervous system that helps control involuntary actions. As a result, our body is not able to regulate the temperature, which in turn causes the patient to sweat a lot during the day as well as night time.
- Alcohol consumption
Consumption of too much alcohol can be one of the causes of night sweats, as drinking alcohol increases your heartbeat and widens blood vessels in your skin, which in turn triggers uncertain urination and perspiration.
One of the rare causes of night sweats could be a more serious condition such as cancer. Typically, blood or bone marrow cancer is also known as leukemia, cancer of the lymphatic system also called Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Carcinoid syndrome can cause the body to sweat a lot both during day and night time. However, one shouldn’t panic if he/she is developing night sweats. Appointment with a doctor is recommended to know the exact cause of night sweats.
- Idiopathic Hyperhidrosis
This is a medically treatable condition which causes the body to sweat a lot during the day as well as night time without any known medical cause. There’s also a secondary Hyperhidrosis which is caused due to the reasons already mentioned above, which requires a prompt visit to a clinic for knowing the exact underlying medical condition responsible. Idiopathic Hyperhidrosis is one of the night sweats causes that only affect a handful of people.
Treatment of night sweats actually depends on the exact cause or condition your body is suffering from. Appointment with specialists such as internists or gynecologists is the best way to pinpoint the exact cause before you can receive the right treatment.