Night sweats are considered to be the symptoms of other diseases and are not harmful.
They are not a sleep disorder, but night sweats can disturb the sleep and makes you to feel exhausted.
People with this problem can sometimes awake in the middle of the night feeling too cold or too hot.
These are also sometimes called as sleep hyperhidrosis.
Night sweats during menopause and perimenopause!
The most common cause of night sweats in women is menopause.
It is believed that night sweats are a result of decrease in estrogen production during menopause.
Due to hormonal changes during perimenopause and menopause, most of the women will experience a form of night sweats.
Women who have undergone chemotherapy are susceptible to have night sweats because of decrease in estrogen with chemotherapy.
Other conditions that can lead to night sweats include:
Idiopathic hyperhidrosis: It is a type of illness in which the body produces too much sweating. However, the cause of sweating is unknown.
Infections: Immune-suppressing diseases like HIV, AIDS, tuberculosis, bacterial infections such as endocarditis, and osteomyelitis will cause night sweats.
Hormonal disorders: Hormone disorders are common in both men and women and these changes can lead to night sweats. Hyperthyroidism, carcinoid syndrome, pheochromocytoma, and diabetes are some of the hormonal disorders that can cause night sweats.
Medication: Certain medications can lead to night sweats. Drugs such as anti-anxiety medication, antidepressants, and birth control pills can cause night sweats. Aspirin also sometimes lead to sweating during night. Cortisone medication, prednisone, and prednisolone are associated with sweating at night.
Some other possible causes of night sweats can include epilepsy, cerebral palsy, strokes, migraines, hyperthyroidism, brain injury, anemia, and others that cause fevers.
Diagnostic Tests For Night Sweats
Diagnostic tests for night sweats include physical examination, blood tests, chest x-rays, and many more.
During physical examination, the physician first inspects for any scratch marks due to itching, which occurs with lymphoma and then checks the temperature of the patient since night sweats are related to fever. The physician tries to know the enlargement of lymph nodes by palpation. He/she will examine the lungs and heart for heart murmur.
After physical examination, blood tests are recommended. Full blood count, ESR, electrolytes, liver function tests, kidney function tests, serial blood cultures, and HIV tests are some of the blood tests that are needed to be done in order to diagnose night sweats.
CT of the abdomen and pelvis, CT scan of the chest, and echocardiogram for bacterial endocarditis are also recommended. Lymph node biopsy will be done in the diagnosis of night sweats.
Mantoux tuberculin skin testing and sputum culture for acid fast bacilli is performed if the patient is suspected to have tuberculosis. Radiological investigations can also be warranted.
If you are suffering from night sweats, you will need to practice good sleep hygiene. Go to bed at the same time everyday and get eight hours of sleep daily. Keep your bedroom at cool temperature. If the night sweats are severe, take bath and change your bedding and clothes.