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A Brief Explanation on the Causes of Night Sweats

Review on October 29, 2009

Many people who wake up sweating at night wonder what is the cause of their night sweats. The causes of night sweats are varied. For women, the dip in estrogen production that drives menopause is also behind secondary symptoms such as night sweats and hot flashes. Estrogen production is at its lowest during the evening, which is why night sweats are so common. However, the causes of night sweats extend to far beyond menopause. Idipathic hyperhidrosis is a medical condition in which the body produces too much sweat, including sweating at night, for no identifiable medical cause. But there are many other medical conditions, besides menopause, that are identified as being causes of night sweats.

Sometimes night sweats can be an early symptom of cancer. The most common type of cancer that causes night sweats is lymphoma. It is often accompanied by other symptoms such as unexplained weight loss and fevers. Diabetics may also be exposed to what causes night sweats. This is because those taking insulin or other anti-diabetic medications may experience hypoglycemia, a condition of low blood sugar which can sometimes lead to night sweats.

Medications and infections can also be causes of night sweats. Over the counter drugs, such as aspirin and acetaminophen, may be lead to night sweats. A wide variety of drugs, including Viagra and anti-depressant, have also been linked to what causes night sweats. The infection tuberculosis is one of the most common causes of night sweats. However, bacterial infections and the AIDS virus (HIV) are also causes of night sweats.

Hormones and neurons play a role in the causes of night sweats as well. Hormone disorders such as pheochromocytoma or hyperthyroidism are causes of night sweats. Rare neurologic conditions such as autonomic dysreflexia, post-traumatic syringomyelia and strokes, lead to the malfunction of neurons, which is also what causes night sweats.

When night sweats take place during menopause, they are often referred to as vasomotor symptoms. Vasomotor symptoms originate from gonadal hormones, which control the core body temperature by alternately conserving or releasing heat. A disruption in this internal organ, caused by the wildly fluctuating hormone levels during menopause, is what causes night sweats, although the mechanics of this process are not fully understood.

No matter what is behind the causes of night sweats, it is important to know how to manage this symptom. To battle night sweats, go to sleep in layers so that you may cover and uncover yourself as needed. Keep a glass of water by the bed or take a cold shower if you are really suffering from what causes night sweats. It is best to try these simple remedies for the causes of night sweats before seeking medical treatment.

Sources:
  • http://www.emedicinehealth.com/night_sweats/article_em.htm
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18074100