Night sweats are sweating that occurs during sleep, and the patient notices it after waking up from sleep. Night sweats may be due to changes in external temperature or humidity (due to climatic conditions or clothing), but it may also indicate the presence of an underlying disease, infection (infectious disease), malignant disease and others.
Infectious diseases accompanied by night sweats as part of their symptoms are tuberculosis, brucellosis, typhoid, endocarditis and AIDS.
The group of malignant tumors can include diseases in which night sweats are one of the symptoms, and the most common of these diseases is Hodgkin’s lymphoma, where night sweats are one of the three most common symptoms in lymphoma diseases: fever (Fever), weight loss and night sweats ( Symptoms B). Some lung cancers, mesothelioma, malignant pleura, can also lead to night sweats.
Thyrotoxicosis, which may be the result of hyperthyroidism or an infection or inflammation of the thyroid gland (Thyroid), can be reflected in night sweats, and also be a part of general clinical symptoms.
Important night sweats, which affect the patient’s sleep, and which lead to the dampening of his clothes, require a preliminary clarification in order to rule out one of these diseases.
The appearance of the accompanying symptoms, in addition to the physical examination conducted by the doctor, often leads to a proper diagnosis. As the emergence of a severe fever accompanied by symptoms of infectious diseases such as coughing, diarrhea, vomiting and other symptoms can indicate the presence of infection. While weight loss, persistent borderline fever and swollen lymph nodes on physical examination, they can symbolize Hodgkin’s lymphoma or another malignant disease.
Furthermore, it should be noted that most cases of light night sweats are the result of environmental conditions during sleep, as not every night sweats should be viewed as an indicator of an underlying disease, and certainly not a serious illness.
Night sweats are not related to the environment a person is in, such as a very hot room, but are usually caused by hormonal fluctuations in the body or a side effect of medication.
Either way, it can have a significant impact on sleep, and night sweats often wake a person from sleep, and may have to change their clothes or sheets so that they can sleep again and comfortably.
Here are the most common underlying causes of night sweats and when you should see a doctor:
Night sweats are often associated with hormonal fluctuations during and before menopause.
More than 80% of premenopausal and perimenopause women experience hot flashes, or a sudden, intense feeling of warmth. When these conditions occur at night, they can cause night sweats.
Menopause occurs 12 months after a woman’s last menstrual period, usually between the ages of 45 and 55. Perimenopause occurs from 7 to 14 years before menopause is reached.
Specifically, low estrogen, which occurs during perimenopause, is associated with night sweats because it affects the regulation of body temperature.
Night sweats during menopause aren’t a cause for concern, but they can be uncomfortable.
And if you experience night sweats during perimenopause, talk to your doctors about treating symptoms with estrogen-replacement medications.
2- Hormonal disorders:
Hormonal disruptions can make it difficult for the body to regulate its normal temperature, which can cause night sweats.
Body temperature is regulated by the hypothalamus, an area of the brain that produces hormones. And when the hormones are out of balance, it sometimes means that the hypothalamus isn’t able to regulate temperature properly.
Hormonal disorders that can affect body temperature and cause night sweats include:
Hyperthyroidism: This condition leads to an overproduction of thyroid hormone, which increases sweating, causing night sweats.
Pheochromocytoma: A tumor in the adrenal gland that causes it to produce too many hormones. Symptoms can include night sweats and an elevated heart rate.
Carcinoid syndrome: This is a rare disease associated with tumors in the endocrine system. In some cases, it can lead to increased production of the neurotransmitter serotonin. One of the symptoms of this disease is excessive sweating.
If you have other symptoms of a hormonal imbalance, such as weight changes or headaches, talk to your doctor about these symptoms.
3- Infection and inflammation:
If you have a viral or bacterial infection, your body raises its internal temperature to fight the infection, which causes a fever.
This increase in body temperature can lead to sweating, and night sweats are a common symptom associated with a fever.
Various infections such as HIV, tuberculosis and infectious mononucleosis can cause night sweats. These conditions can produce chemicals called cytokines that fight infection. Cytokines cause fever and night sweats.
If you have a fever in addition to night sweats, it is best to check with your doctor about the type of infection you have.
Some medications, including antidepressants or anxiety medications, can cause night sweats.
A 2018 study found that up to 14% of people taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the most common form of antidepressant, experienced excessive sweating and night sweats.
The study authors concluded that these drugs likely affect the areas of the brain that produce hormones, which help control temperature and sweating.
Other medications that may cause night sweats include:
Medications that block hormones
And if your medications are causing night sweats, you can try sleeping in lighter clothes or keeping the room cool. And if night sweats continue to interrupt your sleep, you should talk to your doctor about your concerns.