Night Sweats

Night sweats refer to severe hot flashes and extreme perspiration that occurs during sleep. They are a common symptom of various medical conditions and diseases.

Some key points about night sweats:

  • They involve excessive sweating during the night, to the point that sleep is disrupted. The sweating can be so profuse that it soaks your pajamas and bedsheets.
  • Night sweats can occur due to hormonal changes, like those experienced during perimenopause and menopause. They can also be a side effect of certain medications.
  • Infections like tuberculosis, endocarditis, and HIV/AIDS can trigger severe night sweats as well. So can cancers like lymphoma and leukemia.
  • Anxiety disorders and neurological conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have also been linked to episodes of extreme nighttime sweating.

Why do night sweats happen?

Night sweats can be caused by a dysfunction in the hypothalamus, which regulates body temperature. Certain illnesses, infections, hormonal changes, medications, stress/anxiety, and neurological issues can all potentially disrupt normal hypothalamus function. This causes alternations in the body's internal thermostat, leading to profuse sweating.

When to see a doctor about night sweats:

Consult your doctor if you experience repeated episodes of severe night sweats. Especially seek prompt medical care if you have other symptoms like unexplained weight loss, fever, or significant fatigue. Night sweats in the context of these other systemic signs and symptoms can indicate an underlying medical condition needing diagnosis and treatment.

How are night sweats diagnosed and treated?

To determine the cause of night sweats, your doctor will review your medical history and conduct tests like bloodwork or imaging scans to look for infection, inflammation, hormonal abnormalities, or other irregularities.

Treatment focuses on addressing the underlying trigger. This may involve antibiotics for infection, hormone therapy, medications to reduce sweating, treating anxiety, or specific therapies for an associated cancer/chronic disease. Lifestyle changes like stress reduction may also help in some instances.

If you have any other questions about night sweats, please consult with the healthcare professionals at Rejuvenate Clinic.

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