Although it does not have to respond to serious ailments, if we experience night sweats frequently and without a justified reason, it is advisable to go to a specialist to perform the relevant tests.
Night sweats refer to continuous episodes of excessive perspiration that can even moisten nightwear or bedding. When the environment in the room is too loud, experiencing this symptom is completely normal. However, there are cases where it may be a sign of an underlying medical problem.
Sometimes it is just the incubation period for a cold or a minor infection; It can even be a very recurrent symptom during menopause. However, and be that as it may, it is necessary that we have an adequate diagnosis about it.
In fact, it is such a relevant topic that there is an International Hyperhidrosis Society that carried out studies to raise awareness of this problem. Although not all people who sweat at night suffer from hyperhidrosis, it is a very recurrent problem in primary care practices. For what is this?
Possible causes of night sweats.
Mayo Clinic experts point out that night sweats, as well as hot flashes, are very common among women who are in the menopausal stage. Therefore, if this symptom occurs around the age of 45 or 50 and is accompanied by irregular or absent periods, this may be the cause. If not, it could be associated with the following:
1. Side effects of some drugs.
Excess sweating at night may well be due to the side effect of some type of medication. The Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania (United States) has shown that many treatments for anxiety and depression lead to increased night sweats.
However, it is not common in all patients. Only between 14 and 20% show an excessive increase in sweating during the night; in these cases, pajamas and sheets are soaked.
Likewise, excessive use of drugs to treat pain or inflammation can also cause this side effect. Therefore, do not hesitate to consult with your doctor about any symptoms or side effects associated with certain medications that you should take to treat your ailments.
2. Thyroid disorders.
This is undoubtedly the most common cause of night sweats. It is clear that alterations in the functioning of the thyroid gland can cause other very obvious symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, capillary fragility and temperature changes.
Coinciding with a publication in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, when the thyroid gland undergoes some alteration associated with the thyroxine hormone, our metabolism is affected. One of the main consequences is heat intolerance and excess perspiration.
Likewise, we will also notice palpitations when we are in bed, ringing in the ears and episodes of insomnia.
3. Hodgkin’s lymphoma or non-Hodgkin’s.
We mentioned earlier that night sweats are sometimes an indicator of some more serious types of illness. Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are one such example. We are facing a type of cancer that begins in lymphocytes, which are an indispensable part of the immune system.
The lymphatic system, made up of lymphatic tissue, lymphatic vessels or the spleen can be affected with this type of disease, in which night sweats are common.
As a publication in The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) highlights, the main indicator that patients with Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma often experience is a swollen node in the armpit or groin.
However, it is worth bearing in mind that it is a type of cancer disease that usually responds well to treatment and has a high life expectancy.
Night sweats are also a common symptom of hypoglycemia. According to a recent report published in the journal Medicine, hypoglycemia is a syndrome defined by a blood glucose level below 2.8 mmol/L. Its clinical manifestations include excessive perspiration, but also other discomforts such as a feeling of hunger and palpitations
5. Gastric reflux or poor digestion.
Surely it has happened to you at some time. Eating too much dinner or eating something that makes us feel bad and, at a certain moment of the night, causes us to wake up feeling sick and completely drenched. It is a way that our body has to react to an imbalance, a threat or an internal alteration.
On the other hand, we must bear in mind that gastroesophageal reflux disease is also related to this symptom. In this case, we will also notice exhaustion, chest pain and some digestive discomfort.
If this is your case and it happens to you very often, go to a specialist. Once the disease is diagnosed, with good treatment we will gain quality of life.
When to see the doctor?
Although night sweats are largely caused by factors such as ambient temperature, it should not be ignored that it can be the sign of illness. If it becomes a severe symptom, recurrent or that prevents rest, it is necessary to consult a doctor.