Night sweats stand for a condition which manifests through excessive sweating during sleeping time. However, since a lot of people complain about this phenomenon, many of them are experiencing it due to their sleeping quarters being too hot or because they are using too many layers of sheets and covers. Thus, in order to separate medical cases of night sweats from the environmental ones, medicine defines this condition as severe hot flashes which occur at night, drenching the body of the sufferer in sweat, without being related to any environmental factors.
People also tend to mix hot flushes with night sweats. Regardless, numerous cases of people visiting their doctors take place due to this problem, making it a common health issue.
Reasons behind Night Sweats
One of the primary and most common triggers of night sweats is menopause. This hormonal transition in a woman can easily result in night sweats which cause women to sweat excessively during the night. Sometimes, the symptoms take place before the menopausal period itself and women in their perimenopause commonly experience night sweats as well.
Sometimes, the human body tends to produce excessive sweat without any specific reasons. This condition, when affecting a person chronically, is named idiopathic hyperhidrosis. Also, night sweats can be caused by numerous infections taking place in one's body. For example, endocarditis, which is the inflammation of the heart nerves, is a well-known culprit behind this problem. Alternatively, one may be sweating during the night due to osteomyelitis, being the inflammation of bones due to an infection. Numerous abscesses in the body trigger night sweats too and may affect the appendix, the tonsils and other parts of the body, manifesting as boils, diverticulitis etc. Finally, AIDS usually manifests through night sweats, among other symptoms.
Other Triggers of Night Sweats
When it comes to worst case scenarios, apart from AIDS, the night sweats may be a sign of cancer, especially a lymphoma. However, here, night sweats are usually connected with other symptoms like weight loss and fever.
There are cases of night sweats being caused by medications that a person may be taking. Antidepressants are notorious for leading to night sweats. Other psychiatric drugs may have the same effect. For example, Aspirin or acetaminophen are known to lead to sweating in some cases.
Drugs are quite capable of triggering night sweats. Thus, read the list of side-effects carefully since there is a great chance that the medications you are taking are leading to your night sweating problem. Either way, if you happen to be bothered by night sweats for longer periods of time, contact your doctor.