Night sweats is the occurrence of excessive sweating during sleep. The person may or may not also perspire excessively while awake.
|Other names||Sleep sweats, nocturnal hyperhidrosis|
|Specialty||Infectious disease, oncology|
One of the most common causes of night sweats in women over 40 is the hormonal changes related to menopause and perimenopause. This is a very common occurrence during the menopausal transition years.
While night sweats might be relatively harmless, it can also be a sign of a serious underlying disease. It is important to distinguish night sweats due to medical causes from those that occur simply because the sleep environment is too warm, either because the bedroom is unusually hot or because there are too many covers on the bed. Night sweats caused by a medical condition or infection can be described as "severe hot flashes occurring at night that can drench sleepwear and sheets, which are not related to the environment". Some of the underlying medical conditions and infections that cause these severe night sweats can be life-threatening and should promptly be investigated by a medical practitioner.
The condition may be a sign of various disease states, including but not exclusive to the following:
- Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare infection
- Infectious mononucleosis
- Fungal infections (histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis)
- Lung abscess
- Infective endocarditis
- Pneumocystis pneumonia (most often - in immunocompromised individuals)
- Endocrine disorders
- Rheumatic disorders
- Antipyretics (salicylates, acetaminophen)
- Anabolic Androgenic Steroids, in particular trenbolone, and the nandrolones
- Dinitrophenol - a common side effect
- Drug withdrawal: ethanol, benzodiazepines, heroin (and other opiates),
- Autonomic over-activity
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