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Doctors often have patients reporting of night sweat. Night sweat is very common and mostly occurs during the summer. Over 41% of patients visiting a hospital are said to sweat at night while they are asleep. Excessive sweating that drenches the bed and causes the patient to change the beddings are, however abnormal.
Night sweat is excessive sweating during the night. It may cause discomfort or even sleeplessness in patients. Many factors can cause night sweat, and doctors need to obtain details of thorough medical examinations or medical history of patients to determine the cause.
Wearing bulky or too many clothes at night may increase body temperature and cause the body to sweat. Higher room temperatures at night may also cause a patient to sweat at night. These causes are very healthy, and all the person needs to do is to reduce the amount or thickness of clothes worn at night or find means of reducing the room temperature at night.
Fear also causes night sweat to occur. Anxiety due to nightmares, night terrors, or sleep apnea could cause a person to sweat profusely at night. Night sweat caused by this is often mild, and persons usually recover as soon as the fear is out of their minds.
Older women entering their menopausal period may also experience night sweat. The hot flashes associated with menopausal transition sometimes occur at night and is a significant cause of night sweat in women. This period precedes the menopause itself.
Idiopathic hyperhidrosis is a condition in which the body produces excess sweat without any identifiable medical disorder. People with this condition are more prone to night sweat.
Other Causes of night sweat:
Tuberculosis is the infection most commonly associated with night sweat. Inflammation of the heart valves, known as endocarditis, may also cause night sweat to occur. Viruses that cause inflammation in the bones may also be the cause of night sweat. AIDS patients also suffer a series of night sweats. Boils, tonsils, appendix, perianal, and diverticulitis infections may all cause sweating at night.
Night sweat is one of the identifiable symptoms of early cancer. Certain medications could also cause people to sweat. Antidepressants and medications known to lower fever are the most commonly known medications to cause sweating at night.
Patients with neurological conditions and low blood sugar are also prone to night sweat. Hormonal disorders also cause young people to sweat profusely at night.
The cause of night sweat can be determined by physical examinations and where the reason cannot be seen physically, by thorough medical tests. In mild sweating cases, supportive treatment can be used until the exact cause is known and treated.
If however, the cause of the night sweat is a severe medical condition, referral to a medical facility is a better option. While the reference is being done, the patient could be given some medication for relief until he gets access to better treatment. The patient also needs to be reassured that their night sweat condition can be cured and this will go a long way to relieve them.