Sweat is the natural body function that helps in regulating your body temperature. Sweating or perspiration is the release of the fluid secreted by the sweat glands from the skin of the mammals. It is not a disorder if it happens normally.
A healthy person may suffer from excessive sweating when anxious, stressed, afraid or angry, or recalled some heart-shaking incidence from the past, as this can be sweat triggering. One may sweat when physically exerted or living in the high environmental temperature.
Talking about night sweats, you may inculcate, if the bedroom you are sleeping in, is too hot or you are wearing too many clothes, it can be the case for excessive sweat at night. While night sweats are harmless.
One may be having night sweats if the individual is suffering, feeling chills or in fever. But, excessive sweating at night or night sweat is certainly some disorder. It is often referred as hot flashes or Nocturnal Hyperhidrosis.
It is the cause of irritation, unhappiness, and mood swings. In clinical terms it is known as sleep Hyperhidrosis. Generally armpits, feet, palms are more prone to sweating.
But, under certain conditions, when the body starts producing too much sweat then its need, it can be something serious then. One should consult some health-care expert professional for further details and to cure it. There is no general medication for night sweats, it entirely depends on the cause.
What Is Idiopathic Hyperhidrosis?
A condition when the body produces excess or too much of sweat than the needs of the body is described as Idiopathic hyperhidrosis. There is no known cause of the ailment, and thus, named idiopathic. There are no medical or the environmental conditions associated with such ailment.
This results in the excessive night sweat on the head implies over the scalp.
Severity Of Sleep Hyperhidrosis:
i. Liberal State :
Individual not needed to take a bath or change clothes because of getting soaked by the sweat. They may need to turn pillow or remove the blankets.
ii. Moderate State :
When sufferer can’t sleep properly and need to wake up to wash face or other affected body part, to wash off the sweat. But there is no need to change clothing.
iii. Severe State :
When the patient gets soaked in sweat entirely and needs to change clothes and bedsheets many times at night.
Causes Of Night Sweats:
There can be various reasons for the night sweat. When an individual sweat profusely, he/she may get drench sheets and bedclothes. It may be hard to distinguish between true night sweats and nominal or seasonal night sweats.
Some major causes of sleep Hyperhidrosis are mentioned below-
The side effect of certain medical treatments or continuous consumption of some drugs may also lead to excessive night sweats. Nitroglycerine, hydralazine, niacin, tamoxifen, sildenafil, other anti-depressant medicine (like aspirin, Acetaminophen) are some medicines that can cause night sweat. Other psychiatric pills have also been associated with the night sweats.
2. Deficiency Of Vitamin:
Sometimes a simple deficiency of vitamin D and calcium can cause hot flashes or night sweats. It is worth trying to overcome that deficiency to overcome the problem of the hyperhidrosis.
Certain infections like tuberculosis( a bacterial infection that affects lungs), endocarditis(inflammation of the heart valves), osteomyelitis(inflammation within the bones), abscesses all may result in the night sweats.
Individuals suffering from HIV infections also suffer from the night sweats. Night sweats also affect the individuals suffering from tonsillitis, diverticulitis, and appendicitis.
4. Hormonal Disorders:
A rare situation called as pheochromocytomas(adrenaline gland tumors) may cause excessive night sweats among the patients.
Also, the person suffering from type 2 diabetes,suffer from excessive night sweats. Low sugar levels or hypoglycemia happen to the people who are on anti-diabetic insulin. Patients with hypoglycemia also suffer from hyperhidrosis.
5. Hormonal Transitions:
Hormonal transitions or variations are expressed as the most prominent cause for the sweat around the head and shoulders. Men and women equally suffer from the hormonal changes.
When women go through the menopause, in their pre-menopausal stage experiences the changes in the estrogen levels. This change often introduces women to irritability, irregular heartbeat, mood swings, sudden tears, over-emotional behavior, hot flashes, night sweats.
Men, when to suffer from the andropause, i.e., the gradual drop in testosterone or androgen. Men experience night sweats in such state and find trouble in sleeping at night. However, male andropause occurs gradually unlike the female andropause that occurs drastically.
If the individual suffers from serious night sweats, one must consult a doctor as it can be a sign of cancer. Certain cancers like Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia can cause the vigorous sweating.
Hodgkin’s lymphoma also results in the swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck area and shoulders and thus causes excessive night sweat.
Individuals having undiagnosed cancer also find other symptoms like drastic weight loss and fever without any general bacterial infection.
7. Autonomic Neuropathy:
Dysautonomia or Automatic neuropathy implies the situation when the autonomous nervous system does not work properly. It is about the nerve damage that affects the cardiovascular system, genitals, digestive tract and bladder muscles. The ailment is powerful enough to affect other organs of the body.
Since, it damages the nervous system, it is also a major cause of excessive night sweats among head and shoulders for the individuals suffering from the ailment.
Drop in the blood sugars may also be the reason for excessive night sweats. The patients suffering from this, are usually found to sleep with a large towel on the pillow or with bed soaked with sweat. They need to control the blood sugar level, and should get it checked regularly.
9. Silent Attack:
When heart attack comes with no obvious symptoms like lack of oxygen, shortness of breath or chest pain. It is referred as the silent attack and it may come to individual without they even come to know about it. When patient suffers from silent attack, they may be getting chronic night sweats before few nights.
10. Heart/ Blood Pressure Issues:
People facing high/ low blood pressure issues also suffer from night sweats. It may be due to shortness of breath or pain in the chest resulting in heart attack, and patient experiences cold sweat at a time.
11. Endocrine Disorders:
Endocrine disorders are the disorders in the Endocrine system. Few disorders like hypothyroidism or hyperactive thyroid also cause extreme night sweats around the head and shoulders.
12. Miscellaneous Issues:
The various supplementary issues of night sweats around head and shoulders can be rheumatoid arthritis, heavy weight gain, renal (kidney) failure, meningitis, bronchitis disorders,
When To Seek Medical Experts Advice?
When you have persistent night sweats and you are unable to find their cause. You may have tried some general ways to overcome the issue but you find it hard to resolve. Then, rather getting worried about the same, you must consult your health care professional for an advice.
Which Doctor Treats Night Sweats Well?
You would like to know, which doctor you should consult for night sweats. I think you can follow a strategy here, like firstly consult your family practitioner, get to know the cause and information about night sweats.
Knowing the cause, you can consult a specific doctor.
Like, for general, you may consult gynecologists, pediatricians or internal medicine specialists.
If infections caused you night sweats you may consult some infectious disease specialist to get proper remedy.
If cancers are the cause of night sweats you should consult with your surgical oncologist or doctor with whom you are taking the rest of the treatment for cancer.
Some rare causes can be treated by neurologists, surgeons or endocrinologists.
What Cures Night Sweats?
Since, the true night sweats are mostly symptom or outcome of some other ailment the person is suffering from, or suffered in the past. So we can’t generalize the treatment. Entire prescription to cure night sweats depends on the cause. It varies from patient to patient.
How Are Night Sweats Analyzed?
When you consult with a doctor, they ask you to bring your complete medical history(which may include some tests, blood test reports, X-rays, CT-scans etc.).
After checking the same, if they find some previous ailment as the cause of night sweats, they will prescribe you with few more specialized tests.
It can help a doctor in the further treatment process and to get the root cause of the night sweats in the case of the particular patient.
Can Sleep Hyperhydrosis Be Prevented?
If fever, infections, cancers or some critical underlying condition is the cause of night sweat. Then, the night sweats are not preventable.
Individuals suffering from chronic night sweat find their situation too pathetic. They are unable to sleep well and need to change clothing more often. This discomforts them and disturbs their sleep. They feel like they are suffering from some deadly disease.
But, without making too many assumptions, it’s better to consult the doctor, seek for medications and continue the same.
If there is a problem there is definitely a solution. Similarly, if there is an ailment, certainly there is a cure.