Have you experienced sweating hot flashes (or hot flushes); not only at night but also in the morning? For most women, hot flushes and sweating are taken as signs of perimenopause or impending menopause. But is this the only reason?
Although these bodily heat waves and night sweats are usually associated with women and is believed to be due to hormonal changes in a woman’s body, there are also men who experience the same condition. Causes of sweating hot flashes and night sweats other than menopause include:
- Idiopathic hyperhidrosis can cause the body to sweat profusely but no medical cause can be identified.
- Tuberculosis is also a common cause of night sweats. People with tuberculosis usually have higher temperatures at night thus activating the sweat glands.
- Infections such as endocarditis, which is the inflammation of the heart valvesl HIV/AIDS, which is the infection of the body’s immune system; abscesses, which are the inflammation of the tonsils, boils, or infection of the appendix or osteomyelitis, which is an infection within the bones, are also probable causes of hot flushes or night sweats. These conditions should be attended to immediately by a medical specialist.
- Cancer patients often experience night sweats together with fever and consistent weight loss as an early symptom of certain cancers such as lymphoma.
- Menstruation is a monthly occurrence in women and a lot of women also experience hot flushes before and after their menstrual period. This is quite normal because the level of estrogen in women’s bodies changes before and after their period. This causes their body temperature to increase triggering the night sweats.
- Medications can also lead to night sweats as side effect of antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs. Aspirin, acetaminophen, paracetamol and other medications to lower fever can also lead to sweating. Cortisone, predinisone and prednisolone are medications that can also trigger sweating during the day and night.
- Hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid can also cause hot flushes that strike any time of the day.
- Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar – a situation commonly experienced by diabetics who are taking insulin or anti-diabetic drugs – may also cause night sweating.
- Hormonal disorders such as pheochromocytoma – tumors of the adrenal glands, carcinoid syndrome – excess hormones released by the gastrointestinal or carcinoid tumors and hyperthyroidism – overactive thyroid can all cause sweating accompanied by facial flushing.
- Eating certain foods such as spicy food or hot spices, smoking, excessive drinking of alcohol, obesity, over consumption of sugar are also some of the instigators of sweating and hot flashes.
Both men and women are susceptible to these causes of sweating and hot flashes. If you experience sweating and rising body heat, the best thing to do is to consult with a doctor to help you rule out or identify underlying causes for it.