Night sweats are a flashes of heat in the middle of the night that often occur while you are sleeping. They can be so intense that a woman may wake from her sleep and may find herself drenched in sweat and shivering with chills. Although they are most commonly associated with menopause, night sweats can occur for a number of reasons. Night sweats can potentially be a sign of a more serious health complication and should always be addressed by a medical professional.
What Are Some Common Causes of Night Sweats?
Night sweats can be the result of several factors, some dangerous, and others not so detrimental. It is important to identify the cause of your night sweats as soon as possible, so that a treatment plan can be arranged. Self-diagnosis is never recommended because it can be inaccurate. If you are suffering from severe night sweats it is always best to consult your doctor. Some of the common causes of night sweats include:
- Certain types of cancer
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Certain medications
- Hormone disorders
- Neurological conditions
Why Does a Woman Have Night Sweats during Menopause?
If you are a woman in your 40s and have begun experiencing irregular periods or other menopausal symptoms, there is a good chance that your night sweats are a result of menopause.
During the transition into menopause, a woman no longer produces the amount of estrogen that her body has been accustomed to and this can result in symptoms such as night sweats.
What Are Some Treatments for Night Sweats?
Night sweats during menopause are the result of a fluctuation of hormones. Therefore, it is best to try to balance hormone levels to alleviate night sweats and other symptoms.
There are many ways to balance hormones. Some methods are more effective than others, and some may pose a greater health risk. HRT treatment usually works, but may pose health risks.
The most common and most scientifically-proven method for balancing upset hormones in menopause is through hormone replacement therapy .While this form of treatment usually works, it carries some health risks. For instance, it has been noted that long-term HRT users are more susceptible to developing breast cancer and heart problems postmenopause.
The safest way to achieve hormone balance is by making smart lifestyle choices. Eating a well balanced diet, exercising regularly, and staying hydrated can help a woman find optimum health and hormonal balance.
More about Night Sweats
Since night sweats are linked to cancer and other serious illnesses, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor about what could be causing your night sweats.Continue learning about treatments for night sweats.
- The National Institute of Health.(n.d): "Signs of the Menopausal Transition".Retrieved from www.nih.gov
- Boston Women's Health Collective. "Hot Flashes, Night Sweats and Sleep Disturbances". Our Bodies, Ourselves, 2006.
- Von Muhlen, DG, et al. "A community-based study of menopause symptoms and estrogen replacement in older women". Maturitas. Sept 1995; 22(2):71-8.