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What Causes Night Sweats In Menopause

Night Sweats Vs Overheating Vs Hot Flashes

Night Sweats – Menopause Now

Night sweats is a term used specifically to describe excessive sweating during sleep. Hot flashes may occur at any time of day, but they can be called night sweats if they happen during sleep and cause excessive perspiration. Overheating and skin flushing can both be caused by factors, such as warm environments and clothes, but are not considered night sweats unless they also prompt excessive sweating.

Buyer Beware: Unproven Nonscientific Treatments For Hot Flashes

You may have heard about black cohosh, DHEA, or soy isoflavones from friends who are using them to try to treat their hot flashes. These products are not proven to be effective, and some carry risks like liver damage.

Phytoestrogens are estrogen-like substances found in some cereals, vegetables, and legumes , and herbs. They might work in the body like a weak form of estrogen, but they have not been consistently shown to be effective in research studies, and their long-term safety is unclear.

At this time, it is unknown whether herbs or other ânaturalâ products are helpful or safe. The benefits and risks are still being studied. Always talk with your doctor before taking any herb or supplement to treat your hot flashes or other menopausal symptoms.

Create A Cooler Bedroom

One of the simplest ways to reduce the severity of night sweats is to create a cooler sleeping space. Sleeping in a warm bedroom wont cause nighttime hot flashes on its own, but warmer temperatures can make them worse if youre already dealing with hot flashes.

Consider turning down your thermostat before going to bed. Place a fan near your bed to help you cool down. You can turn it on before falling asleep or turn it on if you wake up overheated in the night.

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Causes Of Night Sweats: Menopause And More

Medical Author: Karthik Kumar, MBBS

Medical Editor: Pallavi Suyog Uttekar, MD

Night sweats are episodes of excessive perspiration that happen during sleep. They are often described as soaking or drenching and may require a change of sheets or even clothes. Night sweats can occur during sleep and without physical exertion. They arenât caused by a heavy blanket or a warm bedroom. Instead, other underlying health issues may be responsible for these episodes of considerable sweating during sleep. Night sweats can reduce sleep quality, concern a bed partner, and provoke serious discomfort.

What is the outcome of patients with night sweats?

Night sweats affect many people. They are sometimes no cause for concern, but they can interrupt sleep and reduce the quality of life. In some cases, night sweats are a sign of a health issue that requires attention. Sleeping in a cool room with bedding and pajamas made from light, natural fabrics may help. If not, a doctor can recommend other approaches, which may include medications and therapies.

What are the eight causes of night sweats?

There are many different causes of night sweats. The most common include the following

Other medical conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease , heart failure, anxiety, and panic attacks have been correlated with night sweats.

How can night sweats be treated?

Maintain A Healthy Weight

Night Sweats Symptom Information

Carrying extra pounds can cause night sweats and also be a risk factor for developing obstructive sleep apnea, where the throat narrows, restricting your breathing.

If you find that you have night sweats and wake up tired, ask your doctor for a sleep test to determine if you have a sleep disorder, like sleep apnea. Losing weight can help reduce night sweats and also your risk of developing sleep apnea.

I encourage people with persistent night sweats to make an appointment with their doctor, says Dr. Mark. Keep a log of whats going on in your life and what you eat or drink before bedtime. Your doctor can work with you on treatment to help you sleep comfortably through the night.

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Take A Holistic Approach

Check out our top tips for reducing hot flushes during the day.

How you treat yourself during the day has a direct impact on your comfort at night. Avoiding spicy food, alcohol, caffeine and smoking can help your body regulate its heating system. Regular exercise can help you de-stress and maintain a healthy weight.

None of this is rocket science. But the fewer stresses on your whole body, and the healthier you can be 24/7, the better your body will cope as your hormone levels fluctuate.

Effects Of Night Sweats On Health

The primary effect of night sweats on health is regular sleep disruptions. If night sweats occur frequently, it may cause sleep deficiency or sleep deprivation. This can lead to reduced cognitive function on an acute basis and is also associated with long-term health issues, such as diabetes, cardiovascular issues and stroke.

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Q: What Causes Hot Flashes

A: The exact causes of hot flashes are still unknown, but they are thought to be related to changes in the brains thermoregulatory center, which controls heat production and loss, and is influenced by your hormones. During perimenopause, hormones start acting like a rollercoaster, with progesterone and estrogen levels changing in wide variations. These ups and downs dont settle down until almost 10 years after menopause.

Perimenopause Symptoms And Signs

Excessive Night Sweats & Perimenopause

Perimenopause describes the time period when a woman is approaching menopause. During this time is when symptoms and signs begin. Examples include, weight gain, vaginal dryness, mood changes, painful sex, and hot flashes.

The complex hormonal changes that accompany the aging process, in particular the declining levels of estrogen as a woman approaches menopause, are thought to be the underlying cause of hot flashes. A disorder in thermoregulation is responsible for the heat sensation, but the exact way in which the changing hormone levels affect thermoregulation is not fully understood.

Hot flashes are considered to be a characteristic symptom of the menopausal transition. They also occur in men and in circumstances other than the perimenopause in women as a result of certain uncommon medical conditions that affect the process of thermoregulation. For example, the carcinoid syndrome, which results from a type of endocrine tumor that secretes large amounts of the hormone serotonin can cause hot flashes. Hot flashes can also develop as a side effect of some medications and sometimes occur with severe infections or cancers that may be associated with fevers and/or night sweats.

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Why Do Hot Flashes Get Worse At Night How To Stop Them

There comes a period in every womans life where their biological clock reaches the time where menopause begins. When it comes to the sexual fertility of a woman, menstruation is the milestone that marks the physiological readiness to bear children. And at the opposite end of the time spectrum, menopause is the phase of life that signals the end of fertility for women. Menopause is the point in a womans life where she stops having her period and naturally occurs between the ages of 45-50 years old. However, there is no rhyme or reason as to which symptoms are experienced or the duration of the menopausal phases from woman to woman. One of the most notable symptoms of menopause and the time period leading up to menopause is hot flashes. Below, we will explain in more detail the phases of menopause, the symptoms and how to deal with them, specifically hot flashes.

There Is No Escaping The Impact Menopause Will Have On Us Women We Will Come Out Changed

However, its up to us, exactly how much we let that impact shape us.

If youd like to start taking back control of your menopause journey, join our The Menopause Effect email list and well send you tips, techniques, research findings and other useful info.

P.S. If you want a bit more than tips and info, check out Dr Michelle Gordons upcoming free Online Menopause Workshop.


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What Causes Night Sweats In Females

Night sweats are fairly common in women and can be caused by different hormonal changes that occur inside the female body. Women who are going through both perimenopause and menopause are likely to develop this sweaty-issue, and the night sweats can be brutal. Perimenopause is a normal phase a woman goes through pre-menopause where the ovaries produce less estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone this will lead to irregularity in menstrual periods. This altering change in levels of estrogen is the reason behind the intense sweating that happens at night.

Other than perimenopause and menopause there are other causes that can elicit night sweats such as the following:

  • Infections
  • And side effects from medication

When Should I Be Concerned About Night Sweats

Night Sweats

Having night sweats a few times is usually nothing to worry about. But talk to your doctor if you often have night sweats or have other symptoms along with them. These might include fever, chills, pain, or unexpected weight loss.

Night sweats arent usually a cause for concern. In some cases, though, they may be a sign of an underlying medical condition that requires treatment. For example, night sweats are common in menopause, which usually starts around age 50. However, if you experience night sweats and other menopause symptoms before turning 40, its important to talk with your doctor. This may indicate a condition called primary ovarian insufficiency.

Its also important to seek medical attention if you develop night sweats that frequently happen, disturb your sleep, or are accompanied by other symptoms. For example, night sweats that occur with a high fever, cough, or unexplained weight loss may signify a serious medical condition. In addition, in those with lymphoma or HIV, night sweats may indicate that the condition progresses.

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What Causes Hot Flashes And Sweating During Menopause

Ellen Sarver Dolgen, Coronado, Calif.-based author of Shmirshky: The Pursuit of Hormone Happiness, found her life thrown upside down when perimenopause began in her late 40s. Her first hot flash happened while she was in a business meeting with all men.

âI felt a flush of heat come over me but I didnât want to pay much attention to it,â she told WebMD. But when she stood up she felt sweat dripping down the inseam of her pants. âThank goodness I carry a big purse because I think it makes my hips look smaller,â she says. She used her purse to hide the wet mark on her pants as she left the meeting. âIt was absolutely mortifying.â

Doctors think hot flashes and night sweats are a result of fluctuating or decreasing estrogen levels. When menstrual cycles finally stop, estrogen levels drop fairly dramatically, Omicioli says.

The drop may impact a part of the brain that regulates body temperature. We all have a thermal neutral zone, which means our body temperature stays stable even when the temperature around us changes slightly. Theoretically, a drop in estrogen levels may narrow the thermal neutral zone, so that small changes in outside temperature cause a rise in body heat.

Your body is programmed to keep your core temperature the same, so when the air temperature rises, blood pours into blood vessels in your skin. Youâll become flushed and start to sweat.

There are a couple of other theories about why menopause and excessive sweating tend to go hand in hand.

Research On Risks Of Menopause Hormone Therapy

In 2002, a study that was part of the Women’s Health Initiative , funded by NIH, was stopped early because participants who received a certain combination and dosage of estrogen with progesterone were found to have a significantly higher risk of stroke, heart attacks, breast cancer, dementia, urinary incontinence, and gallbladder disease. This study raised significant concerns at the time and caused many women to become wary of using hormones.

However, research reported since then found that younger women are at less risk and have more potential benefits than was suggested by the WHI study. The negative effects of the WHI hormone treatments mostly affected women who were over age 60 and postmenopausal. Newer hormone formulations seem to have less risk and may provide benefits that outweigh possible risks for certain women during the menopausal transition. Studies continue to evaluate the benefit, risk, and long-term safety of hormone therapy.

Before taking hormones to treat menopause symptoms, about your medical and family history and any concerns or questions about taking hormones. If hormone therapy is right for you, it should be at the lowest dose, for the shortest period of time it remains effective, and in consultation with a doctor.

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How Are Night Sweats Treated

Treatment depends on the cause of the night sweats. For menopause-related night sweats, hormone therapy estrogen alone or with progestin is one option. Hormone therapy can also help with other symptoms of menopause including bone loss and vaginal dryness. Estrogen replacement therapy should not be used in women with a history of breast cancer. All hormone therapies carry some risks, including blood clots and gallbladder inflammation.

Non-estrogen medications used to treat hot flashes include:

  • Megestrol
  • Antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Clonidine

Non-drug treatments for night sweats from any cause include:

  • Wearing loose-fitting, lightweight, cotton pajamas
  • Using layered bedding that can be removed as needed during the night
  • Turning on a bedroom fan/opening windows
  • Sipping cool water throughout the night
  • Keeping a cold pack under a pillow, then turning your pillow over to rest your head on a cool surface
  • Avoiding common night sweat triggers such as alcohol, spicy foods, caffeine, cigarettes
  • De-stressing through deep breathing, relaxation, and exercise
  • Undergoing hypnosis to help relax and focus on feeling cool
  • Exercising daily. Walking, swimming, dancing, and bicycling are all good choices.

Treatments For Menopausal Symptoms

Treatment options for hot flashes, night sweats

Non-pharmacological treatments

There are several drug-free ways to reduce the impact of hot flushes and night sweats. These include:

  • Counselling and psychological treatment such as cognitive behaviour therapy .
  • Hypnosis may also be helpful.
  • Some women also benefit from acupuncture.

Whilst paced breathing, exercise and relaxation programs may be helpful for your general physical and emotional health, they do not significantly reduce menopausal symptoms.

Non-hormonal drug treatments

Several prescription medications have been shown to reduce hot flushes and night sweats. Unfortunately, these do not improve vaginal dryness. Prescription medications for hot flushes and sweats include:

  • certain antidepressants
  • a drug called gabapentin
  • a blood pressure medication called clonidine.

These drugs may reduce hot flushes and nights sweats from around 40-60 per cent . Using antidepressants and using treatments that improve sleep may also improve mood.

For more information see the fact sheet Treating hot flushes: An alternative to menopausal hormone therapy

Menopausal Hormone Therapy

Menopausal hormone therapy contains oestrogen to treat menopausal symptoms and may contain a progestogen to protect the lining of the uterus from cancer in women who have not had a hysterectomy. Menopausal hormone therapy is also known as hormone replacement therapy or hormone therapy .

See the fact sheet Menopausal Hormone Therapy for more information on:

Compounded or bioidentical hormone therapy

For advice

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Lifestyle Changes To Improve Hot Flashes

Before considering medication, first try making changes to your lifestyle. If hot flashes , lower the temperature in your bedroom and try drinking small amounts of cold water before bed. Layer your bedding so it can be adjusted as needed and turn on a fan. Here are some other lifestyle changes you can make:

  • Dress in layers that can be removed at the start of a hot flash.
  • Carry a portable fan to use when a hot flash strikes.
  • Avoid , spicy foods, and caffeine. These can make menopausal symptoms worse.
  • , not only for hot flashes, but for your overall health.
  • Try to . Women who are overweight or obese may experience more frequent and severe hot flashes.
  • Explore mind-body practices. Some early-stage research has shown that hypnotherapy and mindfulness meditation could help with management of hot flashes.

What Causes Night Sweats In Men

Our bodies want to stay at approximately the same temperature, a safe range called the thermoneutral zone. Temperatures lower than this zone cause us to shiver and raise our internal temperature, while higher temperatures provoke sweating to cool us down. Men usually have a lower tolerance for heat than women do, but your sex is only part of how your body determines your thermoneutral zone.

Many conditions and physiological factors can trigger night sweats via changes to the thermoneutral zone, either by narrowing the range of acceptable temperatures or temporarily raising the thermoneutral zone range, which first causes shivering and chills that are followed by sweating when the thermoneutral zone returns to normal. Some of these triggers are harmless or even related to positive lifestyle changes, while others involve health conditions that may require treatment.

Your doctor is your best resource if you are concerned about night sweats. They are able to diagnose any underlying medical conditions and help you find ways to alleviate your symptoms.

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Causes Of Night Sweats In Middle

Women in their 40s and 50s report more night sweat episodes than any other cohort in the United States. While the most common cause of night sweats in this age group is menopause, there are a number of other possibilities that can cause people to experience night sweats. Even when night sweats are connected to menopause, there are certain habits or events that can trigger them.

Ways To Manage Menopausal Night Sweats

Pin on The Menopausal Transition

    Hot flashes and night sweats are some of the most common and intense symptoms of menopause. More than two-thirds of women get them during perimenopause and menopause.

    If youve ever had a hot flash, you know what it feels like. Your face, neck, and chest suddenly flush. You feel overheated and sweaty, and your heart might start racing.

    And if you get hot flashes during the day, chances are good that you get night sweats too. Night sweats are hot flashes that happen while youre trying to sleep. They can be so severe that they wake you up and keep you from getting restful sleep.

    Hormonal changes are often to blame for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. You cant change the process your body goes through during menopause, but theres a lot you can do to manage your symptoms.

    Daniel McDonald, MD, , and our team at OB/GYN Specialists in Denton, Texas, provide comprehensive menopause care and hormonal optimization for women. If night sweats are keeping you awake, its time to find treatment options that work.

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