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Sussing out night sweats

HealthBy Sunday World
Sussing out night sweats

As the weather gets warmer, you may be prone to getting a lot sweatier. But if you're someone who wakes up in the night feeling drenched all year round, there could be a few reasons why.

Starting with the most simple, your room may be too warm, or perhaps your quilt is far heavier than it should be.

Jennifer Caudle, a board-certified family physician and assistant professor at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, notes that when she has healthy young people asking if it's normal, it's more than likely down to the environmental causes.

In these circumstances, try opening your window at night or opting for a lighter quilt - one that doesn't make you feel as though you're lying in a sauna.

But if you've tried this and neither works, it could be down to other factors.

Medication such as hormone therapy could trigger perspiration during the night, as well as some birth controls and antidepressants. You'd need to double check with your doctor or a pharmacist before assuming this, but there are cases in which sweating is a side effect of the prescription.

Sleep apnoea is another potential reason why you may be left dripping, especially if it's obstructive. Your breathing is affected with this condition and your airflow can be blocked for ten seconds or more, which as a result could build up perspiration. Try out treatments for sleep apnoea if it's serious, as there are other problems which could be solved if it's looked into.

Or it could indicate you have an infection, with tuberculosis being the one most commonly linked to night sweats. It's a multisystemic infectious disease and can be seriously dangerous if not caught quickly and treated. People who work in hospitals or other areas where people with the disease may be in close contact, such as nursing homes or homeless shelters, are more at risk of catching it, as are HIV sufferers, drug users and diabetics.

Perspiration may also be down to hormone disorders. Pheochromocytoma and carcinoid syndrome, which are tumours that trigger your body to produce more hormones than needed, might be the culprit, as could an overactive thyroid gland.

Or, if you're a woman, it could be the menopause, which is notably linked to hot flushes. If you also suffer from mood swings and dryness, then it's more than likely you're going through the change.

While it's rare, night sweats could potentially be from cancer, though you'd suffer other extreme side effects along with this.

As always, see a doctor if your night sweats are persistent and causing you worry.

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