Night Sweats: 10 Causes of Night Sweats

Author By: Tallene Hacatoryan, MS, RD, CLT on 27 Mar, 2018

If you are wearing too many layers or sleeping in a hot environment, this may cause sweating at night. However, the term night sweats, also known as hyperhidrosis, is used for severe hot flashes at night, unrelated to environment. This is not characterized by flushing, warmth and redness to the face, rather, night sweats are a bit more extreme in severity.

Night sweats are often repeated episodes related to a medical condition or illness and may be associated with fever, chills, weight loss, localized pain, cough, diarrhea or other symptoms that are concerning. It is important to consult a health-care professional for unexplained night sweats that do not resolve over time. Treatment of night sweats depends on the underlying cause of the problem, which is a major part of resolving the issue.

Night Sweats Cause #1: Diabetic Hypoglycemia

Low blood sugar occurs when too much insulin is in the blood and there is not enough glucose for it to bind to. Night sweats from hypoglycemia may be caused by medication and is a sign of poor diabetes management. Many diabetes management medications can be more sensitive to some people than others and should be managed properly. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is crucial to prevent and treat diabetes.

When blood sugar levels are too high or too low, nerve function is compromised. This is known as diabetic neuropathy. According to the American Diabetes Association, around half the people with diabetes experience neuropathy as well.

If nerves that control sweat glands become damaged, they may send wrong messages or none at all. Neuropathy may cause excessive sweating as a result which manifests itself as night sweats.

Night Sweats


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