Night Sweats

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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What are the causes of night sweats in women, men, and children?

There are many different causes of night sweats. To determine what is causing night sweats in a particular patient, a doctor must obtain a detailed medical history and order tests to decide if an underlying medical condition is responsible for the night sweats.

What other symptoms accompany night sweats?

Depending upon the underlying cause of the night sweats, other symptoms may occur in association with the sweating. For example:

  • With certain infections and cancers,fever can develop along with night sweats.
  • Shaking and chills can sometimes occur if a fever is present.
  • With cancers such as lymphoma, unexplainedweight loss can occur.
  • Night sweats due to the menopausal transition are typically accompanied by other symptoms of menopause such as vaginal dryness, daytime hot flashes, and mood changes.
  • Night sweats that occur as a side effect of medications can be accompanied by other medication side effects, depending upon the specific drug.
  • Conditions that result in increased sweating in general (as opposed to only night sweats) will result in increased sweating at other hours of the day.
Reviewed on 6/23/2016
References
REFERENCE:

Mold, JW, Mathew, MK, Belgore, S, DeHaven, M. Prevalence of night sweats in primary care patients: an OKPRN and TAFP-Net collaborative study. J Fam Pract 2002; 51:452.

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