Night Sweats (cont.)

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Hypoglycemia

Sometimes low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) levels can cause sweating. People who are taking insulin or oral anti-diabetic medications may experience hypoglycemia at night that is accompanied by sweating.

Hormone disorders

Sweating or flushing can be seen with several hormone disorders, including pheochromocytoma (a type of adrenal gland tumor that overproduces hormones known as catecholamines), carcinoid syndrome (overproduction of certain hormones by tumors of the lung or gastrointestinal system), and hyperthyroidism (excessive levels of thyroid hormones).

Neurologic conditions

Uncommonly, neurologic conditions may cause increased sweating and possibly lead to night sweats including:

Night sweats treatment

The treatment for night sweats depends upon the underlying cause.

In summary, night sweats are usually a harmless annoyance; however, they are sometimes a sign of an underlying medical condition. Persons with unexplained night sweats should seek medical care.

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.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/1/2013

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