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Night Sweats (cont.)

What causes night sweats?

Night sweating can arise from harmless situations or serious disease. If your bedroom is unusually hot or you are using too many bedclothes, you may begin to sweat during sleep - and this is normal. In order to distinguish night sweats that arise from medical causes from those that occur because one's surroundings are too warm, doctors generally refer to true night sweats as severe hot flashes occurring at night that can drench sleepwear and sheets, and that are not related to an overheated environment. It is important to note that flushing (a warmth and redness of the face or trunk) may also be hard to distinguish from true night sweats.

There are many different causes of night sweats. Some of the known conditions that can cause night sweats are:

1. Menopause

The hot flashes that accompany the menopausal transition can occur at night and cause sweating. This is a very common cause of night sweats in perimenopausal women.

2. Idiopathic hyperhidrosis

Idiopathic hyperhidrosis is a condition in which the body chronically produces too much sweat without any identifiable medical cause.

3. Infections: Classically, tuberculosis is the infection most notoriously associated with night sweats. However, bacterial infections, such as those that cause endocarditis (inflammation of the heart valves), osteomyelitis (inflammation within the bones), and abscesses all may result in night sweats. Night sweats are also a symptom of HIV/AIDS.

4. Cancers

Patient Comments

Night sweats are an early symptom of some cancers. The most common type of cancer associated with night sweats is lymphoma. Leukemia also may cause night sweats. However, people who have an undiagnosed cancer frequently have other symptoms as well, such as unexplained weight loss and fevers.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/6/2016

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Night Sweats:

Night Sweats In Women - Treatment

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Night Sweats - Describe Your Experience

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Night Sweats - Menopause

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Night Sweats - Cancers

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Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is an unusual lymphoma that can manifest with constitutional symptoms (eg, fever, weight loss, night sweats) termed B-type symptoms.

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