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.
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.
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
There are many different causes of night sweats. Some of the known conditions
that can cause night sweats are:
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 women at or near menopause.
hyperhidrosis: a condition in which the body chronically
produces too much sweat without any identifiable medical cause.
tuberculosis is the
infection most notoriously
associated with night sweats. However,
bacterial infections, such as
endocarditis (inflammation of the
(inflammation within the bones), and abscesses all may result in night sweats.
Night sweats are also a symptom of
AIDS virus (HIV) infection.
Cancers: Night sweats are an early symptom of some cancers. The most
common type of cancer associated with night sweats is
lymphoma. However, people
who have an undiagnosed cancer frequently have other symptoms as well, such as
unexplained weight loss and fevers.
Medications: Taking certain medications can lead to
night sweats. Antidepressant medications are a common type of medication that
can lead to night sweats. All types of
antidepressants can cause night sweats as
a side effect, with a range in incidence from eight to 22% of persons taking
antidepressant drugs. Other psychiatric drugs have also been associated with
night sweats. Medicines taken to lower
fever such as
acetaminophen can sometimes lead to sweating. Other types of drugs can cause
flushing, which, as mentioned above, may be confused with night sweats. Some of
the many drugs that can cause flushing include
niacin (taken in the higher doses used for
hydralazine (Apresoline), nitroglycerine, and
Many other drugs not mentioned above, including
cortisone medications, such as
prednisolone, may also be associated with flushing or night
Hypoglycemia: Sometimes low blood
glucose can cause
sweating. People who are taking insulin or oral anti-diabetic medications may experience hypoglycemia
at night that is accompanied by sweating.
Neurologic conditions: Uncommonly, neurologic
conditions including autonomic dysreflexia, post-traumatic syringomyelia,
stroke, and autonomic neuropathy may cause increased sweating and possibly lead to night sweats.
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