Night sweats are the episodes of nighttime sweating, that can be mild to profuse. Night sweats are medically termed as "sleep hyperhidrosis". They are much similar to the hot flashes that can affect women during their menopause period. Sleep hyperhidrosis in women is sometimes so intense that they can even interrupt sleep.
This excessive sweating problem affecting women's health, might lead to disturbance in many aspects of her daily life. Sudden and intense temperature, irregular heartbeat and headaches are some symptoms of night sweats in women.
Premenstrual syndrome is hence, a common cause of night sweats in ladies. Though not every woman experiences the symptoms of PMS, however, it is quite common. This hormonal imbalance leads to a lot of painful and irritating symptoms.
Pregnancy is another cause of night sweats experienced by women. This happens due to the fact that the hypothalamus in the brain starts generation extra amount of heat during pregnancy. This results in sweating during the nighttime as our body is designed to maintain a healthy temperature. Hormonal imbalances cause the hypothalamus to operate differently.
Of all the causes of night sweats, menopause is the most probable one. A woman's body spends years functioning as a productive woman of childbearing capability, and with menopause, this function is diminished and stopped completely. The hormone imbalance takes place during menopause and the problem of sweating can often be extreme during this period.
Idiopathic hyperhidrosis, infections, cancers, medication side effects, hypoglycemia, neurological conditions and hormone disorder are other causes of night sweats.
Night Sweats in Women Over 40
Night sweats are commonly associated with women going through menopause, which occurs during late forties or over 50. The time leading up to the end of menstruation is menopause. The actual period of menopause is when a woman has no menstruation for more than a year. This ending usually occurs when a woman is around the age of 50.
However, night sweating in women over 40 can also be due to the same reason as the symptoms might start in early forties in case of some women and last for fifteen years before actual menopause, a span of time called perimenopause.
Problem of night sweats often begins before the actual end of the menstrual cycle. It is an extremely slow process and the estrogen levels in body keep fluctuating throughout the menopause stage leading to many other health problems as well.
Since night sweat is a condition associated with women undergoing menopause, this problem is very rarely seen in elderly women. By the time a woman crosses her 70s, several changes have already taken place in her body. Most women by this age would have reached menopause. After menopause, several symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats disappear.
Remember that the causes of night sweats in elderly woman are quite different and not related to hormonal imbalance. It can be due to an infection or other serious condition and hence, needs to be diagnosed by a doctor. Doctor might sometimes recommend blood tests for zeroing on the causes in such cases.
Care to be Taken
Reducing the intake of spicy food as much as you can, is essential when you are suffering from the problem of night sweats. Also, garlic and onions should be specifically avoided by a woman prone to night sweats.
Including in high fiber foods and fresh juicy vegetables in routine diet is very important. Keeping yourself hydrated by drinking water will help control night sweats to a great extent.
Though, night sweats in women is a problem that is much common, it is necessary that one must not ignore it. So make sure that you consult your doctor for the right diagnosis and the right follow-up thereafter.