The term 'night sweats' itself is self-explanatory. It refers to a condition, wherein an individual experiences excessive sweating at night. So, what is so concerning about night sweats? The main worrying fact is that normal perspiration occurs due to very hot temperature or after performing physical activities. While in case of true night sweats, excess perspiration is perceived without any apparent reason.
Of course, sweating at night can be a result of overdressing or overheated bedroom. Thus, a person may experience night sweats because of harmless reasons, or as an indication of some severe medical complications. For example, in a few cases of excess sweating at night, cancer is the root cause. In this article, we will try to find out the probable night sweats causes, and how night sweats and cancer are related to each other.
Possible Causes of Night Sweats
As we all are aware, medication therapy is mostly accompanied with adverse effects. Night sweating due to medicine side effect is also a common problem. Besides this, there are other factors for triggering excess sweating at night. Mention below are some of the probable medical causes of night sweats.
- Low Blood Sugar - Medically referred to as hypoglycemia, low blood sugar levels is often a primary cause of excess sweating at night.
- Hormonal Imbalances - This refers to the abnormal changes in the hormonal levels of the body, which at times cause excessive perspiration at night.
- Menopause - In women who are in their menopausal stages, hot flashes and night sweats are resulted due to bodily changes that take place because of menopause.
- Infections - Not all types of infectious diseases lead to night sweats. Tuberculosis, bacterial infections, and viral diseases may cause sweating at night.
- Cancer - Last but not the least, night sweats are manifested as an early sign of some cancer forms.
Understanding Night Sweats and Cancer
Sweating that occurs particularly at night is a fairly common case. With reference to a primary health care data, more than 40 percent people out of 2267 complain of night sweat problem. But, what most people cannot digest is, night sweats can be a warning sign of dreadful cancer disease. There are approximately 200 types of cancer, which are differentiated based on the type of organ affected and whether the cancer cells are spreading or not. The actual connection between increased sweating at night and cancer is not known. Medical researchers are of the opinion that cancerous cells release different kinds of hormones, which trigger excessive sweating during nighttime.
The intensity of night sweats due to cancer may vary from one patient to another. Some may experience mild sweating, whereas others may have severe problems and they need to change their clothes several times. Though not all, excessive sweating because of cancer is observed in many of the cancer types.
For instance, in most of the patients with pancreatic cancer, night sweats are reported as a common warning sign manifested before undergoing differential diagnosis. Not only this, other types of cancer such as lymphoma (tumor developed in the lymph tissues) and leukemia are also accompanied with night sweats as a noticeable symptom. Besides manifesting as an early sign, night sweats are also a side effect of cancer treatment drugs and therapies.
To be on the safer side, people with frequent perception of true night sweats should seek advice from a qualified physician as a step towards precaution. For any medical problem, precaution and early diagnosis can help minimize and avoid future complications. The same is applicable while dealing with cancer, a fatal disease listed as the leading cause of death worldwide.