In children, night sweats may be caused by something as benign as a warm room or may be triggered off by an underlying medical condition. Continue reading to know what causes these night sweats.
Although we usually associate it with menopausal women, night sweats are common in children as well. In fact, children are more likely to have hyperhidrosis because of the higher proportion of sweat glands as compared to the body size and due to the temperature regulation system in the body not having matured.
Most of the time, excessive sweating is caused by the child having too many layers of clothing to bed or having warm blankets. In such a case, adjusting the temperature of the room and dressing the child in lighter night-clothes can help. Other than a warm room, excessive sweating is also caused by some underlying medical condition. If the sweating at night is accompanied by fever, snoring, and breathlessness, then it may be best to watch out for certain diseases that may be causing the problem.
Causes of Night Sweats in Children
Autoimmune Diseases: Autoimmune diseases are caused by the body’s reaction to the tissue damage caused by the immune system. These immune disorders are accompanied by fever and coughing up of blood.
Cerebral Palsy: Birth injuries can affect the physical motor skills of a child without doing any significant damage to their intellect. This brain disorder is referred to as cerebral palsy. Along with the night sweats, the other symptoms of cerebral palsy include movement problems, mental impairment, developmental delay, seizures, and hearing disorders.
Cancer: Excessive sweating at night can also be a signal of cancer. Early signs of lymphoma, both Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s, are associated with night sweats in both adults and children. Liver tumors or malignant melanoma (skin cancer) are also associated with sweating at night.
Diabetes Insipidus: Although the name may sound similar to the high blood sugar problem or diabetes mellitus, this disease is actually a metabolic disorder associated with the kidneys and the pituitary gland of the body. Apart from frequent night sweats, the symptoms of the disease include excessive urination and bedwetting.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Characterized by heartburn, chest pain, and a difficulty in swallowing, gastroesophageal reflux disease is the result of the regurgitation of stomach acid into the esophagus and the mouth.
Hyperthyroidism: A child having an overactive thyroid can be plagued with night sweats. Excess production of the thyroid hormones can lead to excessive sweating, fatigue, weight loss, and abdominal pain.
Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that affects your child’s respiratory system, particularly the lungs. It is caused when the immune system loses its resistance to fight off the bacterial infection, leading to very high fevers and night sweats.
HIV/AIDS: If the night sweats are accompanied by flu-like symptoms, then it might be a good idea to consider the possibility of the child having contracted the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV-AIDS. Blood transfusions through an infected needle or a shot with an improperly sterilized needle can cause HIV in children.
Other causes of the night sweats in children include lung infections, pus-filled abscess, and hereditary disorders of the peripheral and autonomic nervous system. Some of the common symptoms of the medical condition include fever, diarrhea, weight loss, and constant fatigue. If you suspect that your child is suffering from any of the medical problems listed above, then it is best to consult a doctor for the appropriate treatment. Although they might appear quite insignificant, night sweating may indicate a serious or potential life-threatening medical condition. With successful diagnosis, the problem of night sweats can be resolved forever.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice.