Saturday, April 2, 2011

Relieve Night Sweats and Sleep Easy

Nights sweats are caused by medical conditions other than menopause. Night sweats are a prominent symptom of tuberculosis and lymphoma and an important diagnostic factor with those suffering from HIV, acid reflux, mono, an infection, OSA (obstructive sleep apnea), hyperthyroidism, hypoglycemia and even drug or alcohol abuse. The cause for night sweats can be determined by a number of tests such as: HIV test, complete blood count, thyroid-stimulating hormone test, chest and abdominal scans and a bone marrow biopsy. Night sweats has been defined as drenching sweats that require the patient to get up during the night and change bedclothes. A person’s medical history and a complete physical exam along with medical tests will narrow the “why” for night sweats as there are many diagnostic results. In turn, once established, the diagnosis will determine the proper treatment and lifestyle changes required, or the “how”, to relieve night sweats and sleep easy.

[caption id="attachment_1068" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Relieve Night Sweats and Sleep Easy - Men have night sweats too"][/caption]

If you are menopausal your OB/GYN may recommend a FSH test and offer hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as a treatment for hot flashes and night sweats. For more information see: Cannot Sleep with Menopause. If you are overweight, experience daytime restlessness, snore and/or stop breathing for short periods throughout the night you may need to see a sleep specialist and have an overnight sleep study done at a sleep clinic. See: Overnight Sleep Study at a Sleep Clinic Center. Some foods and medications may interfere with some tests, so it is imperative that your doctor receive a list of your prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements. Foods to avoid are; tomatoes, red plums, pineapple, walnuts, avocado, eggplant and bananas. Drugs such as Robaxin, Valium, cough medicines and muscle relaxants should be reviewed with your doctor to see if it is necessary to stop taking them prior to a medical test due to the possibility of a false-negative result.

Medical history will be comprised of other symptoms such as fever, cough or weight loss, which are signs of tuberculosis. The most common complaint of an HIV infection is a fever, with or without night sweats. TB is also present in patients infected with HIV. Travel history may be helpful in evaluating the potential for other infectious diseases that cause night sweats. A low-grade fever along with drenching night sweats is a common systemic symptom of Hodgkin’s disease. Those that are diabetic and experience nocturnal hypoglycemia could have night sweats without other hypoglycemic symptoms. This is caused by missing a meal or over exercising. Some patients that are treated for gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD often have relief of their night sweats. If you suffer from hyperthyroidism it may lead to night sweats especially when your bedroom temperature is too high for sleeping. It is recommended that you keep your bedroom temperature under 70 degrees but those that experience night sweats may need a temperature below 65.

The medicine you are taking may cause or increase your night sweats such as antihypertensives, antidepressants, tamoxifen and niacin. An alcohol dependency may also result in night sweats. During the physical examination the patient’s temperature and blood pressure are taken as well as their body build should be documented. Their lymph nodes will be checked to see if they are tender and not firm. If firm it could be a sign of lymphoma or leukemia and a biopsy will be taken for diagnosis. The airway passage will be examined for extra tissue consistent in those that have OSA. If all findings are negative the patients night sweats are more likely due to being over heated during the night. They should report further symptoms and continue to have a yearly medical exam.

How to relieve night sweats and sleep easy? Here are some lifestyle changes and alternative treatments:

Lose weight. If you have a high body mass indicator or BMI you are at a higher risk for experiencing night sweats and hot flashes. Anything over 30 is considered high. The Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine did a study in 2003 and found a link between the amount of fat and night sweats. Your risk for night sweats decreases when your BMI drops to 24 or below.

[caption id="attachment_1066" align="aligncenter" width="405" caption="Relieve Night Sweats and Sleep Easy - BMI & Night Sweat Risk"][/caption]


Reduce or Stop drinking alcohol. A 2006 study at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst reported those that drink alcohol daily are at a higher risk of hot flashes, night sweats and day sweats. Stop smoking. Smoking increases the risk of both moderate and severe hot flashes.

Avoid Insomnia by taking natural approaches to sleep pattern problems. Make sure you calm your mind and body at least an hour before you retire. That means shutting down all electronics especially in the bedroom. No caffeine after lunch because caffeine takes 14 hours to be completely out of you system. No big meals at night, if you want a late night snack have a slice of turkey or a glass of milk, both high in the compound tryptophan which causes us to become drowsy. Keep your room dark, quiet and cozy. Try some aromatherapy like lavender scented candles or a hops filled pillow. Studies show they will help you relax and stay asleep throughout the night.

Alternatives to prescribed drugs, which are addictive and have unwanted side effects, the supplement melatonin which is a natural hormone produced in the pineal gland controls your sleep/wake cycle and promotes sleep. As we age we produce less melatonin and that is why people over the age of 50 find it harder to fall asleep at night. Melatonin should be taken after 9pm or dark as light interferes with melatonin’s effectiveness. Cherries are rich in melatonin, especially Montmorency cherries which have 6 times as much melatonin as any other type. Passion flower extract can induce sleep and acts like the drug benzodiazepine a sedative. Brew passion flower as a tea with honey for a natural sleep aid. Ashwagandha tea is an Indian tea that helps restore your immune system and will decrease inflammation. Valerian is also a sleep inducing herb without any side effects. It is advised to contact your doctor before taking any supplements as they may interfere with other medications and medical conditions.

If you are suffering from night sweats and want to find out the “why” and “how” to relieve them, have the following tested or at least discussed with your doctor when you have your next annual exam:

Heartburn, chronic indigestion or acid reflux
Thyroid test
Blood sugar level
Blood pressure
Constant low-grade fever

The content provided in Relieve Night Sweats and Sleep Easy is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

When purchasing a supplement on line it is recommended that you do not solely rely on the information presented. The information and statements regarding their products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or health condition. Therefore, they (the online distributor) and assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements made about the products.


GLG America Logo

No comments:

Post a Comment