When thinking of night sweats, one of the first thoughts usually goes to women who have reached menopause. The truth is, men get night sweats too. There are numerous things that can cause night sweats, ranging from minor to serious medical conditions that require immediate medical attention. After ruling out environmental factors, consulting with your doctor is your best bet in determining why you are experiencing night sweats.
Hyperhidrosis can affect a man or woman. It is a condition of uncontrollable sweating without any obvious separate medical cause, according to the Mayo Clinic's website. Avoiding triggers that cause you to sweat, such as caffeine, spicy food, smoking or alcohol is recommended. When going to bed, it may help to wear light clothing and to cool the bedroom using an air conditioner or fan. Managing any stresses in your life is important as the stress can build up throughout the day and result in night sweats. To help regulate the internal temperature of your body, drink at least six glasses of ice water over the course of the day.
Men who have very low levels of testosterone may experience night sweats, according to the Mayo Clinic. As a man begins to age, his levels of testosterone will decrease gradually until he begins to experience the symptoms of andropause, which is basically the male equivalent of menopause. Night sweats are just one of many symptoms that come along with andropause. In an effort to reduce the symptoms associated with andropause, many men choose to undergo hormone therapy procedures. Night sweats are also common in men who have reduced testosterone levels as a result of hormone therapy to treat prostate cancer.
Lymphoma is a form of cancer that attacks the lymphatic system. Since lymphoma interrupts your immune system, it can cause severe night sweats as well as itchy skin, fatigue and uncontrollable chills.
Certain respiratory infections can cause night sweats in both men and women. Respiratory infections are commonly overlooked when diagnosing night sweats, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Pneumonia, a bacterial infection that affects your lungs, can cause both fever and chills, which can lead to night sweats, according to MedlinePlus. The Epstein-Barr virus can cause infectious mononucleosis, which can also lead to night sweats. The AAFP reports that night sweats are more common during the acute phase of this infection.
- MayoClinic.com: Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating)
- MayoClinic.com: Medical Edge Newspaper Column: Periodic Night Sweats Not Uncommon For Men and Women
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Lymphoma
- MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Pneumonia
- American Academy of Family Physicians: Diagnosing Night Sweats