Do Certain Vitamins Help Prevent Night Sweats?

Assortment of raw meats
Animal products are the main sources of vitamin B-12. (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

Night sweats can make it difficult to get enough sleep. They're classified as severe hot flashes that cause excessive sweating and can result in wet bedding and sleepwear. They can occur for a number of different reasons, most of which won't be helped by taking any type of vitamin. The main exception is in the case of vitamin B-12 deficiency. Check with your doctor if you are experiencing night sweats, as they could be due to a serious health problem.

Vitamin B-12 and Night Sweats

An article published in the Scottish Medical Journal in November 2014 noted that vitamin B-12 deficiency could cause night sweats in some cases, so vitamin B-12 therapy could help limit their occurrence for certain people. Vitamin B-12 isn't likely to help with your night sweats unless you suffer from a deficiency of this vitamin, however.

Who's at Risk

People who are strict vegans, those who take medications to reduce their stomach acid, elderly individuals, people who've had weight-loss surgery and people with celiac or Crohn's disease are more likely to experience vitamin B-12 deficiency. This type of deficiency can cause difficulty walking, tingling or numbness in your extremities, fatigue, memory loss, yellow skin, a swollen tongue, anemia and paranoia. If you're worried you may be deficient in vitamin B-12, see your doctor to have your vitamin B-12 levels checked.

Recommended Intake

Adults should consume at least 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12 each day. Good sources include clams and other types of seafood, red meat, milk, yogurt, cheese and fortified breakfast cereals. Only animal products are natural sources of vitamin B-12, so vegans need to get their vitamin B-12 from fortified foods or supplements. People with reduced levels of stomach acid should do the same, as they may have trouble absorbing vitamin B-12 from other foods.

Other Potential Causes

Night sweats can occur due to cancer, low blood sugar, sleep apnea, menopause, an overactive thyroid, infections such as tuberculosis, alcohol or drug abuse, gastroesophageal reflux disease or as a side effect of taking certain medications, including prednisolone or antidepressants. Stress, exercising before bedtime, using too many blankets, an overheated bedroom and spicy foods or hot drinks before bedtime could increase your risk for night sweats as well. See your doctor for a professional diagnosis.

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