Perimenopause Answers

Perimenopause – Night Sweats

Perimenopause changes are usually abrupt and sometimes disconcerting. But among all of the usual suspects (irregular menstrual periods, mood swings and weight gain in the midsection, among others), night sweats are usually the most bothersome of them all, especially since there’s nothing you can do about it when it happens, female hormone imbalance and all.

Night sweats loosely refer to excessive sweating at night time. This would sometimes happen in the middle of the night – hot flashes occurring, which may lead to a little insomnia (or at least will give you a little trouble in going back to sleep). When you don’t get to sleep again, it will obviously be a long and tiring day for you (as will normally be the case), and you’ll get to experience another symptom, mood swings or sudden bouts of irritation.

But before you declare yourself perimenopausal, there are some factors to consider. Ask yourself and look around: Is the room too hot? If it is, turn on the AC or open a window. Were you too stressed during the day? If you are, then it can also be a cause. Too much stress can make you breakdown, even when you are asleep. (As a friend points out, it visits her, even in her dreams).

Are you taking medication? Some drugs, such as antidepressants, cortisone medications, paracetamol and acetaminophen, even in minute quantities, may cause you to have night sweats. Some drugs can cause flushing (which may also be confused with the sweats) – tamoxifen (if taken in high doses), niacin, nitroglycerine, and hydralazine among others. (I’d say that Viagra too can also cause that, but I’d like to assume that you’re not taking … that.)

There are also some medical conditions that need to be checked out before determining that you are at the verge of perimenopause. You should go see a doctor to have yourself checked to eliminate the following possible illnesses:

  • Idiopathic hyperhidrosis (a condition in which the body produces too much sweat without any reason)
  • infections (such as tuberculosis, endocarditis (inflammation of the heart valves)
  • abscesses and osteomyelitits (inflammation of and within the bones)
  • cancers (specifically lymphoma)
  • hypoglycemia (low blood glucose can possibly cause sweating at any time of the day, not just at night)
  • hormone disorders (such as carcinoid syndrome and hyperthyroidism)
  • neurologic conditions (such as autonomic neuropathy, dysreflexia, and a stroke are the usual suspects).
  • AIDS infection

Which is why it is best to be safe than sorry. Make sure that you go to the doctor before doing or declaring anything rash – like you having perimenopause because of the night sweats.

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