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What causes night sweats?

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Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 11707 Questions
My 85 year old mother suffers from severe head sweating at night. The doctors are offering no cause or solution. She does not have internet and asked me to see if I could find out anything that would offer some insight. Thank you for your help. She is 5ft 5in tall and weighs only 105 lbs. She does have some issues with high blood pressure.
Posted Tue, 25 Feb 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 53 minutes later
Brief Answer: Can be due to weakness. Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for trusting us with your health concern. Head sweats at night can be an absolutely normal finding. Elderly thin built people do have lower basal body temperature intermittently. Another cause might be a recent viral infection which your mother might have suffered in the recent past. The night sweats can be the result of weakness arising out of such an infection. Night sweats and a very low body temp can indicate an under-active thyroid - this is the gland that regulates our metabolism.You need to get her thyroid levels checked. Another common reason is environmental factors, such as too many covers or heavy pajamas She can discuss these with her physician and get a few blood tests done to find out the cause. Please feel free to discuss further. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have. Wishing you good health. Regards. Dr. Rakhi Tayal. For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL
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Follow-up: What causes night sweats? 21 minutes later
The sweats are just the head and not the rest of the body. Her thyroid has recently been checked and found to be normal. Other than the viral infection, are there any other factors that could be in play here? Thanks again, XXXX
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 4 hours later
Brief Answer: Other factors detailed below. Detailed Answer: Hello. Thanks for writing again. If the thyroid functions are normal then this sweating may not be indicative of any systemic disorder. It may be worsened with intake of caffeine, use of nicotine and consumption of certain food and drinks. Stress anxiety menopause diabetes etc can also cause such sweating. In case the sweating is causing her distress you may consult a physician for prescription medicines like anticholinergics. Hope my answer is helpful. If you do not have any clarifications, you can close the discussion and rate the answer. Wish you good health. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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