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Is there a connection between being underweight and night sweats?

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Posted on Tue, 11 Dec 2012
Question: Is there a connection between being underweight and night sweats on a regular basis?
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (2 hours later)
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

Underweight is defined as a BMI (body mass index) of less than 18. BMI is calculated by dividing the weight in KG by the height in m (with the height value squared).

Night sweats can have different causes such as:
Menopause
infections- infections can result in night sweats, the infections, if severe or untreated, can also be associated with a decrease in weight. Tuberculosis is the infection most commonly associated with night sweats.
Some cancers can also be associated with night sweats and weight loss - examples lymphomas
There are hormonal conditions that can also be associated with both of these symptoms.

A diagnosis of the exact cause of the symptoms can be made by a thorough history and examination by a doctor. In addition blood tests will have to be done- these would include a full blood count (can diagnose infection and give an indication of some cancers ), ESR- this is a non specific marker for inflammation in the body- it does not say where the problem is, just that there is a problem that needs further investigation, electrolytes, hormonal levels.

If possible, you may want to consider visiting your doctor for an assessment

I hope this helps , feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16811 Questions

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Is there a connection between being underweight and night sweats?

Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

Underweight is defined as a BMI (body mass index) of less than 18. BMI is calculated by dividing the weight in KG by the height in m (with the height value squared).

Night sweats can have different causes such as:
Menopause
infections- infections can result in night sweats, the infections, if severe or untreated, can also be associated with a decrease in weight. Tuberculosis is the infection most commonly associated with night sweats.
Some cancers can also be associated with night sweats and weight loss - examples lymphomas
There are hormonal conditions that can also be associated with both of these symptoms.

A diagnosis of the exact cause of the symptoms can be made by a thorough history and examination by a doctor. In addition blood tests will have to be done- these would include a full blood count (can diagnose infection and give an indication of some cancers ), ESR- this is a non specific marker for inflammation in the body- it does not say where the problem is, just that there is a problem that needs further investigation, electrolytes, hormonal levels.

If possible, you may want to consider visiting your doctor for an assessment

I hope this helps , feel free to ask any other questions