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What causes night sweats, recurring headaches, chills and hot flashes?

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Posted on Fri, 22 May 2015
Question: Since Friday I have been experiencing the following symptoms with increasing intensity: night-sweats (I wake up drenched), full-body fatigue, off and on headaches, chills (sometimes lasting hours) alternating with "hot flashes," and random body aches. Even the smallest amount of activity causes me to nap for 2-3 hours, and I am a generally healthy and active person. No recent lifestyle changes, no new meds or medication changes, no family history of chronic fatigue, cancer, thyroid problems, or other pertinent/related illness. Skin/hair appear normal, regular bodily functions.

I went to a walk-in clinic and the doc said it could be anything from anemia to a low-grade virus; blood work was done but I have not gotten the results yet, which suggest to me that they didn't find anything worth calling about. I have been staying hydrated, eating well, and trying to stay active, but even walking up the stairs tires me out. I have not been out of the country recently or traveled to areas that pose a high risk for West Nile or Lyme disease (northern NC a few weeks ago, currently reside in Great Falls, MT). The only known exposure I have had recently to illness was being exposed to a sinus infection (both the kids I nanny had sinus/ear infections), but I have no upper respiratory problems, no cold-like symptoms, just the fatigue, like after you donate blood and your body is low on RBCs and you just feel generally weak and tired? That's how I feel.

Wondering what it might be, how it might be treated, and what I can do to return to normal function.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Topiwala (16 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Endocrine

Detailed Answer:
Sorry to learn about your medical problems.

Yes it is quite likely your labs came back normal but it is very important to be absolutely certain of this.

When I see someone like you I make sure the following tests are normal:

CBC
CMP
TSH
Free T4
Serum Cortisol at 8 am

And if your periods are not regular, then it would be worth testing

Prolactin
FSH
LH
Estradiol

Once these are all normal, it is unlikely you have any hormone-related causes for your symptoms.

It also helps to check the blood levels of 25 hydroxy vitamin D, because deficiency of this vitamin can cause muscle aches.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Shehzad Topiwala (41 minutes later)
Sorry if this is a duplicate message, I thought I submitted this but maybe it did not go through?

I am not sure if this would have have any effect on my endocrine system but it is probably worth mentioning: my periods are regular, but only because I use birth control to regulate them (since 2008). I am currently on Reclipsen (thinyl estradiol and desogestrel) but have also tried Yaz, Gianvi, and Ortho Tri-cyclen Lo, which were not successful in terms of period regulalation (although the Yaz was stopped because of its possible side effects). Could that be a contributing factor to the symptoms I am currently experiencing? I started on the Reclipsen about 4 months ago., and it seems to be working for me in regards to regulating my period (other history: not sexually active, no chance of pregnancy, no other hormone therapies).

And my second question, although not specifically medically-related: how can I follow up with this walk-in clinic Doc I saw to request that additional blood tests be run (based on your suggestions)? She is not my regular doc so I am not sure how best to follow up on the blood work that was done to see what they tested and additional tests they might do. When the techs took my blood sample today, they collected 3 vials (red top, light purple top, and light green top), but I am unsure which specific panels the dr. ordered.

Thanks for your insight!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Topiwala (4 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Follow up

Detailed Answer:
I follow what you are saying.

Stopping Yaz should not result in the symptoms you are experiencing.

You will be best served by seeing an Endocrinologist in person who will then have the opportunity to examine you thoroughly.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Shehzad Topiwala

Endocrinologist

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 1663 Questions

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What causes night sweats, recurring headaches, chills and hot flashes?

Brief Answer: Endocrine Detailed Answer: Sorry to learn about your medical problems. Yes it is quite likely your labs came back normal but it is very important to be absolutely certain of this. When I see someone like you I make sure the following tests are normal: CBC CMP TSH Free T4 Serum Cortisol at 8 am And if your periods are not regular, then it would be worth testing Prolactin FSH LH Estradiol Once these are all normal, it is unlikely you have any hormone-related causes for your symptoms. It also helps to check the blood levels of 25 hydroxy vitamin D, because deficiency of this vitamin can cause muscle aches.