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Why am I sweating so much at night?

By Anonymous May 26, 2009 - 8:39am
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I am a 27 year old woman, and I have been having severe, soaking night sweats on and off for about 3 years. I have seen my doctor about this, and he tested me for tuberculosis, thyroid problems, hormone disorders, and even a full CT scan looking for lymphoma. Everything was normal, and my doctor was stumped. I have been taking Effexor for the past 2 years on and off, but the night sweats started before I started taking the drug and continued even when I hadn't taken it in about 9 months. My mother had menopause rather early (at age 36), but my doctor ruled out early menopause after blood tests. The sweating seems worse when I sleep very heavily and have more vivid dreams. What is going on with me?

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Hi, Anon, and welcome to EmpowHer! Thank you for your question.

I can see why you're frustrated. Most of the time when women are experiencing night sweats, they are in perimenopause or menopause, and are dealing with hormones that are changing.

The fact that your mother went through menopause early still makes me wonder if you are in perimenopause. Did the doctor specifically test your estrogen, progesterone and FSH, and determine that they were all at "normal" levels? (Of course, one woman's normal is another woman's low or high, and we never know that because we don't tend to get tested when our hormones are functioning well. I wish it was customary for all of us to be tested for our hormone levels once in our early 20s as a baseline for later).

How long ago were the hormone tests? And it was just a blood test, not saliva?

Here's a quiz designed by an MD that helps determine whether you have a hormonal imbalance. Do you have other symptoms besides the night sweats?


It also can make a difference as to when your blood is tested. I found one site that said doctors recommend you get your blood tested on the third day of your cycle, and do it twice, one month apart. Here's that information:


Are your cycles still regular? It's one of the primary symptoms of perimenopause. Here is the Mayo Clinic's full list of symptoms:


Does any of that ring true for you? If so, do you like your doctor? I might suggest either going back to your doctor and talking about having the hormone tests redone, or seeking out an ob/gyn that specializes in hormones/perimenopause and menopause and seeing if the results are any different.

If you're just not haveing any other symptoms of perimenopause, the equation is a little harder. Your doctor was right to do multiple tests, because there are many possible causes of night sweats. Menopause is the first mentioned, but there are several others here you might want to read about:


Don't give up! If your doctor is baffled, it might be time to seek another opinion?

May 28, 2009 - 8:08am
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