Night sweats are usually associated with menopause, which can start as early as your late 30s or early 40s. The average age for menopause in the United States in 51. What happens if you are having night sweats, don't have other symptoms of menopause (mood swings, weight gain, vaginal dryness, low libido, and urinary urgency), and in your 20s and 30s?
Here are a few reasons for night sweats, even if you're far from menopause and your cycles are normal:
When estrogen decreases, the body's "thermoneutral zone" becomes narrower - a smaller window of ambient environmental temperature window your body will tolerate. When your body cannot tolerate the temperature anymore, the metabolic rate changes and uses evaporative heat loss (sweating). This estrogen dip is similar to what happens during menopause.
During a normal menstruation, estrogen is low for the first week (bleeding) and again on days 26 to 28, right before the period restarts.
Low Blood Sugar
A sudden drop in blood sugar levels can trigger adrenaline and cortisol, which can result in night sweats. This can happen in diabetics or in people who are eating an imbalanced diet - little protein and fat. Make sure to have protein, fat, and fiber at every meal to help regulate your blood sugar.
Anxiety increases your fight-or-flight signals, increasing cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. When in fight-or-flight, your peripheral blood vessels constrict. Temperature will increase and sweating is triggered to cool off the body.
If your estrogen is not being broken down and excreted in the body routinely, you can end up with excess estrogen metabolites nd ultimately, irregular menstrual cycles.
Infections and Cancer
Underlying cancer and infections such as tuberculosis, and parasites can cause night sweats. In these conditions, cytokines - inflammatory chemical messengers - are released in the blood, triggering changes in the thermoneutral zone.
Alcohol and Medications
Alcohol and pharmaceutical medications such as antidepressants, metformine, and opioids, can disrupt temperature regulation. These can cause both sweating and shivering.
Discuss with your doctor if you are experiencing any night sweating and get on a track to optimal health.
You can schedule an appointment by calling Charlotte Natural Wellness at 704-543-5540.