Jump to content
36 replies to this topic
Posted 2009-06-01 22:42:28
I have been having severe night neck sweats for quite a while now - certainly several months.
It doesn't happen every night, but probably at least 2 to 3 times a week.
The sweats are so bad that they drench my pillow, and I have to turn it over. Then on some occasions, I drench the other side and have to discard the pillow completely.
Up to recently I have put this problem down to drinking, and since I stopped in January, to the after effects of quitting the booze. But after all this time I don't think alcohol, or the lack of it is causing the problem.
My body doesn't' sweat, just my neck - a lot. I keep the room quite cool with an a/c so I'm certainly not sweating from heat.
Many people tell me that my body is hot during the day time, and they are convinced I am ill but there is no discernible fever.
Any ideas what kind of Doctor I should go to see? What are the possible causes?
Posted 2009-06-01 23:18:52
Sorry Mobi, I recognise the name, but can you provide some more info: you know age, gender and anything that might be connected. It's so difficult as this is the sort of thing that is difficult to be calm about by it's very nature, but stand back a little and provide as much info as possible even if it seems inconsequential.
Take it easy, most probably it is some form of life change (as in the cold sweat of fear), and it could be that the very condition itself is reinforcing the symptoms. And it might just be cold turkey!
Posted 2009-06-01 23:50:02
I am 63 (almost) and male.
I am an insulin dependant diabetic, but I doubt I am having hypoglycaemic attacks, as those attacks cause my whole body to sweat, and I have other warning symptoms which are not present with these neck sweats.
I also have coronary heart disease, and take a whole range of meds to reduce my blood pressure, slow my heart rate (beta blockers) control my enlarged prostate etc. I have been taking most of these for years, but who knows?
Since I stopped drinking my general health has been a lot better, and I now need less insulin, and my chronic diarrhoea, which I had for years, has more less cleared up.
I have lost a little weight, but people tell me I look very thin. I guess it is because my face looks a lot thinner.
I am actually very relaxed, and happier than I have been for quite a while. I am busy at home sorting out all the chores that I have let slip for so long. I am not particularly worried about these sweats and until a couple of days ago didn't really worry about them at all, as I just assumed it was the after effects of quitting the booze, and my body adjusting. But now I am not so sure.
So if you have any clues as the cause, or even what kind of Doctor I should see,I would be grateful.
Posted 2009-06-02 00:20:06
What Are Night Sweats?
Night sweats occur frequently in people living with HIV. Simply put, night sweats are profuse sweating that is not related to exercise. As the name implies night sweats occur primarily while you sleep but can occur during the day as well.
What Are the Symptoms of Night Sweats?
For fear of stating the obvious, sweating is the primary symptom of night sweats. Night sweats differ from other sweating in that they:occur without exercise
they occur primarily while sleeping
they can be very profuse; soaking bedclothes, sheets and blankets
occur without exercise
they occur primarily while sleeping
they can be very profuse; soaking bedclothes, sheets and blankets
What Causes Night Sweats?
There are many causes of night sweats including:HIV infection - Night sweats can be just another symptom of HIV infection or they can be a sign of another infection such as the bacterial infection Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) and the fungal infection histoplasmosis.
Endocrine disorders such as diabetes and menopause.
Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.
Certain medications such as those used to control fever
Posted 2009-06-02 00:30:56
Hmm.. yes.. I Googled that myself a few hours ago.
Anything from pregnancy, to HIV to the menopause to TB and just about everything else you can dream of.
Doesn't help much does it?
And mine are not night sweats - they are night NECK sweats. There is a subtle difference. If you Google night NECK sweats you will also find a few pages of suggestions.
Sorry, I don't wish to be rude, but I'm looking for practical suggestions, not just cutting and pasting the first thing you find in Google.
Posted 2009-06-02 11:38:53
Mobi: IF your blood sugar is well controlled and you have had a recent thorough physical (including chest film) then it is probably not due to anything important and just look to ways to managhge it like:
- talcum powder on the neck before going to sleep
- change of pillow: look for one that has all cotton cover and soft contents (trial and error may be needed to find the best one for you)
- if above don't do the trick, put a soft and very absorbent towel over the pillow to soak up the sweat so that you can still sleep through the night.
If you haven't had a thorough physical recently then, of coursem you should, being sure to mention this problem.
Posted 2009-06-02 11:55:00
I agree with Sheryl here. And since it looks like you have done regular medical checks and don't drink i would bet my money on apnea.
I do have them time to time, not whole body but only my head soaking the pillow. Wife tells me that sometimes i have long breaks in my breathing while sleeping. Especially after few beers. Been feeling tired for years and regularly sleep 10 to 12 hrs a night still feeling tired. I guess i should make a trip to sleeping clinic myself...
Posted 2009-06-02 12:03:04
I think it might have something to do with clothes you are wearing in bed. I found that the lower the neck line, the less sweat there is. Wifebeaters are the best.
For me it's true not only during the night - loosening the necktie works wonders during the day, too. It's like whole body heat escapes through that neck opening.
With a tight neck t-shirts I used to wake up with a wet collar while the rest was perfeclty dry, so I switched to another brand with a really big neck and it's ok now.
I would also like to hear other suggestions.
Posted 2009-06-02 12:22:15
mobi, you and i both have apnea, and i see this as one of the possible causes. i have night sweats also
Posted 2009-06-02 12:34:20
Apnea? Why would you think that?
I don't have night sweats per se, it's just the neck area.
Posted 2009-06-02 12:37:33
sorry, i messed up and wanted this to refer to mobi
Posted 2009-06-02 12:58:44
Don't really get the "abnormality" about sweating in bed in hot and humid climate?
all natural, cotton fibers bedding, no foam mattresses, non acrylic bed sheets,
good ventilation, cool sleeping room ( non a/c), a cotton towel
on the pillow... this all will help.
I do sweat sometimes in bed like being in a sauna!
Posted 2009-06-02 13:22:37
My brother had a similar problem, but he also suffered from neck cramps at the same time. It was eventually traced to his high intake of caffeine as he drank a lot of ground coffee. He cut out the coffee and the problem went away.
Posted 2009-06-02 13:35:39
Thanks for all the suggestions.
As I said before, my bedroom is kept quite cool with an a/c and a ceiling fan, and I only wear underpants in bed so my upper body and neck are bare. If anything, the room is on the cool side and I use a duvet and a wife to keep me warm and snug.
I haven't worn a tie or a suit since I took early retirement in 2000. All my city clothes went into the garbage bag.
These neck sweats are excessive - enough to completely drench my pillow - that's not normal, especially as the rest of my body is quite dry.
It could be connected with my sleep apnea, as I must confess that since I stopped drinking, I stopped using the breathing machine, as I really don't like it much.
I will try using it again and see if it solves the problem.
Posted 2009-06-02 15:24:33
I had night sweats for years with no apparent cause. Due to having no medical problems I was told to just live with it, even though I had to get up in the night to towel dry myself. I would say I suffered for 20 years or more before it stopped on it's own accord. I suffered no ill affects other that tiredness due to waking up to dry myself during the night.
Posted 2009-06-02 17:04:01
Lots of suggestions already so maybe mine is superfluous. Do you have a drink before going to bed not alcohol but water or something else?
Water is supposed to be good for you and you should drink lots of it but I found that if I had a big drink of the stuff before retiring I would sweat a lot during the night. What I do now is just take a mouthful and swill it round my mouth before swallowing. This satisfies the thirst and stops the night sweats.
Posted 2009-06-07 17:08:29
It might be a long shot, but perhaps test for malaria. I have a friend who got it in Africa, and he has similar neck sweats. Malaria symptoms can often be either overlooked or confused with other things. Worth a try methinks.
Posted 2009-06-07 18:18:39
As a doc, I can tell you positively - nada. You need to make sure you mention the sweating to your endocrinologist or internist at your very next (soon) checkup.
Night sweats can be localized and are not infrequently limited to the head and neck. In most people idiopathic hyperhydrosis (sweating for no appraent cause) is nothing to worry about and will usually resolve itself.
If I may take a guess, though, I'm betting you use Viagra or some such. That can lead to night sweats. Also, you use insulin AND you take beta blockers. B Blockers can hide some of the symptoms of hypoglycemia so it is important to carefully monitor your blood sugar.
Last (and probably least), night sweats CAN be an early symptom of cancer, especially lymphomas. Therefore, I say unto you again: go see your doctor. If you don't have a local doc, then get one. A good internist to manage things overall, an endocrinologist to treat your diabetes and a cardiologist for your, well, cardio. If you don't have a local doc, that means you've been refilling your prescriptions and continuing to take the same course of treatment you've been using for some time. Well, surprise! Sometimes, they need to be changed. So, get thee to a doc.
Posted 2009-06-07 18:37:55
One more thing.
If you have the a/c turned so low you need a duvet and a woman to keep warm, consider changing to a higher temperature.
Posted 2009-06-07 20:59:29
I like it! You can't beat being snug and cosy under a duvet, with a nice warm body to cuddle up to.
Posted 2009-06-07 21:43:30
Igor, and others. Thanks for all the advice, it is appreciated.
To some extent you are correct. I have been largely taking the same meds, around a dozen in all, excluding insulin, for many years.
There is nothing I would like better than to have a GP or some kind of generalist who could monitor and control all my various chronic complaints , and direct me to the appropriate specialists, receive their reports and recommendations, and discuss with me as they used to do in the UK.
It seems such arrangements don't exists out here, and each specialist works more or less in isolation - just treating you for that particular ailment, and in my experience, even at the best hospitals, they take little or no notice oif your other medical problems and your medication.
The specialists, on the whole seem pretty good and highly qualified, but the system just doesn't seem to be set up for patients with a whole raft of illnesses. And believe me, I've been to them all through the years- Samijivej, BNH, Piya Thai, Bumrungrad etc. I have been attending Bumrungrad for quite a few years now, and while I am not over the moon at their overall health care treatment, it is simply too complicated to try again somewhere else, with all my long medical history. At least is all there on their computers if they ever bother to look at it.
I have no less than 5 specialists ; Heart, Diabetes, Digestive, Urology (prostate) and eye (glaucoma). Oh, I forgot the sleep specialist for my apnea, but I don't see her any more - she just did the tests and flogged me an expensive machine. I am a bit overdue to see them all, but in all the years I have been to see them, they have rarely, if ever changed my meds or dosage. Sometimes they tinker a bit, but no more than I would do myself. Occasionally the diabetes specialist adds another drug, but never stops any. I would dearly love to cut back, as I;m sure that I don't need them all, and anyway the cost is horrendous, even buying from a local pharmacy.
So I will go and see them all, maybe next month and see what they have to say but I'm not holding my breath.
Since I went back on the breathing M/c it seem to be a lot better, but it's early days. You could also be right about hypoglycaemia. I've had a number of very scary attacks at night through the years, but i always get the warning signs which wake me up, and my whole body sweats, not just my neck.
I very rarely take viagra, and even rarer at night, so I doubt it is that.
I saw that stuff on lymphoma - is it easy to check on?
Malaria? Who knows/ I had it badly when a young man in West Africa, and it hung around for years. A long shot methinks
Edited by Mobi, 2009-06-07 21:45:40.
Posted 2009-06-27 00:27:54
Well I thought it was connected with my sleep apnea, but have now ruled that out, as I have been using my machine again but still sweat.
Please note it is not every night. Just sometimes.
Some new symptoms which may or may not be connected.
Several people, including my wife, tell me I sound a bit slurred, or drunk on the phone, but I am perfectly sober. My wife also tells me that my normal breathing sounds very noisy and laboured.
Every few weeks I get this hacking cough which also gives me a slight fever. After a few days it goes away completely. Sometimes it is very bad - like a chest infection and I can't stop coughing - especially at night. I do not smoke.
Any ideas folk?
Posted 2009-06-27 12:16:30
Intermittent cough + fever + night sweats = may need to rule out TB.
When did you last have a chest film? Do you produce any sputum that could be tested?
Posted 2009-06-27 15:27:20
If I were you I'd get myself to a doc for a TB test and chest x ray. The prevelance of TB is much higher here in thailand than in the more developed western countries most of us come from. You don't have to feel that sick to have TB and those symptoms are consistent with TB and worth a check. The co morbidity of your other ailments makes you more susceptible to a disease like TB. The good news is that TB is very treatable. You have to be on medication for a long time but it can be cured.
Posted 2009-06-27 16:19:09
Yes I do. Quite a lot, it's there only way I can clear my chest to get some sleep.
I'm going to Bkk on Monday, so I guess it's down to Bumrungrad for some tests.