Breaking a sweat is quite normal after an intense workout session or if the weather’s been a bit sunnier than usual. However, if you’re aged 40 and above and you wake up to drenched sheets and find your palms getting clammy quite often, it may be the symptom of an underlying medical condition that you’re not aware of.
Of course, one reason could be that you’re probably entering perimenopause and it is common for most women to experience hot flash-inducing hormonal fluctuations anytime in and after their 40s. According to the North American Menopause Society, the changes that cause night sweats usually last between 4 and 8 years.1
All night sweats, however, are not hormonal, and there could be a myriad of reasons why women may experience unpredictable or inappropriate sweating.
6 Reasons Other Than Menopause That Are Causing You To Sweat Post 40
If your sweating patterns have changed, it is best that you don’t stay complacent thinking it’s only a symptom of menopause. Instead, do consult your
Nevertheless, here are a few reasons that could explain you breaking into sudden excessive sweats.
1. Your Medications Have Side Effects
There is a long list of drugs that unknown to us, can cause sudden bouts of sweating as a side effect. Heart and blood pressure drugs, pain medications, and antidepressants are some common prescriptions that state sweating as a side effect – and most of these are often prescribed for women over 40. The National Center for Health Statistics declares that 23% of women in their 40s and 50s take antidepressants, a fairly higher percentage than that in any other age group of men or women.2 Also, 22% of all people who take antidepressant drugs sweat excessively due to their medication. 3 If you think your medication is to blame, consult your doctor and see if he can suggest an alternative.
2. You Have Diabetes
Low blood pressure is a very common condition that is associated with excessive sweating. While not every case of low blood sugar mean you have diabetes, you are, nevertheless, at an additional risk for the condition by the time you get to your mid-40s. Not getting enough exercise and finding yourself putting on too much weight around your middle are even greater signs that you may become insulin resistant and contract type 2 diabetes. Also, sweating is an obvious consequence of being overweight.
Stick to leading a healthy lifestyle that involves plenty of physical activity and the right kind of food. It will certainly make a huge difference in terms of stabilizing your blood sugar levels and reversing the excessive sweating.
Have A Thyroid Disorder
Thyroid disorders are more common as women age, and sometimes even hasten the onset of menopause and its symptoms – which include excessive sweating.4 5 If you have an overactive thyroid, also known as hyperthyroidism in medical terminology, your metabolism will start functioning faster, causing you to lose weight, have an irregular heartbeat, and suffer from excessive sweating.
It is therefore recommended that you get your thyroid checked from time to time so that you may handle the problem before it gets too out of hand.
4. You Have An Infection
Infections are tricky because they may not really make their arrival too obvious. For instance, a woman may have tuberculosis and may be completely unaware of it, and eventually it manifests itself in the form of sweating. Acute cases of osteomyelitis, another rare, albeit serious bone infection that affects the pelvis or vertebrae in adults, is also known to trigger excessive sweating. There are several bacterial infections that can cause an inflammation of the cardiac valves (a condition called endocarditis), and experiencing night sweats is a very common symptom of this condition.6
5. You Have A Sleep Disorder
Sleeping disorders may also cause you to experience night sweats. Excessive sweating is a common symptom of sleep apnea. This condition causes the blockage of your airway when you sleep, thus slowing down or, in severe cases, even stopping your breathing. The condition is more common in men than in women, but a woman faces a bigger risk for face apnea as she inches her way towards menopause with symptoms that may be different from those of a man’s.7
6. You Have Cancer
In certain rare cases, night sweats could also be an early sign of lymphoma. Researchers claim that more than 32,000 women are diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma every year, and the risk only increases as you age.8 Other symptoms include weight loss,
|↑1||Menopause 101: A primer for the perimenopausal. North American Menopause Society.|
|↑2||Astounding increase in antidepressant use by Americans. Harvard Medical School.|
|↑3||Consequence of Taking
|↑4||Dalal, Pronob K., and Manu Agarwal. “Postmenopausal syndrome.” Indian journal of psychiatry 57, no. Suppl 2 (2015): S222.|
|↑5||Stachowiak, Grzegorz, Tomasz Pertyński, and Magdalena Pertyńska-Marczewska. “Metabolic disorders in menopause.” Przeglad menopauzalny= Menopause review 14, no. 1 (2015): 59.|
|↑6||Calhoun, Jason H., M. M. Manring, and Mark Shirtliff. “Osteomyelitis of the long bones.” In Seminars in plastic surgery, vol. 23, no. 02, pp. 059-072. © Thieme Medical Publishers, 2009.|
|↑7||Women And Sleep Apnea. National Sleep Foundation.|
|↑8||What Are the Key Statistics About Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma? American Cancer Society.|