There are a lot of things we don’t know about fibromyalgia. And one of the most perplexing mysteries of the condition is the way it seems to affect and be affected by your internal body temperature. Cold temperatures seem to make symptoms worse, but conversely getting over-heated seems to affect your symptoms as well. And regulating your internal temperature can be difficult, which is why many people with fibromyalgia suffer from night sweats.
Night sweats are basically what they sound like: an intense period of sweating that tends to come at night. But while that might not sound like too serious a problem, having night sweats is uncomfortable, irritating, and makes it difficult to get a decent night’s rest. So what causes night sweats when you have fibromyalgia? And what can you do to treat them?
Night Sweats and Fibromyalgia
Generally, there are a lot of things that can cause night sweats. They usually result from a fluctuation in the body’s internal temperature. And the most common reason that people suffer from these kinds of hot flashes is the hormonal changes that often accompany menopause.
But when you have fibromyalgia, you’re also far more likely to have night sweats. And these hormonal changes that typically cause the condition don’t seem to be involved. The cause of them in people with fibromyalgia seems to be the inability of the body to properly regulate its internal temperature. The body’s internal temperature rises and so you start to sweat as if you just ran a marathon and got overheated.
But again, we just don’t know why this happens to people with fibromyalgia. There are a few theories. Some doctors have suggested that fibromyalgia may affect certain mechanisms in the body that regulate temperature, like the action of the thyroid gland. There is some evidence that people with fibromyalgia suffer from thyroid problems at a higher rate than normal, suggesting that the condition may be playing a role.
Others have proposed that the sort of small nerve damage that is quite common in fibromyalgia might be restricting blood flow, which makes it impossible for your body’s natural mechanisms of regulating body heat to work properly.
But while we don’t know why they seem to be so common in people with fibromyalgia, there are still a few things that you can do to treat them.
How to Treat Night Sweats
Night sweats can keep you up at night, which makes it hard to get the rest you need. This is especially true when you have fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia causes chronic fatigue, of course, but it can perversely also lead to insomnia. And not getting enough sleep has been shown to significantly increase both the severity and frequency of your fibromyalgia symptoms.
Night sweats from fibromyalgia can be bad enough to soak your sleepwear and bedsheets, which means having to do extra loads of laundry, always a dicey proposition when you’re already low on energy and in significant pain.
That’s why finding a way to treat your night sweats is important. Finding a way to get a good rest can leave you feeling better when it comes to all your symptoms. And there are a few things you can do.
First, make sure that you’re not over bundling when you sleep. Use a lighter sheet and blanket and don’t wear thick, woolen clothes to bed like long johns. These trap heat against the skin and can make the issue much worse. In addition, some
In addition, some pain medications can lower the ability of your body to regulate your temperature. Check the warning labels on any medications you are taking and talk to your doctor about the possibility of this specific side effect.
It can also be helpful to lower the temperature of the room you’re sleeping in and dress for bed in layers so that as you get hot you can remove a few.
Finally, night sweats are often caused by some of the complications of fibromyalgia. For instance, obstructive sleep apnea is a big contributor to night sweats, and people with fibromyalgia suffer from sleep apnea at a much higher rate than the general population. Check with your doctor if you’re showing any signs of sleep apnea. They will be able to recommend you to a sleep study for a diagnosis and then give you some ways to treat the condition.
And night sweats can also be a sign of more serious conditions like certain cancers, so it’s always a good idea to see a doctor if you’re suffering from severe sweating at night so that they can eliminate other possible causes.
So let us know, do you suffer from night sweats? Is it related to your fibromyalgia? How do you treat it? Tell us in the comments.