October 18, 2018

Experiencing night sweats and am concerned of it’s cause.

Ask The Doctor > Questions & Answers > Experiencing night sweats and am concerned of it’s cause.

Patient: I am overall a healthy 37 year old woman. I eat very well and exercise regularly. However I am a heavy drinker. For the past year or so I’ve noticed a pattern. I don’t sleep well after a night of heavy drinking (4-5 glasses of wine) and if that drinking continues for a few consecutive nights, on the first night when I don’t drink I experience night sweating. My clothes are not drenched, but my skin is damp. I have also noticed the sweating is worse if I’m somewhere within a week before my period. It never happens if I have drank that night, only when I stop. I will usually notice the sweating because I get up to use the restroom. After i go back to sleep the sweating subsides and I wake up dry and normal. The second night without alcohol produces no sweats. And if the drinking is spaced out, like one night of drinking followed by a couple nights without drinking I don’t experience this. It is only when it has been consecutive days of drinking. It’s always wine and on a really bad night maybe a full bottle of wine but usually a bit less than that. The past two weeks the sweating has been very bad and I really didn’t drink much at all because I had the flu. Fever, coughing etc which I am still slowly recovering from. Could the night sweats experienced while i had the flu be separate from alcohol? I don’t get shakes or anxiety if I don’t drink, just the night sweats on that first night. As a matter of fact I feel more energetic and calm if I haven’t drank the night before because i sleep better. I don’t think I’m in early menopause as I have no symptoms other than these sweats and my mother didn’t start menopause until her mid 50’s. What is causing these sweats? I am afraid of other illnesses like cancer.

Symptoms: Night sweats

Doctor: While cancer is always a possibility and can not be ruled out without a proper exam, your symptoms suggest your body has become habituated to alcohol and is going through withdrawal.The only way for this to stop is to reduce your intake to no more that one per day.

Was this answer helpful?

Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He currently operates a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

Book Appointment