Sweating: 'I get severe night sweats – and no one knows why'
Tuesday 09 September 2008
I've been suffering for the past two or three years with severe night sweats. I am a 42-year-old man who is relatively healthy. My GP has sent me for an X-ray (to rule out TB, I think) which did not show anything abnormal. The GP is at a loss to provide me with any advice. This doesn't happen every night, although it does seem to be increasing in frequency.
Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:
There are certain symptoms that ring alarm bells for doctors, and night sweats is one of them. I am reassured by the fact that you seem to be healthy even though you have had these sweats for two or three years. TB is one possible cause, and it's good to know that your chest X-ray is normal. But not all types of TB show up on a chest X-ray.
Your doctor also needs to think about blood diseases, such as lymphoma or leukaemia, and unusual infections. Hormonal abnormalities, including an overactive thyroid and rare hormone-secreting tumours, also need to be considered. Another common cause of night sweats is too much alcohol. Talk to your GP about having more tests.
VS, a dentist, gives some information on the lights that dentists use:
You said that dentists use UV light. We most certainly do not! The light we use is of a short wavelength, but absolutely not UV. We shield the rays with amber plastic simply due to the intensity of the light.
Please send your questions and suggestions to A Question of Health, 'The Independent', Independent House, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS; fax 020-7005 2182 or e-mail to email@example.com. Dr Kavalier regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.
Life & Style blogs
Plus London's buy-to-let hotspots and a new property portal
Guest post by Richard Sexton, business development director of e.surv chartered surveyors
Plus lateral thinking and living on London's waterways
The ten best home phones
Facial hair: Cat beards and the purrrsuit of excellence
Microsoft's Xbox One: Have the price (£399) and release date (30 November) been leaked by online retailer Zavvi?
Xbox One vs PlayStation 4: Why Microsoft's console name game just doesn't add up
The 10 Best salt and pepper sets
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 2 'He was always smiling': Lee Rigby named as Woolwich victim
- 3 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 4 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 5 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.