Menopause Night Sweats - Harmless Yet Annoying Symptoms of the Transition


Among all the symptoms of the pre-menopausal stage, menopause night sweats is one of the most annoying. It is not as uncomfortable as the hot flashes are; neither will it keep you awake all night as the latter does due to sheer discomfort. However, waking up totally drenched sometimes is scary to say the least, and also very annoying.

Why menopause night sweats occur

Medical science is struggling to get a number of right answers to the wrong questions actually. They are searching for answers with questions put to the systems of mice as the standard laboratory guinea pig. However, the crux of the problem is that mice do not actually go into menopause. They breed till the last day of their life and induced menopause is not good enough to really make accurate studies.

In the same vein it is almost impossible to monitor whether mice have hot flashes or night sweats because it is difficult to constantly monitor their body temperature, and mice do not sweat like humans - hence no question of monitoring or studying menopause night sweats. Since all questions were shot at the wrong target it is not surprising that we do not really have the right answers yet.

The menopause night sweats - a basic explanation

The researchers have put a few points known together and put forth a theory. According to them certain women, mostly those belonging to USA, Western Europe, Australia are more likely to experience night sweats while Asians are less likely to do so. No one knows why the geographical separation exists, but it is attributed in some proportion to the genes.

There is a tiny gland called pituitary gland in the brain which regulates the heat of he body. It is actually acting as a thermostat. When you feel cold it makes the body to shiver and create heat, and when it is hot it makes the body sweat to cool it down. Now each person has a neutral zone where the body feels comfortable and that is about 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature oscillates above you will shiver, when it oscillate below you will sweat.

It has been observed that in women who have night sweats and hot flushes, this neutral region has shrunk almost to nothing. Hence the slightest variation in temperature creates havoc with the body. The menopause night sweats are according to this theory, because of slight increase of the outside temperature which the body reads wrongly.

The question here that remains a mystery is why the neutral zone shrinks to that extent in some pre-menopausal women, while they stay intact in others. When we get the answer for this question we will hold the key to a lot of mysteries surrounding menopause; not only menopause night sweats.


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