Night Sweats, Body Temperature Regulation and Thyroid

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dhcpolwnk, Jul 16, 2003.

  1. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    I've seen several messages from people on this board regarding night sweats. I have been having problems with night sweats and hot flashes for several years, including when I was on hormone replacement therapy. (I've stopped the HRT, as I had been on it for too long. Instead, I've been taking a combination of black cohosh and soy, but now I'm reading that these are bad for me, too!)

    But back to the point. Sometimes my hot flashes seem to alternate with periods when I feel cold--not exactly chills, but I feel cold when my husband feels warm (or vice versa).

    When I saw my new neurologist last Friday, he ordered blood tests, including one for thyroid function. He said that thyroid irregularities might account for the temperature regualation problems.

    I know several people have commented on having thyroid problems. Has that ever taken the form of hot flashes and/or cold spells? If so, did a thyroid supplement help? Also, if you know, what thyroid test indicated the abnormality? (I had the blood test today, but I don't know exactly which thyroid test--or tests--was ordered.)

    Thanks in advance for any guidance you can offer.

    --Laura R.M.
  2. jolly

    jolly New Member

    I don't know what the deal is with the hot flashes, but I've been through menopause and they still continue. It's just become a part of my life and I don't even question it anymore. Is this weird?! It just drove me crazy for so many years that I just finally accepted it as the way it is. May sound stupid, but that's just the facts in my life. I keep my robe or blanket handy and am turning the ac off and on all night. When I sleep though, the ac is definitely turned on high, or otherwise I would get no sleep. You can always take a blanket on or off. Jo Ellen
  3. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Have been having hot flashes/flushes/nightsweats now for sixteen years, went through menopause, did not take HRT (too much cancer in my family), and they are still going on! I do not have a thyroid problem, am not overweight, and do not eat hot peppers (which will trigger them by the way), do not eat heavy food at night, don't drink anything with caffeine at night etc.

    For the first two years of the menopause, the sweats were so bad, I started sleeping alone (I was stopping my hardworking husband from sleeping with the wet bed), I would get up four or five times a night and change my night clothes, and sometimes the sheets and pillow cases.

    They would be drenched in sweat. I kept at least three sets of night clothes and pillow cases by the bed, it was that bad. I also kept a bowel of iced water by the bed with a face cloth in it to cool the sweat off my body.

    Even my head would sweat so much, that I would blow dry my hair in the middle of the night as I was prone to bronchitis, and would get sick from sleeping with a wet head and clothes. Talk about a miserable woman :(

    I did read in one of the books on FM (can't remember which one now) that the flushes/nightsweats are part of FM.

    Like Jo Ellen said, I learned to live with them, dress in layers, stopped wearing foundation makeup, and keep the a/c down to about 65 degrees at nightime, otherwise I would be up all night.
    I have a down conforter, its off and on me all night long. At least now I don't remember taking it off and on, I am doing it in my sleep!

    They are a lot less frequent now that I have been taking the ZMA, and the Pro Energy. But I still will get them if I get stressed, excited, and sometimes during the night.

    I have a new one for the last week, this is the morning sweat (I mean hot like in a fire), when I go to get out of the bed, I get them (I mean from a laying postion to a sitting position).
    I have to sit on the bed till it passes. I am so hot that I feel like I am in a furnace for about 2 minutes (remember the temperature in here is 65 or less degrees).
    Then it passes and I am freezing! Go figure. One minute I want ice water (which I would not dare drink!), the next minute I want hot coffee!

    If your doctor finds out what is causing this, let me know. I am all ears :)

    I do recall a great aunt in my Mother's family that was always sweating when I was a child. I can still see that sweet lady with her face flushed and her wiping her face with a washcloth, then putting it around the back of her neck. But she did not have any pains. Just sweating all the time. I often think of her and wonder what caused hers or mine!
    If this is any consolation, she lived to be 96 years old, was never sick, and died of old age, so the sweating must be a good thing even though it is aggravating.

    Shalom, Shirl

    [This Message was Edited on 07/17/2003]
  4. pooped

    pooped New Member

    Of course the pain is my number one complaint but sweating is definitely my second complaint. I absolutely hate it! My sweating is as bad as that which Shirl describes, constantly drenched. It is so uncomfortable and it makes it very difficult to enjoy anything, any occasion, any get together, any shopping trip, just anything as the discomfort of sweating is the most prevalent thing on my mind. And it is embarrasing to be wiping up the sweat as people watch on. I feel like a freak. And I am not overweight and I still consider myself a young woman.
    I hope you will post again and keep us informed as to the results of your testing. THANKS
  5. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    I've had the chills and sweats since age 37, and got fibro at age 34. Went though menopause at 44. Am now 52.
    Since taking Armour Thyroid, the chills have stopped, and though I still wake up hot at night, I no longer sweat. I am not up to the ideal dose yet, and have only been on it for 8 weeks, but it has helped me more than anything else in the 17 yrs. I've been ill.
    Tests are really not important, it's how you feel that counts....but generally, if your TSH test is above 2.0, you should try some Armour Thyroid and see how you feel. Don't use Synthroid, since it has no T3 in it. Look up Madwolf's posts or search for thyroid in the previous posts for more info on this.A lot of people here will say they have normal thyroid, but they really don't...they are trusting doctors who don't keep up with the research. Always ask for a copy of your test results, so you can do the reserach yourself and keep on top of this stuff. Most docs will tell you your thyroid is normal if your TSH is below 4.2, and some will even say it's normal below 5.5! Not true. Ideal TSH for an adult female is around 1.0, but some fibro patients need to go even lower than that to feel well.
    Your Neurologist is absolutely right, and I think if you can get him to treat your symptoms, not your test results, you may be amazed at the results!

    P.S. If the problem is menopausal, progesterone drops, used sublingually can work wonders, though cream might be easier to get if your doc does not know about the drops.
    [This Message was Edited on 07/17/2003]
  6. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    Are night sweats, hot flashes and/or chills associated with thyroid levels that are too high or too low?

    --Laura R.M.
  7. aching

    aching New Member

    I was at my G.P.s yesterday for a fast heart rate & palpitations. I mentioned that I wake up freezing with chills and I politely told the Dr. I had read somewhere that the acceptable level of tsh. for women was lowered. He got angry and told me not in this country and my level at 4.5 was just fine. I can't change Dr.s but I'm sure my thyroid must be messed up. Guess I'll have to live with it until he reads up on it himself.
  8. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    Laura - I don't know about sweating, but feeling chilled or hot when others don't can be a symptom of either hypo or hyper thyroid. Genarlly, hypo people have more trouble with feeling colder than others, and hyper ones feel hot when others are only warm. I had problems with feeling cold ever since getting Fibro, and in the last 2 yrs. developed a problem with heat also. Since starting Armour, I can now tolerate heat again, and am walking my dogs again. The poor things were not getting any walks between May 1st and Oct. 1st because I felt I would pass out. It's only going to be 93 here today ...ugh!

    Piper- Your doctor is ages behind the times an arrogant besides. What else is he ignorant about that could really hurt you? Even docs ten yrs. behind on research would not accept a TSH over 4.0 as normal. Untreated hypothryoid not only causes most Fibro symptoms, it also causes osteoporosis and heart failure. PLEASE get another doctor!!! Assert yourself. Do not pay this idiot another dime. You will NOT get better if this hypothyroidism is not treated.

  9. klarry

    klarry New Member

    and I still have night sweats. Last night was particularly awful. At one point in the night I awakened my husband, and the two of us were both disturbed for some time. I was on HRT for five years, and during that time my hot flashes were very infrequent. Now I am paying for all those comfortable years.
    I once read a female doctor's advice that one should think of hot flashes as little bursts of wisdom. I must be the smartest woman alive!
  10. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    The inability to regulate our temperatures kind of goes with the territory with our illnesses. Our hormones are messed up. Often it is thyroid, but we may test normal on our lab tests. My doc prescribed 25 mcgms. of Synthroid for me, even though I tested in the normal range, and it has made a big difference. My labs even improved after six weeks on the Synthroid. It is obvious that I am able to convert my T4 to T3 thyroid in my system. Some of us can't and must take the Armour thyroid in order to get results.

    I have been on HRT for years, but now that I am menopausal, I have cut my Estradiol to the smallest dose. Without it, I continue to have night sweats.

    Good luck to you with your testing and treatment.

    Love, Mikie
  11. jolly

    jolly New Member

    I won't even attempt to explain it here since I don't entirely understand it myself, but after reading many articles about it, it could explain the hot flashes. There's so many things we don't understand about our bodies and this world. One of the best books I've read about the etheric body is "Harry Oldfield's Invisible Universe." For those of you interested in such things, this is an easy read. Jo Ellen
  12. steffy

    steffy New Member

    I also have frequent episodes of intense flushing/sweating often followed by chilling. Can happen anytime of the day or night, irregardless of ambient temperature, whether active or at rest, whether on HRT or not. My best understanding of this phenomenon (gleaned from reading and my doc) is that it is most likely due to ANS (Autonomic Nervous System) dysregulation. The sympathetic branch, I believe, is responsible for sweating. In fact, a lot of our symptoms may be due to ANS dysregulation, (eg, dry eyes, migraine, dizziness, irritable bowel, cognitive dysfunction, numbness, tingling, burning, etc.). It's all related to the HPA Axis (Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis), which in turn affects and is affected by our endocrine system, (thyroid, etc). Very complex stuff. Small wonder our symptoms are so diverse and bodywide. At least that's the best theory I've found.

  13. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    I have multiple sclerosis as well as fibromyalgia (and many of the common associated syndromes, including GERD, IBS and TMJ dysfunction). When I started having breathing problems a couple of years ago, my then-neurologist (I'm now on my third one at Kaiser) ordered an MRI. He said the MRI indicated no problems in the brain stem.

    My new neuro told me that the next time I see him (in 3 months), he would make sure he had copies of my last two MRI scans, and we would review them together. So maybe he'll see something my other neurologists missed or didn't think of that might account for the breathing problems (I hope that's *not* the source of my breathing problems) or the hot-cold problem.

    From what I've been reading about thyroid problems, it appears that *hyper*thyroidism is what causes hot flashes; but it also causes faster heartbeat and increased energy, neither of which I seem to have. *Hypo*throidism, on the other hand, causes fatigue (which I have, but have been managing fairly well), feelings of being cold, and often weight gain. I seem to have a combination of symptoms. My hands and feet get cold very easily, and I gained 10 pounds over the course of a year or so when I wasn't paying attention. (Unfortunately, it seems to be creeping up again, a little at a time. But this time at least I'm watching it.)

    And then the hot flashes get into the picture. Some people have suggested just learning to live with them, and I think I can do that during the day. But I don't know how to handle the hot flashes/sweats I get at night that keeping from getting back to sleep. (For some reason, it almost seems that the night-time hot flashes hit when I lie down. I can be reading or watching TV and feeling very comfortable thermally--or even cold. Then I turn out the light and lie down to go to sleep, and wham! I feel as if I need to strip off all my clothes!

    So far, these night-time hot flashes don't seem to last long, but they definitely are interfering with my sleep.

    I suspect that ANS dysfunction could account for *both* the breathing problems and the hot flashes/night sweats. However, I've looked at an ANS dysfunction web site, and I don't seem to have a lot of the symptoms described there.

    Is there some place in the brain other than the brain stem that might account for or at least influence ANS functions like breathing and/or temperature regulation?

    --Laura R.M.

  14. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    I noticed improvement within 24 hrs. of starting the Armour Thyroid. The effect has worn off a bit, but I still have more energy than before by quite a lot.
    Armour did NOT stop hot flashes....I have never had hot flashes. It stopped my intolerance for heat, which is a different thing entirely.
    It did stop my chills at night completely within one week.
    I think if you have hot flashes you may need to replace the estrogen with natural progesterone drops or cream.
  15. BethM

    BethM New Member

    I don't have them every night, but it always occurs at 3:00 in the morning. Is that wierd or what? I wake up drenched, change my nightshirt, turn the pillow over, and try to go back to sleep. One more tiny puzzle piece!

    I have been on Thyrolar (like Armour thyroid, but is synthetic) for about 10 weeks now, haven't noticed any changes in the night sweats problem since I started it, or since the dose was increased a few weeks ago.