Home > CLL > A Cure For Night Sweats?

A Cure For Night Sweats?

If, like me, you have suffered from night sweats during the course of your illness, you will understand what a truly miserable experience it is.

I’ve been suffering from them for years, going way back before my diagnosis, and I really didn’t think anything of it.  When you wake after a bad dose, it is like you have gone straight to bed after a shower, without bothering to get dry first.  The sheets, pillows, quilt or blankets, sleeping companion and dog will also be drenched.  The only thing to do at this stage is to shower, change the bedclothes and sleeping attire, companion if you wish, and blow dry the dog.

This can happen a number of times per night.

I have tried a number of strategies to alleviate the situation over the years.  In the UK winter, removing bedclothes and pajamas until the sweating stops leads to hypothermia, and yet the sweats take over once warmth has returned.  No happy medium is possible.

When I lived in the tropics (Colombo, Sri Lanka) I had built in industrial strength aircon in my apartment.  The bedroom unit had settings that varied from Lotus to Aerosmith and the oddest was the one that varied in intensity from high to low causing wake ups at the peak times.  I alternated between sweating, shivering and soaking.

In Morocco, sub-tropical, the mixture of windows and doors wide open and mild night temperatures meant I could sleep reasonably well, but still woke up sodden.  A soft fluffy towel over the pillows always helps a little.

Chemo is said to help, though it hasn’t in my case, but it’s probably a little sledgehammery to get chemo just to stop the night sweats.

So, has anybody got a cure?

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Categories: CLL
  1. gimpy
    March 6, 2009 at 3:56 pm | #1

    I’d like a cure too, and I’m not even ill, I’ve had them my whole life.

  2. March 6, 2009 at 11:16 pm | #2

    People with Hyperhidrosis(excessive sweating) suffer from night sweats as well, there are a bunch of things you can do, here are a few:

    1. Setup a fan right next to your bed

    It will help to keep you cool through the night and also help you fall asleep easier as when your body is cooler it’s easier to fall asleep.

    2. Take a prescription anti-sweat mediciton

    Driclor is the best one you can get, it has twice as much aluminum chloride than what you will find in regular antiperspirants.

    3. Drink Sage Tea

    Here’s something you can try drinking right before bed…Just get the following ingredients:

    * 1 cup of water
    * 1 teaspoon of sage powder or 1 tablespoon of sage leaves
    * 1 lemon

    What you’re going to do is bring the water to a boil. Once you’ve done that, steep the sage in the water for about 5-10 minutes. Don’t overdo it since it can lead to toxins being released from the sage. It’s a delicate balance. Once done, drain it and drink it right before bed.

    Hope that helps..

    -Ren

  3. dphealthcareconsulting
    August 2, 2009 at 4:59 am | #3

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    Take care, Dennis

  4. John
    October 3, 2009 at 6:34 am | #4

    I used to have night sweats for hodgkins; haven’t had them in quite a few years now. However, just before they stopped, I came up with a solution (which I wish I would have thought of a long time before.) It’s this:

    Tuck a thick cotton bath towel down your shirt front before going to sleep. When you sweat, pull the towel out and go back to sleep. In my case, I used to have just one good drenching each night, so this worked for me.

    For anyone experiencing chemo brain, (which I still do now that it’s been 12 years since chemo), I’ve found that smoked salmon (with the skin) seems to help a LOT! Must be the fish oil in it. It really helps give me some clear thinking back. It’s not perfect, but it’s the closest thing I’ve found. You can find it in those vacuum-packed foil packages at Winco or other stores, in the refrigerated section in stores, next to the other fish.

  5. Mark Schaeffer
    October 4, 2009 at 2:26 pm | #5

    I had nightsweats during the period of being diagnosed with CLL (2004) and first being treated with Rituxan (2008). By 2007 I was relying on 125 mg capsules of EGCG to work its wonders on my protruding lymph nodes. It didn’t do much to slow the swelling. My neck, by 2008, had swollen to 19″ in circumference from a starting point of 16.5″ pre-diagnosis. But the EGCG was immediately effective in putting an end to my nightsweats. The most dramatic instance was an occurrence of daysweats around noon one day when I began soaking through my couch. I took an EGCG capsule and stopped the sweats within minutes. This may have been a fluke event but it actually happened.

    I took EGCG in a unique way. I dissolved the powder in two teaspoons of water and kept the solution under my tongue for twenty minutes, swishing it around in my mouth. This allowed me to bypass the digestive process that destroys the EGCG before it can reach the blood. Perhaps the nightsweats being discussed above are more ferocious than any I experienced, but I did wake up damp, cold or soaked many nights before I became an EGCG enthusiast.

  6. CHRIS THEIBAULT
    October 13, 2009 at 3:01 am | #6

    I am a cancer survivor of 21 years now. I recieved very high doses of chemotherapy and have suffered the nightsweats almost every night since. I sleep nude with a fan directly on me all 4 seasons of the year and have tried all sorts of remedies to no avail. I also suffer from an extreme case of “chemo-brain” which I have recently discovered I am not alone with. It is so bad that I cannot function normally in a work atmosphere. I cannot remember people I’ve met and re-met numerous times, the last sentence I hear repeats itself over and over like a broken record until I hear something else (which does the same thing), and I get so frustrated that noone understands what I’m going through. So, good luck with the sweats and stay away from the chemo!!

  7. Gerri
    November 18, 2009 at 9:04 am | #7

    Oh god Chris ur post is worrying – I am on my 5th chemo session ( one more to go ) and having the most awful night sweats, I feel weak and tired all the time because of lack of sleep – I wake up soaking with sweat all night – was hoping this will pass after chemo – if im being honest with the stats the doc gave me before starting chemo I would not have gone ahead and had it if id known how bad it makes you feel and the after effects! – I had breast cancer which had also gone into the lymph nodes – good luck to anyone having chemo in the future but given my choice again i wouldnt have had it!!!

  8. christine b
    January 17, 2010 at 5:52 pm | #8

    Re the sweating versus hypothermia comment: I found it helpful to pull corner of quilt over trunk of body but leave lower legs and feet out as well as shoulders. You lose heat through the extremities.
    You can buy a thing called a Chillow (Google it)which is a cooling pillow which you fill with water once when you get it and that is it. Not sure how it works exactly but some sort of chemical to draw heat away reducing the heat level of the whole body I think. It was not available when I had night sweats but I know people who have found it effective.
    Gerri I’m not a doctor but if your cancer had gone to the lymph nodes my understanding is you needed the chemo. I am sure night sweats will go in time and are better than the alternative if you don’t get treatment!

  9. annette butterworth
    November 21, 2010 at 2:45 pm | #9

    I have tried to find a cure to my body sweating, which started with CLL,7 years ago, I tried to tell the doctors how horrible my life had become, then I had chemo and the total body sweating eased for a couple of months, but they came back asnd worse than before, I have to wipe down by body twice an hour now, soaked clothing, shower and by the time I shower and dried its like never bothered and are soaked again, my life is a misery changing clothes throughout the day, soaked hair and the sweating even runs into my eyes and burns them, bed clothes, sheets, pillows, especially have to be changed all the time, and the water bills and electric bills are up because of this, no one tells you the cost entailed in having CLL. The doctors I tell at every blood check, but somehow they dont seem to understand the fatique in having to cope with the energy used. Why does no doctor seem to really understand the misery and stress coping with this, and why is no one really researching why this happens, because I am always told, sorry no cure and no one really understands why it happens yet it does in a rare few…..US!!! I have to add….. an event which happend on a shopping trip, I went into a well known fashion retail shop N**T! and was asked for extra identification when trying to purchase a blouse, I asked why is that I have always shopped here with no bother, and was asked again, I was told I looked suspicious because I was sweating waiting in the queue, my hair was soaked and the sweat I had to wipe from my eyes because they were burning, I was so upset when they asked again, because I did not want to explain I had CLL and it was a side effect of the illness, so said “dont bother I will leave it and they got the security guard then to stop me, so I asked for the manager, explained and got an apology, but how embarrasing I was in a queue and everyone was staring at me thinking I was identity theif with someone elses card. My life gets worse too, now I hate to go out the sweats now turn to shivers in the colder weather, and I look like a drug addict or alcoholic waiting for a drink. Anyone know how to ease this. Annette

    • March 24, 2014 at 11:42 am | #10

      Oh Annette I’m sorry. I understand how you feel. People who don’t experience what we are going through can’t possibly “get it”. Even the nurses and doctors who don’t have cancer don’t understand the night sweats we experience. The doctor’s office when they do a lab say I’m not drinking enough water but I do drink a min. of 64oz of water daily. BUT I sweat bad at night. The pillow is soaked, the sheets are soaked. I go get a bath towel to lay on. It’s awful.

      For some reason the oncologist and cancer people don’t understand how bad this problem is. We tell them but they just blow it off as a side effect. Well it affects our kidneys with robbing us of water!!! So I understand annette. good luck to you!! I do hope you feel better soon. :)

  10. nancy
    June 25, 2013 at 7:34 am | #11

    I m 7 yrs. out from Breast cancer.. I sweat so bad during warm weather..meds.doesn’t help..I can not enjoy the summer..Any suggestions!!!!!!!

  11. Matt W
    August 30, 2013 at 5:09 pm | #12

    Hi, Have you tried Perspiration Block? It’s an herbal supplement that has pretty good results. I use it for head sweating. It’s not a cure, but it works well enough to make my sweating like a normal person. http://www.perspirationblock.com

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