Sunday, August 16, 2009

Night sweats may stem from gluten intolerance?

I've been plagued by night sweats for about 20 years, way before I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. These aren't, as far as I know, related to menopause. I suffered a bit from short-lived hot flashes (and only one noticeable mood swing a couple of years ago, though I can be a bit of a drama queen) but I seldom get them any more. I've been period-free for over two years now (whee!).

My mother (aged 77, bless her heart) gets them too, as does my older brother. I'm lucky to live in a house with four beds, so if I really had to I could move to another one when one gets too damp, though I usually just move to another quarter of the double bed. I keep a fan going with the window open, in winter I keep the heat at less than 17C (that's about 63F in US gallons), sleep in a T-shirt until it gets damp, cover the wet spots with a towel (and no, not those wet spots, dagnabbit), and usually sleep without covers.

I've read recently that night sweats that are not associated with perimenopause or menopause have numerous causes, including AIDS, tuberculosis, low blood glucose, hyper- and hypothyroidism, and celiac disease (major gluten intolerance with damage to the digestive system, not just periodic GI problems). I read one post from a woman who said she also suffers from calf pain, but that might be peripheral artery disease (PAD), which can be associated with diabetes.

My grandmother had hypothyroidism as well as Type 2 diabetes, but she never talked about night sweats. Problem is, while blood tests for several of these possible causes (I've been tested for HIV and TB since I used to be a regular blood donor), the test for celiac involves a biopsy. Ouch. I've had enough invasive tests for a few years.

So as a first step (which might also help with glucose control) I'm trying gluten-free products. I can eat quinoa, gluten-free oats, veggies and fruit, rice and rice flour. I haven't checked on hops yet...

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