Alcohol can cause some people to feel hot and may lead to night sweats. This occurs when alcohol affects the nervous system and how the body regulates and senses body temperature, blood pressure, and heart activity.
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Night sweats may also result from alcohol withdrawal or alcohol intolerance. For people who already experience night sweats, including those going through menopause, consuming alcohol can worsen the sweating.
Home remedies can usually help manage alcohol-induced night sweats. Such home remedies may include staying hydrated and keeping the bedroom at a comfortable temperature.
People with alcohol dependency or intolerance should speak with a doctor.
This article covers the possible causes of night sweats and alcohol, including how to manage night sweats after drinking. We also look at the first signs of liver damage from alcohol and what cancers may cause night sweats.
Alcohol can cause night sweats in several different ways. People may sweat more after drinking due to the below reasons.
Effects on the heart and blood vessels
With alcohol intake, the blood vessels in the skin tend to widen when the heart rate speeds up. This process is called vasodilation.
Dilated blood vessels cause the skin to feel warm and flushed, which can trigger the release of sweat. This sweating could occur at any time of day. However, as many people drink alcohol in the evening, night sweats are common.
While many people feel warm after drinking alcohol, the core body temperature drops as blood moves from the core to the skin through dilated blood vessels. Sweat also removes heat from the body.
People may not realize that because of this, they are
People who drink heavily or regularly may have night sweats several hours or days after consuming alcohol. Night sweats are a common symptom of alcohol withdrawal, often affecting people with alcohol use disorder (AUD).
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a 2019 survey suggested that
Night sweats due to alcohol withdrawal are usually temporary but may last several days. Other withdrawal symptoms include:
- aches and pains
- anxiety and depression
- loss of appetite
- sleep problems, including insomnia and nightmares
Some more severe symptoms include:
A person should seek immediate medical attention if they experience these symptoms.
Alcohol intolerance is a genetic disorder where the body does not have enough of the enzyme activity necessary to break down alcohol.
Other symptoms include:
Sometimes, a person may appear to have alcohol intolerance but react to another ingredient in a drink. Doctors may use allergy tests to determine whether or not alcohol is the issue.
Other factors, such as menopause or medication use, commonly cause hot flashes and night sweats. Drinking alcohol may make these symptoms worse.
However, hot flashes and sweating can also affect other people, since alcohol can impact the endocrine system. This system makes and secretes hormones that can contribute to these symptoms.
A person may not experience any symptoms or signs of liver damage or scarring, which people call cirrhosis, until the liver is badly damaged.
Early symptoms of liver damage may include:
- tiredness or weakness
- reduced appetite
- losing weight without trying
- nausea and vomiting
- mild pain or discomfort in the abdomen
A person should speak with a doctor if these symptoms do not improve. Without diagnosis and treatment, it could lead to liver complications.
Alcohol-related liver disease also does not usually cause symptoms until the liver is severely damaged.
Severe symptoms can include:
- jaundice, or yellowing of the eyes and skin
- swelling in the ankles and abdomen
- confusion or drowsiness
- vomiting blood or blood in stool
A person must seek immediate medical attention if they experience the above.
Night sweats and hot flashes are
In some cases, certain cancers may cause a person to sweat more than usual. These include:
- non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Hodgkin lymphoma
- carcinoid tumors
- mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer that usually stems from exposure to asbestos
- bone cancer
- liver cancer
People should speak with a doctor to discuss any concerns about their risk of experiencing night sweats.
People experiencing mild night sweats from occasional alcohol consumption may find relief using home remedies.
- drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated and replace fluids someone has lost through sweat
- showering to remove excess salt and sweat from the skin
- keeping the bedroom at a comfortable temperature for sleep
- removing excess blankets and wearing light pajamas
People with alcohol intolerance may need to avoid drinking alcohol to stop night sweats from occurring. Some individuals could improve their symptoms by limiting the amount of alcohol they consume.
People experiencing alcohol withdrawal relating to alcohol dependency should consider seeking urgent medical attention. A doctor can provide information and guidance on how to avoid alcohol.
Sweating is a common effect of drinking alcohol. For many people, night sweats may have links to their alcohol consumption for a particular occasion. However, it should not have any lasting effects.
People who experience night sweats regularly after drinking may have an issue with alcohol. There are many risks of long-term alcohol use, including cancer and liver damage. For this reason, seeking help is advisable.
Those who believe they have AUD or alcohol intolerance should speak with their doctor. Night sweating may also be a sign of certain types of cancers, which a person can discuss with their oncologist.
Others who regularly experience night sweats, especially if they have additional symptoms, should also make an appointment with their doctor to determine the underlying issue.