Night sweats/overheating/bloodsugar

How do you cope with these? I have made some much needed changes to our bedding, removing the king size winter duvet and replacing with a winter double which is mostly on my husband's side of the bed. I have attached a folded in half duvet cover to my side, so I can get away from the wall of heat which was the king size duvet. I am sleeping far more comfortably however am waking very early feeling incredibly cold. It seems the night sweats really are just at night.

I don't know what others experience but mine are like clockwork. I spend the morning feeling cold and unable to get warm...gradually as the day moves i feel normal and then regular as clockwork at 10pm (give or take a few minutes) I begin to over heat and have to remove layers of clothing and socks...I am now just in my lightweight nightdress. Rather annoyed to know that even if I have finally left menopause, I still have these to contend with whilst I am taking steroids.

I spoke to my Osteopath who is also a trained Dr the other day asking if my Black Cohosh will work with steroid induced "night sweats" as opposed to hot flushes from menopause. She says they should help so I will continue to take them. She also confirmed that night sweats will be from the steroids and not a continuation of menopause.

I am now down to 12 mg (started a 2nd time at 15mg at beginning of November. Managing the 1mg drops reasonably well. Having blood tests monthly and pleased to say that my blood sugar was almost in normal limits last time.

Having said that, I had a horrible hypoglycemic episode yesterday, worst I have ever felt when my blood sugar has dropped. Confusing as this was at 6pm, and I'd eaten lunch and a snack in the afternoon...I am not Diabetic, have frequently suffered with low blood sugar (shaking, foggy, weak, and irritable) but normally before my main meal. This episode came out of nowhere...we'd been shopping, luckily husband was driving as I was beginning to lose focus. Made it home, dragged myself indoors, (him completely unaware how ill I was becoming). Took a handful of almonds (silly should have had something quicker acting and sugary but am so used to managing hunger with healthier options). Went down the garden to put chickens away....almost didn't make it back, pleased I did as had I collapsed my husband would not have come looking for 30 mins or so at least. Grabbed another handful of almonds and a few dates and a fig and managed somehow to cook a very easy but much needed dinner.

I think I will be taking this to my Dr next time as I am clearly not diabetic but need to make sure there is nothing else going on.

I thought about having something in the car for future episodes but I know I will eat them :)

So questions....steroids causing low blood sugar? or no.

What do you take to cope with overheating?

19 Replies

  • I found that gabapentin used for nerve pain really helps my temperature regulation. Still occasionally flush with heat but sleep really well.

  • I am Type 2 diabetic and have been well controlled for many years on tablets. Then along comes pmr/RA and prednisolone and my control went out of the window. To deal with fluctuations/hypo's I always have jelly babies with me. They are almost pure sugar, quickly absorbed and only 5-6 are needed. I have then in my handbags, pockets and beside the bed

  • If only I could trust myself to leave them for the infrequent emergency :)

  • That's what I thought! But somehow they have become 'medicine' and I have gone off them a bit. The other trick is to rub honey on your gums for a hypo. Bit messy to carry round though!

  • Idasmum,

    I find I sleep much better and don't experience overheating and sweating since switching to a silk filled duvet. We bought ours in China on a holiday there before PMR, but they are readily available on that well known Internet site. Made of mulberry silk in long strands and encased in satin cotton cover. Mine is only 4.5 tog but being silk it seems able to regulate ones temperature in bed and I use the same quilt in both winter and summer. I've got so used to it that when we stay at a hotel or relatives homes I find their feather and down or polyester quilts heavy and hot I'm tempted to take my own with me....

    My husband has type 2 diabetes and carries a tube of lozenges in case of a hypo. They dissolve very quickly in the mouth rather like those old refreshers if you remember them? Available over the counter at the pharmacy in various fruit flavours. Think they are called Dextro energy. I dont think you'd be tempted to eat them like sweets.....

    Best wishes


  • That duvet sounds interesting thanks...and a tube of lozenges of some sort would be less tempting. In fact some innocuous non medicated throat pastilles might be the answer, I can keep them in my small medical box in the car for emergencies.

  • Linda, I quite agree about natural bedding materials / fillings in lower tog ratings - I wouldn't be without them! :-)

  • Hello IdasMum

    Re. night sweats - and bedding..

    I know everyone is different and bedding materials aren't a magic solution to night sweats, but when I was experiencing these I switched from synthetic materials (polyester-filled duvets, pillows etc) which I found to be too heavy, thick and 'hot', to natural feather and down (goose, duck etc). The natural fillings (including wool and silk) are so much lighter in weight but have excellent thermal 'wicking' qualities, are less bulky, and are known to regulate differences in body temperature / airflow much better.

    I'm a 'cool' sleeper - I like to be cooler rather than warmer in bed even in the winter - and changing from a higher,10 tog rating synthetic duvet to a lower, 4.5 tog natural filling is SO much more comfortable, and seems to help if I get overheated. If I ever do get too cool, it's easy to top-up with a lightweight bedspread. A kind of mix and match solution depending on the season?

    Natural duvet / pillow fillings are more expensive - but by my logic, since we spend about a third of our lives asleep / in bed, it's worth getting into a bit of the science of bedding materials (fillings, tog ratings, firmess etc) to make the sleep experience more comfortable.

    If you haven't done this already, it might be worth a visit to a bedding store (e.g. Dunelm if you're in the UK) to look at / experiment with the different options? It took me a while to work out the best bedding materials but it was well worth it for a more comfortable night's sleep.

    Hope this helps, Zzzzzzz ;-)


  • Thanks....we already use feather/down. Just have different needs Tog wise. Will be looking at a 4.5 or 4 Tog option when money not so tight.

  • Are you sure it was low BS? Did you check it?

    I and my husband have separate single duvets. (We also have separate single mattresses on our double bed but that is rather more difficult to change). If he wants a warm one - I don't have to share! It is an absolute nightmare when we are away in the UK visiting family who are offended when we say we have our own bedding! We just stick it in the back of the car because we need it when we are at our daughters and it comes in handy when visiting friends for a single night -all we need is a bed and it leaves no washing for them to do.

    Our duvets are the lightest summerweight (we use them summer and winter and add a blanket over our feet when it gets to -15C overnight) and the cheapest IKEA cotton ones.

  • This reminds me of an old joke by the late Sir Les Dawson (English comedian, rip).

    It goes: 'My wife and I sleep in separate beds due to our different sleeping habits. Mine is in Manchester, hers is in Bristol (200 miles away). It works perfectly!' ;-)

  • lol

  • When we sold our house in Durham the couple who bought it were living next door to one another at the other end of the village. If going out of one front door and into the one just 3 feet away was too much - I'd have knocked a door between the two!!!! Sounded perfect to me...

    The pub on the corner was better too...

  • Looks like we will be having separate duvets too.

    I don't check my "hypos" but know that I have suffered with them infrequently over the years and fit the symptoms. I will discuss it with Dr next time we meet.

  • I have steroid-induced diabetes, which started 3 days after I started 40mg Prednisolone about 3 months ago.

    At first I had v high blood sugar. Then, until medications were sorted out, my blood sugar might be v high or pretty low. Did have a few hypos until learned how to manage it. Eventually got diabetic medication, plus a carbohydrate-free diet, organised to keep the blood sugar levels reasonable. Am avoiding the meds that tend to cause hypos, so am on Metformin, Repaglinide + Alogliptin. Steep learning curve. Will have to modify little by little - as the steroid dose gradually comes down, the diabetes should become less severe. Fingers crossed.

    For me, this control is essential to avoid the potentially disastrous effects of uncontrolled diabetes. May be worth checking out.

  • Hello Idasmum

    I was just like you in respect that I had just stopped having menopausal hot flushes .... hooray!

    No ...the night sweats started, dam.

    I have a condition called erythromelalgis which makes me very hot and I have burning extremities, which has been a long term condition so I was used to the burning at night. The upside for me is my erythromelalgia has improved, I think maybe the steroids are helping, and if they are I will get it back when I stop the presnisolone in the future. I get out of bed and put my feet into cold water to cool down. Works for me but a bit extreme.

    With ref to the blood sugar, I too suffered as you do with low sugar and used to carry a tube of glucose type drops from the chemist, not as nice as sweets so not so Keen to eat them.

    It would be a good idea to check with your doctor as this last bout seems to have been extreme.

    Good luck with all of this, let every one how you get on.

  • 4 weekly blood test is next week, so once I ave the results I'll contact him for an appt.

    Your condition sounds horrendous. I have a friend who lives in Brittany who I think may also suffer with this ....I know she is always hot and gets overheated at night. I must ask her again what her condition is called.

  • This all sounds familiar. Before this I slept warm in flannel and lots of blankets . I live in cold area.

    Now, I'm having hot flashes again , I swear, and ripping my blankets off at night and clothes during the day.

  • linda49 thank you so much for your silk filled duvet advice.

    The following day I received vouchers for Amazon which was enough for me to order one.

    Last night was my first night beneath it and I didn't have a hot sweat all night :) I was comfortable and warm but never too warm or overheated.

    Can't wait for bed again now.

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