This question was answered on Wed 24, Nov 2010 06:50pm by Dr V

Excessive night sweating that smells sour (urine or vinegar smell?)

Asked by funnelcake (Male; 39; UNITED STATES; My fiancee has (not every night, but most nights) excessive sweating issues while he is asleep. The sweat itself has a very pungent odor to it..... what could be causing this?? ) on Thu 08, Apr 2010 01:15pm

My fiancee has (not every night, but most nights) excessive sweating issues while he is asleep. The sweat itself has a very pungent odor to it..... what could be causing this?? He assumes nightmares, but I never notice that he is restless in his sleep, and I never hear him cry out..... I am a very sound sleeper though, so I may just miss it.... He was diagnosed with PTSD from Iraq, but I am not sure that is the problem here?

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Answer by Dr V  on Wed 24, Nov 2010 06:50pm:

Hi Night sweats could be due to infections like TB, osteomyelitis or absxessess but these are generally associated with a fever. Night sweats could also be due to some tumors like lymphoma but will be associated with weight loss and fevers. Some medications like niacin, tamoxifen etc may also cause this. Medical condition like hypoglycemia, hyperthyroidism, carcinoid syndrome or neurologic disorders can also cause this. Pungent smell could be due to unhygienic habits . Consult your physician for evaluation. Take care
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Comment by melanie on Thu 06, Oct 2011 03:37pm:
At night only my husband's sweat coming from his upper back and neck area on his pillow sweats a lot and it has a really nasty sour vinegar like odor. I did put vinyl or plastic covers on our new pillows and bed to protect them from the smell, I'm assuming bacteria, and moisture. He had it prior to these items being on his pillow. It embarrasses him and he wont see a doctor and blames the pillow protectors causing sweat. When he sweats any other time or during the day, He doesn't smell. He is slightly overweight but mostly muscular thicker build. He always showers before bed when he gets home from work. I'm hoping to find the cause of the smell, whether it is diet or drugs that cause it or bacteria. Or a scary medical condition underlying. What can I do if anything besides have him use antibacterial soap? I wash the pillow plastics with soap and water and wash the sheets about every 3-5 days and at least once a week. I've also thought maybe if I double line his pillow he wont be sitting in it or have the plastic making it worse. Thicker cotton under. Please help. Thank you I have read similar stories of marines having this issue but no one has responded with a resolution or cause to eliminate if possible. My husband is an x air force and x marine. Been to Iraq and has sleeping problems. Takes sleeping pills over the counter and sometimes with nyquil. He also dips wintergreen tobacco before bed. Copenhagen

Comment by Michael on Sat 04, Aug 2012 09:07am:
I have the same problem and I would like to know something too. Had blood work done and it came back fine. What's wrong with me?

Comment by KC on Sat 29, Sep 2012 07:39pm:
Hi, I'm trying to find out why I have been having these same problems. The majority of nights I wake up multiple times in complete pools of sweat and freezing cold, and my night sweats smell like ammonia or vinegar. Most of the discussions/QAs have been about excerise or steroids in men, or menopause in women - but I am only 32 and I dont have a regular excercise routine and I haven't noticed it happens any more after days that I do strenous activities or sports. The only things I can narrow it to are 1. High protein/low carb diets (NOT me!) or 2. Kidney problems. I always feel like I don't get ENOUGH protein in my diet, but many answers talk about low carb diets as forcing your body to turn to amino acids for energy, which can result in too much ammonia which your body sheds through sweat. I have had my blood checked recently with no problems found, so I am at a loss. If I had kidney issues that cause excess ammonia build up in my blood, I think it would have shown up there. Unfortunately this has become SO BAD that my husband built himself his own bedroom so he didn't have to sleep with me anymore! And I have to use the entire space on the bed moving from sweat pools to dry spots over and over and over, and running out of dry space and having to change the sheets! And the smell makes my bedroom wreak like a cat litter box! It is devastating me. My doctors answer: "Some women sweat." Thanks doc! No one should have to alter their lives for something like this. I wish someone would just tell me what I have to do to make it stop!

Comment by Melanie on Sat 29, Sep 2012 09:45pm:
Some girls at sephora had some.good. detox. Products.u can try for free and recommended a detoxifying body wrap U can try their products free samples too

Comment by Domenic Petti on Fri 24, May 2013 01:25pm:
I have same issues maybe not as bad but I do bring a towel to bad and feel like I should burn my clothes. I am otherwise healthy so this scares me

Comment by Lesley on Sat 09, Aug 2014 07:07am:
It's related to hormones. Probably low estrogen. Yes even men need estrogen. Look into it. I'm having the same problem and I'm finding I have migraine headaches from low estrogen and that's how I found out even men need it.

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