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Cold Sweats

Cold Sweats

The symptoms which accompany cold sweats may point towards a serious medical condition. Prompt and effective measures need to be taken, to protect oneself from serious threats. This article will give you an insight on the causes of these sweats, and some home care measures.
Pragya T
Last Updated: Feb 8, 2018
Cold sweats is also known as clammy skin. This condition might need emergency medical attention. It can occur even if there is no exertion or heat. When these sweats occur, it is important that you follow some home care measures to put the person at ease, till medical treatment is available.
Symptoms
A person experiencing cold sweats will have cool, moist, and usually pale skin. One might also experience shortness of breath, shivers, and pain in the chest.The condition occurs without any physical exertion or hot clothing and humid weather conditions. Night sweats, or sweating in bed at night, is observed in people suffering from this condition.
Causes
Apart from the causes mentioned below, one can experience this condition during pregnancy and also due to low levels of oxygen in the blood.
Anxiety
This emotional disorder apart from cold sweats also include other symptoms like heart palpitations and dry mouth. Anxiety can occur due to an emotional disorder that is caused by fear of certain feelings.
Heart Attack
The major symptom of a heart attack is chest pain, a person might also experience cold sweats and nausea or vomiting, anxiety, cough, or fainting.
Heat Exhaustion
This condition is less serious than a sunstroke, and is a heat related illness. This occurs when a person is exposed to high temperatures, especially when heat is present along with humidity.
Internal Bleeding
A person might also experience cold sweats due to shock, which can be a result of sudden loss of blood from injury. A ruptured ectopic pregnancy or bleeding ulcer might lead to these sweats.
Anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction can trigger cold sweats.
Severe Pain
Intense pain due to any severe injury like fractures or amputations can also lead to this condition.
Acute Gastritis
Infection, irritation, or erosion of the mucous lining of the stomach occurs in acute gastritis, which can lead to clammy skin.
Hypoglycemia
A person who has low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) can experience dizziness, weakness, clammy skin, nervousness, and hunger.
Treatment
As you saw from the list of causes above, the symptoms can point to a serious condition. Hence, it is important that you seek medical help to learn about the underlying cause. Get yourself diagnosed by a good doctor, to find out the cause and follow the appropriate treatment. The doctor will perform a physical exam and inquire about your medical history. The doctor can ask questions like - are you injured, are you in pain, have you experienced clammy skin before, are you stressed, are you experiencing other symptoms, are you on medication, etc.
Home Care Measures
If you are not sure what is causing the sweats at night, or if you are getting sweats while sleeping, then contact 911 for help.
  • If a person is in shock, then lay him or her on their back and raise their legs by about 12 inches.
  • If the person is suffering from cold sweats due to heat, then give them lots of clean water to drink, and make them lie down or sit in a cool area.
  • If the person is in severe pain or has an injury, then give him or her an over-the-counter medicine like aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
When to Seek Medical Care
If you are showing any of these symptoms along with cold sweats, then seek immediate medical help -
  • shortness of breath
  • signs of shock, which can be due to confusion, weak pulse, or lower level of awareness
  • chest pain
  • discomfort in chest
  • cold sweats and dizziness
So, get a medical check up, to diagnose the underlying cause of the symptoms. The doctor will provide you an appropriate treatment according to the cause.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.