“Cold sweats” describes sudden sweating that doesn’t come from heat or effort. The medical term for cold sweats is diaphoresis. It comes from the body’s reaction to tension, called the fight or flight reaction. It’s very important to recognize cold sweats when providing first aid, which can be a sign of considerable injury or illness.
Common Causes of Cold Sweat in Men and Women
Anything that triggers a fight or flight action in the body can cause cold sweats. What you do to repair the cold sweats depends upon the cause.
- Shock is dangerously low blood circulation to the brain and other vital organs. The lack of blood flow delivers less oxygen and nutrients to the brain, which causes stress. Shock is a dangerous condition and acknowledging cold sweats is an important secret to determining shock. Other things to try to find if you think shock would be a rapid pulse (over 100 beats per minute), fast breathing (over 20 breaths per minute), pale skin, and feeling weak or woozy when staying up or standing.
- Shock does not simply occur, either. Cold sweats after a system of injury like a cars and truck mishap or a fall suffices of a concern to call 911. In the meantime, let the client lie flat on his/her back and elevate the feet about 8 to 12 inches.
- Any infection that triggers a fever can lead to cold sweats. It’s typical for cold sweats to come on as a fever “breaks” or begins to go back down. Actually bad cases of infection, called sepsis, can cause shock and therefore also to cold sweats. If the cold sweats begun without any preceding fever, or they are accompanied by the symptoms listed with shock above, call an ambulance.
- Another drop in blood pressure called syncope, which often triggers fainting, can lead to diaphoresis. Lots of people will start sweating with extreme or abrupt nausea or vertigo. This is very similar to shock and lying flat on the back with the feet raised also works for this. Call an ambulance for syncope.
- Extreme pain from serious injuries, like fractures or amputations, can lead to cold sweats. If a client with a damaged ankle is sweating, there’s a good bet she or he is in distressing pain and might utilize something to relieve the pain. If the patient is currently taking something for pain, call the doctor to discuss the scenario and go over options or changes to dosages.
- A cardiovascular disease can lead to cold sweats. Call an ambulance if cold sweats also come with chest pain or pressure, or pressure in the neck or arm. Have the client take a chewable aspirin while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
- Severe shortness of breath can cause an absence of oxygen in the bloodstream. When the patient’s brain starts to long for oxygen, a stress action is triggered, causing cold sweats, to name a few things. Try to find other signs of shortness of breath in a patient with cold sweats, like tiredness with very little workout or pursed-lip breathing. If the patient has oxygen, ensure it is on and call an ambulance.
- Insufficient sugar in the bloodstream (hypoglycemia) is a relatively typical complication in people with diabetes. The brain regards an absence of sugar as simply as severe an emergency situation as an absence of oxygen. The response is the exact same, including cold sweats.
- If a person with diabetes is puzzled, call an ambulance and supply the patient with glucose if it is available. If the client can consume, try fruit juice if glucose isn’t nearby.
Fear and stress and anxiety are definite causes of tension for anyone. Anything from extreme panic to daily stress and anxiety can cause a battle or flight response and all the signs that opt for it, consisting of cold sweats.
Signs You Have Cold Sweats
What sets cold sweats apart from regular sweating is what you are doing when they start. You would expect to sweat after doing a few leaping jacks or push-ups, however cold sweats begun suddenly and at any temperature level.
In some cases the sweating happens in the evening when you are trying to sleep. This is typically described as “night sweats,” but there isn’t any real difference between night sweats and cold sweats. It’s all diaphoresis and it could be indicating a bigger issue.
Cold Sweats Treatment
There is no particular treatment of cold sweats. To make them go away, you must deal with the underlying cause. For example, if shortness of breath is triggering sweats, assisting the client to breathe much better and get more oxygen should assist dry the skin.
Simply puts, diaphoresis is not the issue; it is the indication or sign of the issue. Recognizing cold sweats when they take place can help identify a problem before it gets too bad.
When to See Your Doctor
If your body enters into shock, becomes infected, or gets seriously injured, emergency medical attention is essential to prevent any long-term damage. You need to also seek emergency medical attention if you think you’re experiencing a cardiac arrest.
You ought to also see your physician if you:
- have bluish staining of your nails or lips
- feel tightness in your throat
- feel substantially less alert than normal
- throw up blood or pass blood when you have a defecation
If your cold sweats are brought on by a hidden condition, such as anxiety or menopause, your doctor can deal with you to establish a sign management strategy. They’re your best resource for more details about what to expect and how to handle any symptoms you’re experiencing.