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Causes and Treatment of Cold Sweats

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When you hear the words “cold sweats” it refers to abrupt sweating and is not caused by heat or exertion. The medical term that is used for cold sweats is called diaphoresis. It’s called the body’s reaction to being under stress, called the fight or flight response. Recognizing cold sweats can be very crucial when you are providing first aid because it can be a sign of an illness or an injury.

When you hear the words "cold sweats" it refers to abrupt sweating and is not caused by heat or exertion.

When you hear the words “cold sweats” it refers to abrupt sweating and is not caused by heat or exertion.

Symptoms of Cold Sweats

Cold sweats are caused by what the victim is doing from the beginning which makes cold sweats different from regular sweating.

It is normal to sweat after doing strenuous exercises like jumping jacks, or push ups but when it comes to cold sweats it can come on suddenly, and it does not matter what temperature it is.

Sometimes patients in the hospital sweat at night when they are trying to sleep. This is called night sweats, but there really isn’t a difference between having night sweats and cold sweats. It’s all considered diaphoresis, and it is a big problem.


There is no flat out treatment when it comes to cold sweats. To make cold sweats disappear you must take care of the underlying cause. For example, if someone is experiencing shortness of breath and it is causing them to sweat, helping the person with shortness of breath breathe better can help dry the skin.

Diaphoresis is really not the problem; it is the sign and the symptom that the person may be experiencing is the problem. Cold sweat is an indication that there is a problem and recognizing those symptoms can help before it gets worse.

Causes of Cold Sweats

Cold sweats are due to a fight or flight reaction in the body.
Shock is critically low blood flow to the brain and other critical organs. The depletion of blood flow brings less oxygen and nutrients to the brain, and the result is stress. Shock is a condition that is life-threatening and being aware of cold sweats is a vital key to identify shock.

Another decrease in blood pressure called syncope, which can most likely cause someone to pass out, can lead to diaphoresis. Many people will start to sweat, and they will experience severe nausea or dizziness.
Having severe shortness of breath can lead to a depletion of oxygen in the bloodstream. When the person’s brain begins to desire oxygen, a response to stress is triggered, which causes cold sweats and a lot of other symptoms. Look for other signs besides shortness of breath in a person with cold sweats.

Not having enough sugar in the bloodstream (hypoglycemia) is the most constant complication in diabetic patients. The response in the brain regarding a lack of sugar is just as serious as an emergency depletion of oxygen.

In conclusion, fear and anxiety can be a cause of stress for anyone. Whether you are suffering from intense panic or everyday anxiety, it can lead to a fight or flight reaction and all the many signs that go with it, in addition to cold sweats.

Related Video On Cold Sweats

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