Cold sweats refer to abrupt episodes of sweating that is not due to exertion or heat. This occurs as a bodily reaction to stress or the fight or flight response. It is vital to distinguish cold sweats when delivering first aid care which might be an indication of a significant injury or condition.
What are the symptoms?
Remember that the difference between cold sweats and regular sweating is due to what the individual was doing when it started. You can expect sweating after exercising but cold sweats can occur abruptly and at any temperature.
Oftentimes, the sweating occurs at night when the individual is trying to sleep. This is often referred to as “night sweats” but there is no evident difference between night sweats and cold sweats.
How to deal with cold sweats
Even today, there is no specific way to manage cold sweats. It is vital to manage the underlying cause to make it stop. In case shortness of breath is responsible for causing cold sweats, helping the individual breath can help dry the skin.
What are the possible causes?
Anything that triggers the fight or flight response in the body can lead to sweats such as the following:
- Shock involves a drop in the flow of blood to the brain and other essential bodily organs. The diminished blood flow supplies less oxygen and nutrients to the brain which leads to stress. Remember that shock is a dangerous condition and recognizing cold sweats is a vital key in identifying shock.
- Syncope involves a drop in the blood pressure which leads to fainting and cold sweats. In most cases, the individual starts to sweat with abrupt or severe vertigo or nausea.
- Intense pain from severe injuries such as fractures or amputations or chest pain from a heart attack can lead to cold sweats.
- Severe shortness of breath can cause a drop of oxygen in the bloodstream. Once the brain starts to crave for oxygen, a stress response is instigated which causes cold sweats.
- Low sugar in the bloodstream or hypoglycemia is a common complication among diabetics.
Additionally, anxiety and fear are evident causes of stress in anyone. Intense panic to daily anxiety can result to fight or flight response and other indications that go along with it including cold sweats.
The other potential causes that are not considered as emergencies include hormonal changes during menopause or chronic conditions such as cancer. It is vital to consult a doctor regarding the usual indications of chronic health issues with a doctor. In addition, if the individual is worried about cold sweats, especially if it is the first time to occur, a doctor should be consulted.