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Cold Vs. Flu: How to Tell the Difference in Your Symptoms

You have a runny nose, a cough, a fever, and a pounding headache, but what’s making you feel so awful? Figuring out whether you’re dealing with the common cold or the flu is often hard to tell.

Finding the Cause Depends on the Type of Virus

Both a cold and the flu, or influenza, are respiratory infections, but they’re caused by different viruses. A cold can be caused by any one of more than 200 distinct viruses, while there are only a handful of viruses that cause the flu.

As a general rule, the flu is usually more intense and fierce than the common cold. In some situations, it can be important to know if you have the flu, since it is more likely to lead to serious complications, including pneumonia, bacterial infection, or hospitalization. “Watch out for a fever that goes away and then comes back. That could mean that a cold or flu has turned into a bacterial infection,” warns Charles Foster, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Pediatric Infectious Diseases in Ohio.

Key Symptoms of the Flu

Symptoms that indicate flu tend to be more severe than with a cold and include high fever (above 102 F), nausea, cough without phlegm, chills, body aches, sweating, and lack of appetite.

Difference Between the Onset of Cold vs. Flu Symptoms

In addition to examining your symptoms, watching how they develop can give you a clue as to which illness you have. Cold symptoms tend to develop gradually, while flu symptoms can come on suddenly, without warning.

Learn more about Cold and Flu Symptoms

Seeking Medical Care to Determine if You Have a Cold or the Flu

Your doctor can perform tests in the first few days after you develop symptoms to determine whether you have a cold or the flu. However, you usually don’t need to visit the doctor unless your symptoms are severe, you have a pre-existing health problem that puts you at high risk of a complication, or your symptoms indicate a more serious infection.

Whether you have a cold or the flu, expect your symptoms to stick around for about 10 days. There is no cure for a cold, but in some severe cases of the flu, your doctor may recommend an antiviral medication to speed up your recovery time. Antiviral drugs are considered a second line of defense after flu vaccinations.

Since both the common cold and the flu are caused by viruses, not bacteria, antibiotic medicines are not of any use in combating them.

Get plenty of rest, avoid smoking and alcohol, drink plenty of water and juice, and take over-the-counter medication to treat specific symptoms and help you feel better as your body fights off the infection.

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Cold Sweats: Causes, Treatment, and More

Cold sweats can be caused by a variety of different conditions. They’re often associated with your body’s “fight or flight” response. This happens when your body prepares itself to either run away or to get hurt.

They’re also common to conditions that prevent oxygen or blood from circulating throughout your body.

Keep reading to learn more.

Shock

Shock happens when your body reacts to extreme environmental conditions or severe injury. When your body goes into shock, your organs don’t receive as much as oxygen or blood as they need to function. If your body stays in a state of shock for too long, your organs can be harmed. In some cases, shock can be fatal if untreated.

Other symptoms include:

  • abnormally pale skin
  • rapid breathing
  • abnormally high pulse
  • feeling sick or throwing up
  • abnormally large (dilated) pupils
  • feeling weak or exhausted
  • feeling dizzy
  • abnormal anxiety or feelings of stress

Infection or sepsis

Infections can be caused by bacteria or viruses attacking your body’s tissues. In many cases, infections cause your tissues to become inflamed as your immune system tries to fight off the infection.

Sepsis happens when your immune system responds to a serious bacterial or viral infection in your abdomen, lungs, urinary system, or other major bodily tissues. With sepsis, inflammation can happen across your entire body. This can cause your blood to clot or to spill out of your blood vessels. This makes it harder for your organs to get fresh blood and oxygen, which can cause cold sweats.

Sepsis can be life-threatening. Seek emergency medical help right away if you have cold sweats with any of the following symptoms:

  • high fever
  • coldness and shivering
  • confusion or disorientation
  • rapid breathing
  • abnormally high pulse
  • difficulty breathing
  • loss of consciousness

Nausea or vertigo

Nausea is simply feeling like you’re sick and going to throw up, although you may not always throw up when you feel nauseous. Nausea can be caused by many things, such as by eating too much or from taking certain medications.

Vertigo is dizziness that results from feeling like the room around you is moving when it actually isn’t. It’s often caused by issues with your inner ear and its connections to the brain.

See your doctor if you notice any other common symptoms of vertigo, including:

  • twitchy eye movement (nystagmus)
  • blurry vision (diplopia)
  • difficulty walking
  • weakness or abnormal numbness
  • ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • difficulty speaking or slurring your speech

Fainting

Fainting (syncope) happens when you don’t get enough oxygen to your brain. Cold sweats can occur right before or after you pass out.

Fainting because of brain oxygen loss can happen for a number of reasons, including:

  • being dehydrated
  • getting too hot or sweating too much due to exercise or external temperature
  • blood not flowing out of your legs quickly enough (pooling)
  • being overly exhausted
  • having certain heart conditions that cause your heart to beat too fast or too slowly

See your doctor right away if you think a heart condition may be causing you to faint.

Intense pain from injury

Pain caused by an injury, such as from breaking a bone or getting hit in the head, can cause cold sweats, similar to the way shock can cause sweating as your organs don’t get enough oxygen.

Taking pain medication, such as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug like ibuprofen (Advil), can help relieve intense pain and stop cold sweats. Talk to your doctor before taking NSAIDs to make sure they’re a safe option for you.

Stress or anxiety

Stress or anxiety caused by overwhelming responsibilities at home, at work, or at school can trigger cold sweats.

Other symptoms can include:

  • unexplained pain
  • vomiting
  • tense muscles

These effects are a result of the stress that anxiety puts on the body, which can keep oxygen from getting to your brain or other organs.

Having an anxiety disorder can disrupt your life and cause long-term health effects. See your doctor if you believe you may have an anxiety disorder. They may refer you to a therapist or psychiatrist to assess the cause of your stress or anxiety.

Migraines

A migraine is a type of headache that can cause severe pain for an extended period of time. Cold sweats usually happen during a migraine as your body responds to the pain.

Migraines can be debilitating and interrupt your life. See your doctor if your migraines keep you from doing daily tasks or if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • having trouble speaking
  • having blurry vision or loss of vision
  • feeling numb or weak on one side of your body
  • hearing sounds that aren’t real
  • feeling extremely sensitive to sound or light
  • feeling dizzy, confused, or disoriented

Hypoxia

Hypoxia means that not enough oxygen is getting to the organs in your body. This can be caused by not breathing in enough oxygen. This can happen when you breathe in smoke or go to high altitudes where the air supply is decreased.

When your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it’s called cerebral hypoxia. Because your brain is deprived of oxygen, your body responds in cold sweats and other mental symptoms, such as:

  • having trouble walking or controlling other body movements
  • having trouble paying attention
  • losing your judgmental abilities
  • having difficulty breathing

Severe hypoxia can cause you to lose consciousness or go into a coma. Seek emergency medical help right away if hypoxia has caused you to lose control over your body or feel like passing out.

Hypotension

Hypotension happens when your blood pressure drops to much lower levels than normal. Low blood pressure is normal when you sleep or are doing little activity, but hypotension can be serious when it causes the brain or your other organs not to get enough oxygen.

Other common symptoms of hypotension include:

  • feeling dizzy or confused
  • having blurry vision
  • passing out without warning
  • feeling exhausted
  • feeling nauseous

Your body can go into shock if your blood pressure drops low enough. Seek emergency medical help right away if this happens.

Menopause

Menopause happens when your body’s balance of two hormones, estrogen and progesterone, changes dramatically and your menstrual cycle ends.

Along with sudden hot flashes, cold sweats are among the most noticeable physical symptoms of menopause.

Other common symptoms of menopause include:

  • experiencing changes in your menstrual cycle
  • having trouble controlling your urination
  • having trouble sleeping
  • experiencing changes in your moods or mental state
  • gaining weight
  • feeling less pleasure during sex due to vaginal dryness or hormone changes

Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is another name for excessive sweating. Hyperhidrosis can happen when you sweat because of exercise or heat, but frequent cold sweats with hyperhidrosis can also happen without warning.

Hyperhidrosis isn’t usually a cause for concern, especially if it happens without any other symptoms. It can be passed down in families, so it may simply be caused by your genes and not an underlying health condition. If hyperhidrosis is disrupting your life, see your doctor.

Hypoglycemia

With hypoglycemia, your blood sugar drops below normal levels. Your body reacts to a lack of blood sugar similarly to a lack of oxygen.

If you have diabetes, seek emergency medical help right away to restore your blood’s glucose levels. Eating or drinking sugary foods and beverages, such as a meal replacement bar or fruit juice, can also help restore blood sugar in a short amount of time.

Cold sweats can be one of the first signs of a heart attack. Seek emergency medical help right away if you suddenly have a cold sweat along with any of the following symptoms:

  • discomfort or pain in your chest that feels like pulling, squeezing, or bloating
  • difficulty breathing
  • discomfort or pain in your neck, jaw, stomach, or back
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • a feeling that you’re going to pass out

Treatment depends on what’s causing your cold sweats. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can keep you from getting dehydrated. Getting regular exercise and avoiding habits such as smoking or drinking excessive alcohol can prevent cold sweats.

In some cases where your oxygen supply is low, taking deep breaths can help restore your blood’s oxygen supply. Meditation and relaxation techniques can help calm anxiety or stress and help you get your breath back. You can meditate anywhere, and these positions can help guide practice at all levels.

Underlying conditions can be managed with medications, including:

  • prescription antiperspirants
  • nerve blockers that stop your nerves from telling your brain to induce sweating
  • antidepressants
  • Botox injections, which can also block nerves that tell your brain to induce sweating

If your body goes into shock, becomes infected, or gets seriously injured, emergency medical attention is necessary to prevent any long-term damage. You should also seek emergency medical attention if you think you’re experiencing a heart attack.

You should also see your doctor if you:

  • have bluish discoloration of your nails or lips
  • feel tightness in your throat
  • feel significantly less alert than usual
  • throw up blood or pass blood when you have a bowel movement

If your cold sweats are caused by an underlying condition, such as anxiety or menopause, your doctor can work with you to develop a symptom management plan. They’re your best resource for more information about what to expect and how to cope with any symptoms you’re experiencing.

Cold sweat – causes, diseases, diagnosis, prevention and treatment

Description

Cold sweat is sweat that is secreted from the sweat glands and cools the skin, causing a feeling of coldness. Sweat is usually warm, as it is produced to regulate body temperature, but sometimes cold sweat can occur due to various diseases or conditions.

Cold sweat can have different characteristics depending on its cause. For example, with a general cooling of the body, sweat can be cold and accompanied by trembling, and with severe emotional stress or a panic attack, sweat can be cold and clammy.

Cold sweat can be a symptom of various diseases or conditions such as cardiovascular disease, acute infections, allergic reactions, autoimmune diseases, endocrine disorders, and others. In this case, cold sweat may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as weakness, pale skin, loss of consciousness, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and others.

If you have cold sweats, see your doctor to assess the condition and determine the cause. In some cases, additional testing and treatment may be required.

Why cold sweat is dangerous

Cold sweat is not dangerous in itself, but is a symptom of various diseases and conditions that can be dangerous to health. Therefore, if you have a cold sweat, especially in combination with other symptoms, you need to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Some of the diseases and conditions that can cause cold sweats and be hazardous to health include:

  • Acute coronary syndrome such as acute myocardial infarction
  • Acute infection such as sepsis
  • Allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis
  • Shock due to blood loss, anaphylaxis, infection or other cause
  • Endocrine disorders such as hypoglycemia or adrenal insufficiency
  • Circulatory disorders such as acute cerebrovascular accident or thromboembolism
  • Oncological diseases such as lung or bladder cancer

In addition, cold sweats may be accompanied by other symptoms that may indicate a serious condition, such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, panic, and others. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention if you have a cold sweat in combination with other symptoms.

Physiological causes of cold sweat

Cold sweat is a response to various physiological factors that affect the functioning of the body. Here are some physiological reasons that can cause cold sweat:

  • Severe physical or emotional stress: during intense physical exercise or during periods of severe emotional stress, cold sweat may be released.
  • Elevated ambient temperature: At high ambient temperatures or in the sauna, sweating may occur, which cools the skin.
  • Acute food reaction: An acute allergic reaction to food may produce cold sweats accompanied by other symptoms such as itching, hives and swelling.
  • Sudden changes in blood glucose levels: when blood glucose levels are severely low (hypoglycemia), sweating may occur, which is accompanied by a cold sweat.
  • Taking certain medications: Some medications, such as analgesics and antidepressants, can cause sweating, including cold sweats.

Physiological cold sweats are usually not a health hazard and resolve quickly when the cause is removed. However, if you have cold sweats in combination with other symptoms such as weakness, chest pain, or difficulty breathing, you should see your doctor for an evaluation.

Pathological causes of cold sweat

Cold sweat can also be caused by various pathological conditions, such as diseases of the cardiovascular system, infections, allergies, certain endocrine disorders, and others. Some of the pathological causes of cold sweat include:

  • Acute coronary syndrome such as acute myocardial infarction
  • Shock due to various causes, including blood loss, trauma or anaphylaxis
  • Acute cerebrovascular accident
  • Acute infection such as sepsis
  • Oncological diseases such as lung or bladder cancer
  • Allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis
  • Endocrine disorders such as hypoglycemia or adrenal insufficiency
  • Certain autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus or scleroderma

If you have a cold sweat that lasts for a long time or is accompanied by other symptoms, you should see a doctor to diagnose and treat the underlying disease.

Accompanying symptoms

Cold sweat may be accompanied by various symptoms, depending on the underlying cause. Some of the more common symptoms that may accompany cold sweats include:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Severe weakness
  • Dizziness or loss of consciousness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Increased heart rate or arrhythmia
  • Cold extremities, redness or pallor of the skin
  • High body temperature or fever
  • Severe cough or nasal congestion
  • Abdominal pain or diarrhea
  • Panic attacks or anxiety

If you have cold sweats in combination with other symptoms, you should see a doctor to diagnose and treat the underlying condition. Some of the symptoms, such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, or high body temperature, may indicate a serious condition, so in such cases, immediate medical attention is needed.

What are the scenarios

The scenarios for cold sweat depend on the cause that caused it and the presence of other symptoms. Some of the possible scenarios that can occur with cold sweats include:

  • Improvement: If the cold sweat is caused by physiological factors, such as intense exercise or severe emotional stress, then the condition usually improves after the cause disappears.
  • Deterioration: If the cold sweat is caused by a serious illness or condition, such as acute coronary syndrome or infection, the condition may worsen over time and require urgent medical attention.
  • Development of other symptoms: In some cases, cold sweat may be accompanied by other symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, dizziness or loss of consciousness. In such cases, urgent medical attention may be required.
  • Asymptomatic: If cold sweat is temporary and caused by physiological factors, it usually resolves without any other symptoms and does not pose a health risk.

If you have cold sweats, especially in combination with other symptoms, you should see a doctor to diagnose and treat the underlying condition. Seeing your doctor early can help prevent possible complications and improve your prognosis.

What diseases cause cold sweat

Cold sweat can be a symptom of various diseases, which include:

  • Acute coronary syndrome such as acute myocardial infarction
  • Shock due to various causes, including blood loss, trauma, or anaphylaxis
  • Acute cerebrovascular accident
  • Acute infection such as sepsis
  • Oncological diseases such as lung or bladder cancer
  • Allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis
  • Endocrine disorders such as hypoglycemia or adrenal insufficiency
  • Certain autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus or scleroderma

However, cold sweats can also be caused by milder causes such as physical and emotional stress, increased ambient temperature, or certain medications.

If you have cold sweats, you should see a doctor to diagnose and treat the underlying condition. Seeing your doctor early can help prevent possible complications and improve your prognosis.

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What examinations to undergo

If you have cold sweat, you need to see a doctor to diagnose and treat the underlying disease. Diagnosis may include the following examinations:

  • Complete blood count: to assess the level of hemoglobin, leukocytes and other blood parameters.
  • Biochemical blood test: to assess the level of glucose, electrolytes, urea and creatinine.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): to evaluate the work of the heart and detect abnormal heart rhythms or myocardial ischemia.
  • Chest x-ray: to detect diseases of the lungs and heart.
  • Ultrasound of the heart: to assess the work of the heart and detect blood flow disorders.
  • CT or MRI of the brain: to detect cerebrovascular disease or other disorders.
  • Allergy tests: to detect allergic reactions to certain substances or foods.
  • Additional examinations, including gastroscopy, colonoscopy, abdominal ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, and others, may be prescribed depending on the symptoms and the proposed diagnosis.

Examinations are ordered by a doctor and depend on the symptoms, the suspected diagnosis and the source of the cold sweat. It is important to see a doctor as soon as possible to start treatment and prevent possible complications.

How to remove it

The removal of cold sweat depends on the cause of its occurrence. If cold sweat is caused by physiological factors, such as intense physical exercise or severe emotional stress, then it can be removed in the following ways:

  • Move to a cool room and remove excess clothing.
  • Reduce physical or emotional stress.
  • Drink cool liquids to reduce sweating.
  • Shower or bath with cool water.

However, if the cold sweat is caused by a serious illness or condition, then a doctor should be consulted to diagnose and treat the underlying condition. In such cases, the removal of cold sweat may require special treatment, which may include medications, procedures, or surgery.

In any case, if you have a cold sweat, you need to see a doctor to diagnose and treat the underlying disease.

Which doctor to contact

If you have a cold sweat, it is recommended to contact your family doctor (general practitioner) in the first place. He will conduct an examination, collect an anamnesis, find out the presence of other symptoms and prescribe the necessary examinations to identify the cause of cold sweat. Depending on the results of the examinations, the doctor may prescribe treatment on his own or refer you for a consultation with a specialist, if necessary.

If the cold sweat is caused by a cardiovascular disease, a cardiologist may be required. If the cause is an allergic reaction, then you should consult an allergist. In some cases, such as cancer, it may be necessary to consult an oncologist.

If you have cold sweats in combination with other symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, dizziness or loss of consciousness, seek immediate medical attention. In such cases, you should call an ambulance or visit the nearest emergency room.

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Cold sweat – causes, diagnosis and treatment

Cold sweat is excessive sweating accompanied by cold skin, chills. The symptom occurs against the background of weakness, dizziness. There are various reasons for the development of cold sweat: disorders of the autonomic nervous system, blood loss and other emergency conditions, endocrine and cardiac diseases. To identify the cause of the disorder, ECG, echocardiography, ultrasound, x-ray imaging methods, and laboratory tests are used. To eliminate cold sweat, the underlying disease is treated.

Causes of cold sweat

Severe stress

Protective reaction of the body to any stressful situation is the release of adrenal medulla hormones (mainly adrenaline). This substance constricts the blood vessels of the skin and activates the sweat glands. A person feels profuse cold sweat, which appears in the form of drops, more often in the head area, and sometimes can drain in trickles. Such a manifestation is characteristic of the strongest emotional upheavals. Short-term sweating during stress is a variant of the norm, but when it is combined with dizziness, pre-syncope, medical assistance is needed.

Migraine

A person is thrown into a cold sweat at the height of a pain attack. In addition to severe headaches, the patient feels lightheadedness, weakness, and general sweating is observed. Hands and feet are cold, damp, sweat may run down the face and neck. This condition persists throughout the migraine attack and disappears on its own after the pain stops. Severe pain provokes excessive production of adrenaline, which causes sweating. Unpleasant symptoms are aggravated by exposure to light and sound stimuli.

Vegetovascular dystonia (VVD)

This is a common cause of cold sweat, especially in young, emotionally labile patients. A person with VVD reports that attacks of increased sweating have a different frequency – from several times a month to several times a day. Sweating is provoked by staying in a stuffy room, excitement. Patients note that the symptom is combined with severe weakness, dizziness, some people think that they are about to faint. Cold sweat is released all over the body, sweating of the palms, head, and armpits is most pronounced.

Diabetes mellitus

In patients with diabetes, cold sweating most often develops against the background of a decrease in blood glucose levels. Often a symptom is observed with long breaks between meals, erroneous administration of more insulin. At first there is a strong feeling of hunger, then on the face, the body sweats profusely, while the limbs are very pale and cold. Increased sweating is sometimes accompanied by motor excitement, a feeling of fear. The condition requires emergency care, as hypoglycemia can turn into a coma.

Cardiac pathology

Cold sticky sweat, which is caused by the ingestion of a large amount of stress hormones into the blood, appears on the skin during myocardial infarction. The symptom appears against the background of sharp pains in the chest with irradiation to the shoulder blade or left arm. In addition to pain, there is pronounced weakness, coldness of the extremities, cold perspiration appears on the face and body. The patient is very pale, verbal reactions may be inhibited. Sometimes the cause of cold sweat is the development of acute heart failure with a sharp drop in pressure and activation of the sympathetic nervous system.

Bleeding

Loss of a large amount of blood (more than 10% of BCC) is always accompanied by a violation of the general condition. With external bleeding from large vessels, cold sweat occurs immediately after an injury, its appearance is due to both neurohumoral disorders and a strong emotional shock from the type of blood. With massive internal bleeding, hemorrhages in the abdominal or pleural cavity, sticky sweat, a sharp cooling of the skin, and diffuse cyanosis are observed. Profuse blood loss can lead to loss of consciousness.

Infectious diseases

Cold sweat usually occurs at bedtime, or the patient wakes up at night with severe chills and notices increased sweating. The development of a symptom is associated with intoxication of the body with particles of bacterial or viral agents, an increase in body temperature. In some infections, complaints of prolonged perspiration (more than 1 month), cold extremities are typical. Abundant sweat can be combined with muscle trembling, weakness. Cold sweating is characteristic of diseases such as:

  • Bacterial infections : pneumonia, tuberculosis, sepsis, etc.
  • Viral processes : influenza, infectious mononucleosis, hemorrhagic fever (Crimea-Congo, Marburg, Ebola).
  • Parasitic infestations : malaria, toxoplasmosis.
  • HIV infection .

Withdrawal syndrome

Profuse cold sweats, which are predominantly observed at night, occur in people who are dependent on alcohol and drugs. Perspiration appears 2-3 days after the cessation of the use of these psychoactive substances. Sometimes the sweat is so profuse that the sheets and pillowcases get soaked through, and the person suffering from withdrawal symptoms has to change bedding in the middle of the night. Increased sweating is accompanied by aching and burning sensation throughout the body, weakness, severe headaches. Characterized by irritability, emotional instability.

Emergencies

There are many acute conditions in which cold sweats can occur. Perspiration always appears with severe damage to internal organs, in which the nervous regulation changes, there is a sharp release of biologically active compounds into the blood. At the same time, the skin turns pale sharply, the nasolabial triangle, nails, fingertips acquire a bluish tint. Sticky sweat appears on the entire surface of the body. Concomitant symptoms depend on the cause that provoked the appearance of cold sweat. With profuse sweating and cold extremities occur:

  • Critical conditions : acute respiratory or hepatic failure, renal colic.
  • Pathology of the gastrointestinal tract : peritonitis, strangulated hernia, thrombosis of mesenteric vessels.
  • Diseases of the pelvic organs : ovarian apoplexy, tubal pregnancy, uterine perforation.
  • Neurological disorders : concussion, subdural or epidural hematomas, stroke.

Rare causes

  • Oncological diseases : lymphogranulomatosis, non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, acute and chronic leukemias.
  • Idiopathic hyperhidrosis .
  • Endocrine pathology : hypothyroidism, chronic insufficiency of the adrenal cortex.
  • Cardiac arrhythmias : Morgagni-Adams-Stokes syndrome, paroxysmal tachycardia, QT interval prolongation syndrome.

Diagnosis

A general practitioner or an internist is responsible for finding out the causes of excessive sweating. The main task of the examination is to detect the main cause – pathology, one of the symptoms of which is cold sweat. Diagnostic search involves laboratory and instrumental methods for assessing the general condition of the body and the functioning of individual organs. The following studies are considered the most valuable:

  • Cardiac diagnostics . To exclude cardiac causes of the origin of cold sweat, an electrocardiogram is recorded in standard leads. The recording evaluates the voltage of the teeth, the size of the intervals between them. If pathological signs are detected, echocardiography is performed to clarify the diagnosis.
  • Neurological examination . Standard research includes checking deep and superficial reflexes, skin dermographism. To exclude vegetovascular disorders, the Danini-Ashner phenomenon and an orthostatic test are used. In some situations, an electroencephalogram recording is recommended.
  • Functional tests . Methods are used when idiopathic hyperhidrosis is presumably considered as the main cause that provoked cold sweat. The amount of perspiration is estimated using evapometry and gravimetry. To measure the area and intensity of hyperhidrosis, Minor’s test (iodine-starch test) is performed.
  • Imaging methods . During the initial examination of patients with complaints of cold sweat, ultrasound of the abdominal cavity and small pelvis is informative. In the presence of concomitant symptoms, an X-ray examination of the chest and abdomen is indicated. Sometimes a CT scan or MRI is prescribed.
  • Analyzes . A clinical blood test can detect signs of infectious diseases, which are often manifested by cold sweating. A coagulogram is performed in the presence of bleeding. In all cases of the disorder, a biochemical blood test with a proteinogram, measurement of fasting glucose is recommended.

The presence of a general infectious syndrome is an indication for bacteriological examination and serological tests to identify the type of pathogen (RIF, ELISA, PCR). With prolonged sweating, it is necessary to determine the concentration of insulin, thyroid hormones and adrenal cortex. To examine patients with cold sweat, other specialists (endocrinologist, phthisiatrician, oncologist) may be involved.

Treatment

Help before diagnosis

Cold sweat can be a sign of various diseases, so only a doctor can determine the exact causes of unpleasant symptoms. Before establishing the cause of sweating, it is recommended to take a hygienic shower regularly and change bed linen more often. With strong sweating, sedatives are used that normalize the functioning of the nervous system. If cold sweat arose against the background of severe weakness or dizziness, the patient should be seated, provided with air, and when fainting, give a sniff of ammonia.

First aid in critical conditions

Conservative therapy

Treatment depends on the underlying cause of excessive sweating. In critical conditions, resuscitation, oxygen support and the introduction of infusion glucose-salt solutions are required. In the case of a satisfactory condition, drug therapy is carried out. Cold sweat caused by autonomic dysfunction is treated with the use of physiotherapy and psychotherapy. The treatment regimen may include the following drug groups:

  • Sedatives . Means are effective when cold sweat is associated with disorders of the nervous system. Both herbal and synthetic medicines are used. In difficult situations, resort to “daytime” tranquilizers.
  • Analgesics . The occurrence of cold clammy sweat associated with pain requires the appointment of non-narcotic painkillers. With severe pain, traumatic shock, opioid analgesics are used.
  • Antibacterials . Medicines help eliminate sweating associated with infectious diseases. For tuberculosis, specific long-term treatment regimens are used with combinations of several anti-tuberculosis drugs.
  • Thrombolytics . The drugs are prescribed to patients with myocardial infarction, against which cold sweat occurs. They allow you to restore the blood supply to the heart muscle and significantly reduce the period of convalescence.

Surgical treatment

In case of cold sweat caused by severe organic lesions of the internal organs, surgery is indicated. Diseases accompanied by an “acute abdomen” require laparotomy, revision and sanitation of the abdominal cavity.