What are the Most Common Causes of Cold Sweat and Nausea?

Sheri Cyprus

Nausea involves an upset stomach with the feeling that one may vomit, while cold sweat is a clammy dampness on the skin that doesn't feel the same as warm perspiration after exercise. Nausea and cold sweat experienced together can be caused by many different conditions. Some of the most common causes of cold sweat and nausea are low blood sugar, menopause, nightmares, fear, anxiety and migraines.

Feelings of anxiety can lead to sweating problems.
Feelings of anxiety can lead to sweating problems.

Migraines are chronic types of headaches experienced by some people, usually on a regular basis. Oftentimes, the pain is only on one side of the head, but it may be mild, moderate or severe in intensity. A person suffering a migraine headache may experience cold sweat and nausea. Other common migraine symptoms include dizziness, plus sensitivity to light and noise.

Nausea has many possible causes, including anxiety and low blood sugar.
Nausea has many possible causes, including anxiety and low blood sugar.

Feelings of anxiety and fear are common causes of nausea and cold sweat. If a person becomes stressed about something to the point of extreme worry, anxiety or fear, he or she may experience nausea and an upset stomach as well as chilled, clammy skin. The body's natural response to a fear, or phobia, that must be faced can also cause cold sweat and nausea. For example, if someone who is extremely afraid of needles has to get a blood test, he or she may become so anxious and worried that these feelings might cause nausea as well as cold sweat. If the symptoms become severe, this may even lead to fainting.

One of the most common causes of cold sweat and nausea are nightmares.
One of the most common causes of cold sweat and nausea are nightmares.

Nightmares, or bad dreams during sleep, are also connected to cold sweat and nausea. A person's body may react this way upon awakening after a dream. Cold sweat during sleep may not be related to dreams, but rather to night sweats. Night sweats are very common in women in menopause. Menopause is the natural stoppage of menstrual periods that occurs as part of the aging process for women.

Low blood sugar may cause cold sweat and nausea in diabetics.
Low blood sugar may cause cold sweat and nausea in diabetics.

Nausea as well as tender muscles are other symptoms of menopause that often accompany night sweats. Cold sweats with nausea during the night may also signal a disease or an infection. Night sweats, with or without nausea, should be reported to a doctor for further examination.

Some people sweat when they are nervous or anxious, because the body is sensing it may have to move quickly to avoid or confront danger.
Some people sweat when they are nervous or anxious, because the body is sensing it may have to move quickly to avoid or confront danger.

For diabetics, a common cause of cold sweat that is often accompanied by nausea, along with other signs such as shaking and confusion, is low blood sugar. People who aren't diabetic typically won't have their blood sugar dip low enough to cause such severe symptoms. Low blood glucose, or sugar, is medically known as hypoglycemia. When diabetics experience symptoms such as cold sweat and nausea, they should use a blood sugar monitor to check their glucose level. Consuming sugar tablets, orange juice, candy or other sweeteners if the body's glucose level is much too low will usually bring it back up to a reasonable level.

Withdrawing from a prescription painkiller can cause cold sweats and nausea.
Withdrawing from a prescription painkiller can cause cold sweats and nausea.
Nausea is a sensation that generally occurs before an individual vomits.
Nausea is a sensation that generally occurs before an individual vomits.

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Discussion Comments

anon1000777

Just wondering if you have had a confirming diagnosis? I have been suffering with similar symptoms for the past year, have had many tests, all kinds of doctors and they keep chalking it up to panic attacks or migraines.

anon989818

I experienced cold sweats and nausea this morning. Slight nausea started first, like "I think that maybe I should .move towards the bathroom, just in case I need to throw up." Then, the cold sweats and dizziness really kicked in as the nausea got worse. But, instead of throwing up, I had the urge to poop! Sorry for the grossness. I thought I was going to be pooping on the toilet while leaning over throwing up into the tub! I pooped like three times, but never threw up. Slowly, the cold sweat (which had me drenched all over) went away, and the nausea dissipated. The worst of it cleared up in about 30 minutes. I was still slightly "out of it" the rest of the afternoon. It was weird. I think it was food poisoning.

sherlock87

Another common cause of these symptoms can be food poisoning. In that case, there is not much one can do besides drinking water and resting. Most food poisoning passes in a day or so. If it does not, then it could be something else.

BambooForest

Low blood sugar an cause these problems even in people without diabetes, though it can be less common. If you are dizzy and nausea seems to be a problem, it can be helpful to sit or lie down, possibly trying having something to drink like juice or ginger ale, and maybe eating something if you think you can get it down. If the problem persists though, you should probably go to a doctor.

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