What are the Most Common Causes of Nausea and Sweating?

N. Madison
N. Madison

There are many conditions capable of causing a person to experience nausea and sweating. These symptoms can be caused by everything from sudden illnesses and injuries to chronic conditions and emotional upheaval. Gastrointestinal illness may be among the most common causes of these symptoms. A person may also experience these symptoms during a heart attack or during an episode of anxiety or vertigo. Additionally, a person may sweat and feel nauseous after taking some types of medication.

A diagram of the human skin, including sweat glands.
A diagram of the human skin, including sweat glands.

While there are many things that may cause a person to experience nausea and sweating, an illness that affects the gastrointestinal tract may be the most likely culprit. For example, a person who has food poisoning may experience these symptoms before he develops such symptoms as vomiting and diarrhea. In some cases, a person may feel nauseous and begin sweating after taking a medication that upsets his stomach. Sometimes the sweating is a symptom of the digestive tract illnesses or condition. In some cases, however, a person may begin to sweat because he is emotionally upset over the illness.

Illness commonly causes sweating.
Illness commonly causes sweating.

Another common cause of nausea and sweating is a heart attack. Many people are most familiar with chest and arm pain as symptoms of heart attacks, but sweating and nausea are frequent symptoms as well. In fact, the symptoms of a heart attack may sometimes be mild enough that a person may focus on the nausea and decide he is suffering from indigestion or a digestive-related illness rather than having a heart attack. Sometimes the symptoms are vague or mild enough that a person may even attribute them to being overly tired.

Anxiety can cause nausea and sweating.
Anxiety can cause nausea and sweating.

Anxiety is another one of the common causes of sweating accompanied by nausea. For example, a person who has panic attacks may become nauseous, begin to sweat, and note a feeling of dread when he has a panic attack. Some people even have symptoms that mimic those of a heart attack. For instance, a person may have chest pain or a sensation of a heavy weight on his chest while he is having a panic attack. An individual need not have a panic disorder to experience these symptoms along with feelings of anxiety, however; some people may become nauseous and begin to sweat when they become occasionally anxious.

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

An individual may also experience nausea and sweating during an episode of vertigo. Vertigo is a type of dizziness in which a person may feel as if his environment has changed. For example, he may feel as if the room is spinning or the ground has tilted.

Food poisoning can cause nausea and sweating.
Food poisoning can cause nausea and sweating.
Nausea is a sensation that generally occurs before an individual vomits.
Nausea is a sensation that generally occurs before an individual vomits.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments


Doesn't happen every morning but about 2-3 times a week I get nausea and sometimes accompanying sweats. I've not vomited but sure felt like it. After I've eaten something (ie; toast or yogurt) it seems to subside and it seems to appear only in the AM. I'm 77 and my Mom passed with pancreatic cancer, Dad, CVA. Am I a candidate to see a gastroenterologist about this?


All these symptoms are due to a parasite in the gut like Blastocystis hominis that lives as a friendly flora with other beneficial flora, but

recently it has been found that it is a pathogenic and can cause all the above symptoms mentioned by other posters.

My advice is to order three stool tests to find this organism (B.hominis). If found, your doctor will tell you that organism is harmless! Don't believe what he said. Best health to all.


I started the nausea and vomiting four years ago. At first it was during the day but every time since then it has been at night. Now it is accompanied by nausea, which is quickly followed by heavy vomiting and sweating. One time I was delirious and sweating so heavily that I needed to change the sheets and shower. I didn't however, because I was so weak and sick. I had a very sore throat but no fever. It was so sore I couldn't even drink water or eat ice cream.

I was very confused and knocked the phone on the floor and so could not call for help. I heard voices and a band playing.


Just to add, I used to get travel sickness really badly and would often get nausea and then vomit on car journeys and also on boats, but it happens far less often on planes. Nausea is awful!

Vomiting is at least a relief from the nausea, even if only temporarily.


I have been dealing with anxiety all my life, so I'm familiar with nausea and sweating. I experience them before any sort of confrontation or uncomfortable situation.

I have one more symptom that always goes along with them. My hands shake severely, and my fingers and toes go numb.

When all of this happens at once, I am rendered helpless. I have to go to the bathroom and sit in front of the toilet, wet and shivering, while I wait for the nausea to pass or myself to vomit.

I am now on some medication that has helped considerably. Now, only the most intense situations bring about nausea, sweating, and shaking, while the lesser ones are so much easier to deal with.


@shell4life - It's always good if the sweating is announcing either diarrhea or vomiting. However, if it is a precursor to both, then you can be in trouble.

I had rotovirus as a child, and I was vomiting into a bowl while having diarrhea on the toilet. I was sweating so much that my clothes were soaked.

I was losing fluids through the sweat, vomit, and diarrhea, so my body was becoming dehydrated quickly. I had to be hospitalized, and since there was no cure, all they could do was pump me full of fluids and give me anti-nausea medication.

The virus took about a week to run its course, but I did recover fully. That was the sickest I have ever been.


I've had food poisoning before, and both the nausea and the sweating are extreme. It's like my body is letting me know that what is in store for me is very bad.

I think it would be more of a problem if I didn't sweat, though. I get such bad hot flashes that my body really needs to cool off. I think I must surely have fever right before vomiting.

Sometimes when I'm very nauseous and sweating profusely, it is followed by diarrhea instead of vomiting. If this is about to happen, then I will have painful gas and intestinal cramping as I sweat.


If I am nauseous and about to vomit, I always start to sweat about a minute or two before my food comes up. I get very hot, and I try holding a cold, wet cloth over my face, but nothing seems to take away the heat and sickness.

There have been times when I've been extremely nauseous and haven't broken out in a sweat, but this only happens when I don't vomit. If I do start to sweat, then I can be sure that the vomiting is about to happen.

It's as if my whole body is protesting the oncoming vomiting. It feels as if it is working so hard to hold onto the food that it is sweating up a storm.

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