Chills cold sweat

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 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 (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.


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 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 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 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 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.


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.

Night Chills and Cold Sweats, Explained

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When you sleep, your body goes through myriad temperature changes; it’s all part of your circadian rhythm. Sometimes that means that you might wake up with night chills, night sweats, or cold sweats. Waking up shivering or sweaty might just be your body adjusting to different temperatures in your room, but it could be something else. It could actually happen for a couple of different reasons, and we’ll outline all of it for you here. 

Are Cold Sweats The Same As Night Chills Or Night Sweats? 

Night sweats commonly occur when your body is too warm while sleeping, so you start to sweat. Night chills, on the other hand, are when your body starts shivering because it’s too cold while sleeping. Cold sweats are unrelated to both of these and don’t exclusively happen while you’re sleeping, as the other two do. 

Cold sweats are often linked to things like shock, infection, pain, or stress. Any of these can manifest (at any time of day) as a cold sweat. Cold sweats also have nothing to do with your actual temperature or the temperature of your environment. Whereas regular sweating happens because of the elevated heat, cold sweats simply got that name because of the lack of heat. Cold sweats also usually happen in your armpits and palms, not so much on your back or face.

Why Am I Shivering Or Sweating At Night?

If you’re wondering what causes cold sweats or night chills at night, you’re not alone and we can help. Night chills and sweats can be caused by a few different things:

  • Sleep apnea: Studies have shown that sweating at night can be linked back to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when you suddenly stop breathing at night, which could understandably send a distress signal through your body, resulting in cold sweats. Sleeping on a mattress designed for those with sleep apnea could help you out if this is your issue.  
  • Menopause: When women are going through menopause, their hormones are out of balance, which often results in hot flashes and occasional night sweats as well. On the flip side, these hot flashes can also lead to shivering as your body’s temperature drops back down. Try sleeping on a mattress designed for hot flashes to see if it helps.
  • Infection: Whether it’s a fever or other infection, these can manifest as shivering or sweating. Typically a high fever will give you the chills and make you shiver, but infections can also make you sweat as your body tries to dispel the infection. 
  • Anxiety: Bouts of anxiety can wreak havoc on your sleep and cause you to sweat at night. If you’re having trouble relaxing for bedtime because you have things weighing on your mind, it’s possible that you’ll wake up even more anxious but sweaty as well.
  • Nausea: Taking a look at what cold sweats is a sign of, it could be nausea. If your stomach is roiling, whether or not you’re fully asleep, you might find yourself in a bit of a sweaty situation as your stomach figures out what to do.
  • Migraines: Intense migraine pain can also manifest as cold sweats. As your body is dealing with the pain, it might start to sweat in hopes that it can get rid of the pain. If you’re prone to migraines, you might have noticed that your hands get clammy while you’re dealing with the pain — that’s the cold sweats.

How Can Night Chills And Cold Sweats Affect Sleep? 

If your night chills and cold sweats are frequently happening, it might be cause for concern. Considering that these sleep issues happen for a reason beyond just being cold and hot, it might be your body telling you that it needs help in some way. Night chills and cold sweats can hinder your sleep, because not only will they make it uncomfortable to rest soundly, but if they’re happening for a larger reason, that reason might also be keeping you from sleeping soundly. Ask yourself: Should I seek medical attention for cold sweats or night chills? If you wake up shivering or sweating more than once a week, then it’s definitely time to talk to your doctor. Even if you think it’s something as simple as menopause, there’s no harm in getting yourself checked out.

How Can I Reduce Night Chills And Cold Sweats While Sleeping? 

Before you get too concerned with night chills and cold sweats being a deeper problem, you can approach it as just a temperature issue. Here are a couple of ways to tackle the problem that are easier than asking, “How do you get rid of cold sweats?”

  • Adjust the temperature in your room: If you’ve been waking up sweaty, try turning your thermostat down or pointing a fan at you while you sleep. If you’ve been waking up shivering, bump the temperature up a little bit or get a space heater.
  • Adjust your clothes or blankets: Similarly, you can add or remove blankets on your bed to suit your temperature needs or sleep in different clothes. Maybe you swap your shorts for pants and vice versa or start sleeping in sweatshirts if you’re cold.
  • Sleep on a cooling mattress: If you keep sweating at night, try investing in a cooling mattress. This might be especially helpful for anyone dealing with hot flashes or even anyone who lives in a warmer climate. These are typically built to provide airflow, which can help keep you cooler at night.

Final Thoughts

Night chills and cold sweats or night sweats can all be unpleasant, but they might just simply be from your room being the wrong temperature. As your body is resting and cycling through its circadian rhythm, your temperature is fluctuating, and sometimes things go awry, causing you to shiver or sweat. They can also be from an underlying issue, so pay attention to your body and seek medical advice if you need to.

The doctor explained which sweat indicates a health hazard

The doctor explained which sweat indicates a health hazard for health - RIA Novosti, 04/29/2021

The doctor explained which sweat indicates a danger to health .. RIA Novosti, 29. 04.2021

2021-04-29t03: 08

2021-04-29t03: 08

2021-04-29T03: 08



Lyudmila Lapa

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MOSCOW, April 29 - RIA Novosti. Cold sweat combined with fever indicates the need to see a doctor, the therapist Lyudmila Lapa spoke about this in an interview with Zvezda. According to the physician, sweating can mean two things: intoxication or internal overheating. At the same time, sweat can be cold or hot, and each of these states means something different. "When the sweat is cold, you must definitely pay attention to the lungs, because it can be an inflammatory process or an exacerbation of some kind of chronic. You must immediately measure temperature and call a doctor, if any. This is a bad indicator," Lapa warned. At the same time, the release of a large amount of cold sweat indicates hyperhidrosis, which indicates the active stage of a viral attack on the body, the specialist noted. In this case, you should also consult a doctor about further actions. "In general, this is a disease, of course, of the endocrine system, you need to pay attention to it. If the slightest tachycardia is disturbing, everyone goes to a cardiologist, and this is still more of an endocrinological problem. In fact In fact, this is a serious reason to see a doctor," the physician concluded.

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Society, Health, Ludmila Lapa

MOSCOW, RIA News. Cold sweat combined with fever indicates the need to see a doctor, this was told in an interview with Zvezda by therapist Lyudmila Lapa.

According to the doctor, sweating can mean two things: intoxication or internal overheating. In this case, sweat is cold or hot, and each of these states means something different.

"When the sweat is cold, you should definitely pay attention to the lungs, because it can be an inflammatory process or an exacerbation of some kind of chronic disease. You should immediately measure the temperature and call a doctor if it is. This is a bad indicator," Lapa warned .

At the same time, the release of a large amount of cold sweat indicates hyperhidrosis, which indicates the active stage of a viral attack on the body, the specialist noted. In this case, you should also consult a doctor about further actions.

"In general, this is a disease, of course, of the endocrine system, you need to pay attention to it. If the slightest tachycardias bother you, everyone goes to a cardiologist, but this problem is still more endocrinological. In fact, this is a serious reason to see a doctor," she concluded medic.

April 9, 2021, 09:22

The doctor told what symptoms you need to contact the clinic

Cold sweat - causes, diagnosis and treatment

Cold sweat is excessive sweating, which is 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

The body's defense reaction 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.


Throws a person 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 diabetic patients, 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 clammy sweat, which is caused by a large amount of stress hormones entering the bloodstream, 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.


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.


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, long QT interval syndrome.


A general practitioner or an internist is responsible for determining 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 exam . 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 trials . 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 performance of 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.


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

The treatment depends on the underlying cause of the 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: