If You Have Cold Sweats, It Could Be A Sign Of Something Serious

It's normal to have some perspiration when you're exerting your body, like when you're running or hitting the gym. But if you're sweating a lot when you're not exercising, it could be a sign that something more serious is going on inside your body.

Sweating is the body's way of staying cool and regulating temperature (via MedlinePlus). The sweat glands release liquid that contains salt, usually under the arms, on the feet, and on the palms of the hands. We each have anywhere from 2 to 4 million sweat glands, so how much we sweat differs from person to person. However, men typically have more active glands than women. These glands are fully activated during puberty and controlled by the autonomic nervous system, meaning we can't control our sweating.

There are times that it's normal to sweat, like when it's hot outside, when you eat spicy foods, when you're feeling stressed, or when you have a fever, according to WebMD. It's the body's natural mechanism for preventing overheating. However, if you're sweating an abnormal amount or experiencing cold sweats, it could be cause for concern.

Cold sweats can be an early sign of heart problems

Cold sweats happen when you're not exercising or in extreme heat, and they could be an early warning sign of heart problems, like a heart attack (via Healthline). When the arteries are clogged, the heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout the body, so the body sweats to cool down from the extra exertion.

Heart attacks don't always happen suddenly like they do in the movies. In fact, 45% of all heart attacks are called silent myocardial infarction (SMI) and are often thought to be less serious health problems, according to Harvard Health Publishing. That's because they tend to lack the intensity of pain one commonly associates with a heart attack. Sweating is one of those symptoms, along with fatigue, shortness of breath, feeling nauseated, and mild pain in the chest that's similar to indigestion.

If you're experiencing cold sweats that can't be explained or aren't going away, you should contact your medical provider immediately.