Dizziness (vertigo) and cold sweats, also called clammy skin, are signs of physical or psychological distress. Knowing what causes these symptoms helps separate inconvenient, temporary conditions from life-threatening emergencies.
Viral and bacterial infections with fever, fluid loss from vomiting and weakness cause mild vertigo with clammy, sweaty skin. Overwhelming infections that cause septic shock and hypovolemic shock from severe vomiting are medical emergencies.
According to the Mayo Clinic, heart attacks, diabetic shock or hypoglycemia, severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) and heat exhaustion are medical emergencies featuring dizziness and clammy skin.
Medications controlling blood pressure, anxiety, depression and diabetes can cause clamminess and dizziness that may fade with use. Contact your doctor if vertigo and sweating are still problematic after six to eight weeks.
Cold sweats and dizziness are part of pregnancy and menopause, where hormone changes cause unpredictable blood vessel dilation or morning sickness causes mild dehydration.
Anxiety and panic attacks reveal themselves in cold sweats with dizziness and can grow out of traumatic experiences at any age. Consider discussing medication or therapy with your doctor if anxiety disrupts your life.
Cancer and HIV infections may cause dizziness with cold sweats. Seek medical help if your have unexplained symptoms.