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What Are the Causes of Headaches & Sweating?

author image Elle Paula
Elle Paula has a Bachelor of Science in nutrition from Framingham State College and a certificate in holistic nutrition from the American College of Healthcare Sciences. She is also a licensed aesthetician with advanced training in skincare and makeup. She plans to continue on with her education, complete a master's degree program in nutrition and, ultimately, become a registered dietitian.
What Are the Causes of Headaches & Sweating?
A headache accompanied by sweating can occur as a result of a viral infection. Photo Credit sweating image by sasha from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

In normal circumstances, sweating is triggered by the body in a response to increased temperatures in an effort to maintain body temperature or return the internal temperature of the body back to normal. When sweating occurs in conjunction with a headache, it can indicate an underlying physical or mental illness or a body imbalance that disrupts normal functioning.


Influenza, more commonly referred to as the flu, is a respiratory system infection caused by an influenza virus. The flu is a highly contagious infection and can be spread through airborne droplets or direct contact with objects that are infested with germs. Influenza generally begins with a runny nose, sneezing and sore throat. As the infection progresses, those who are infected begin to develop a fever and experience chills, increased sweating, headaches, dry cough, aching muscles, fatigue, weakness and congestion. Most cases of influenza go away on their own with adequate bed rest and increased fluid intake. Some cases of influenza can cause more serious complications, such as pneumonia, in those with weakened or underdeveloped immune systems. These high-risk individuals may require hospitalization.


Glucose, also called blood sugar, is the main source of energy for the body. Hypoglycemia is a condition that occurs when blood glucose levels fall below 70 mg/dL. Hypoglycemia is often associated with diabetes, but can also be caused by pancreatic tumors, excessive alcohol consumption, liver diseases or prolonged periods of fasting. Without proper amounts of glucose, a variety of body functions are disrupted. This can result in headaches, cold sweats, vision problems, irregular heartbeat, malaise, hunger, irritability, nervousness, shaking, weakness, mental confusion and tingling or numbness of the skin, according to Medline Plus. Mild hypoglycemia can usually be treated with the consumption of glucose-rich foods, such as fruit juice, hard candy or glucose tablets. In severe cases, injections of glucose or glucagon may be necessary to return blood sugar to normal.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder is a mental health condition characterized by periods of excessive worry or fear for a period of six months or longer, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Those with generalized anxiety disorder experience an exaggerated sense of worry over trivial issues or become consumed with the possibility of impending disaster. In addition to chronic anxiety, a variety of physical symptoms often accompany generalized anxiety disorder. These symptoms include fatigue, muscle tension, headaches, increased sweating, difficulty swallowing, muscle twitches, irritability, nausea, lightheadedness and hot flashes. The National Institute of Mental Health notes that generalized anxiety disorder affects millions of American adults and twice as many women as men. Generalized anxiety disorder can usually be effectively controlled with medications; however, medications will not cure the disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often needed in conjunction with medications to get to the root of the problem.

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