Chills, shiver in a person: what is this, causes, symptoms, diagnostics, treatment, prevention

Chills; Rigors; Shivering

Chills is one of the most common symptoms, that people face. Feeling chilly can range from mild shivering to severe shaking in the body. Chills can be caused by a wide range of conditions., ranging from a mild viral infection to a serious illness. Knowing the causes and managing the symptoms of chills can help identify and address the underlying cause..

What is "Chill"?

Chills (tremor) may occur early in infection. They are most often associated with fever. . Chills are caused by rapid muscle contraction and relaxation. It's the body's way of generating heat., when he is cold. Chills often predict the onset of a fever or an increase in core body temperature..

Chills are an important symptom in some diseases., such as malaria .

Chills are common in young children. Children, usually, a higher temperature develops, than in adults. Even a minor illness can cause a high fever in young children..

Babies, usually, have no obvious chills. Nonetheless, call your healthcare provider about any fever in an infant aged 6 months or younger. Also call for fever in infants under 6 months before 1 year, if you are unsure of the reason.

"Goosebumps" is not the same, what a chill. Goosebumps appear due to cold air. They can also be triggered by strong emotions., such as shock or fear. In goosebumps, body hair sticks out of the skin, forming an insulating layer. When you have chills, you may or may not have goosebumps.

Causes of chills

Chills can be caused by a wide range of conditions.. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Viral infections. Viral infections, like the flu, cold and others, can cause chills due to the body's reaction to infection.
  • Bacterial infections. Bacterial infections, such as strep throat and urinary tract infections, can cause chills due to the body's reaction to infection.
  • Fungal infections. Fungal infections, such as athlete's foot or yeast infections, can cause chills due to the body's reaction to infection.
  • Medicines. Chills can be a side effect of some medications.. General medicines, which can cause chills, include antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs and some blood pressure medications.
  • Vaccines. Some vaccines may cause chills as a side effect.. General Vaccines, which can cause chills, include flu shot and varicella vaccine.
  • Immune system disorder. People with an autoimmune disease, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, may experience chills due to increased sensitivity to viruses and bacteria.
  • stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety can often cause chills due to the body's reaction to an emotional stimulus..
  • Low blood pressure. Low blood pressure, also known as hypotension, can cause chills due to the body's inability to adequately supply cells with oxygen.
  • Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) – Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction, which can cause chills due to the body's reaction to the allergen.

Chill symptoms

The main symptom of chills is feeling cold., accompanied by uncontrollable trembling and shaking of the body. Additional symptoms of chills may include:

  • Heat
  • Headache
  • Myalgia
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Sweating

When to contact a healthcare professional

It is important to contact a healthcare professional, if you experience chills with fever. This may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition., such as a viral or bacterial infection. Besides, if you are experiencing symptoms of chills, that are not amenable to home treatment, it is important to seek medical attention.

Questions, that your doctor may ask

Below are some questions, that your doctor may ask, to evaluate your symptoms and determine the cause of your chills:

  • How long do you have chills?
  • Do you have a fever?
  • Have you experienced any other symptoms?
  • Are there any changes in your environment, that could contribute to the chills?
  • Are there any comorbidities, such as immune disorder, that may contribute to your symptoms?
  • Are you taking any medication, that can cause this symptom?

Diagnosis of chills

Diagnosis of chills will depend on the underlying cause. Your doctor will ask questions about your medical history and perform a physical exam, to determine the cause of the chill. In some cases, a blood test may be required to determine if a viral or bacterial infection is present.. Besides, imaging studies may be required, such as x-rays or computed tomography, to rule out other underlying conditions.

Treatment of chills

Treatment for chills will depend on the underlying cause. In most cases, rest and fluid intake is sufficient., to manage the symptoms of chills.

  • Viral infections. Viral infections are usually treated with supportive care, such as rest and drink. In some cases, antiviral drugs may be prescribed, to reduce the severity and duration of the infection.
  • Bacterial infections. Bacterial infections are usually treated with antibiotics. It is important to complete the entire course of antibiotics as prescribed, to ensure proper treatment of the infection.
  • Fungal infections. Fungal infections are usually treated with antifungal medications.. In some cases, topical or oral medications may be prescribed..
  • Medicines. If the chills are due to medication, your doctor may suggest an alternative medication or change the dose of your current medication.
  • Vaccines – Vaccines are usually given on a schedule. If the side effects of the vaccine are severe, your doctor may suggest alternative immunizations or an alternative schedule.
  • immune system disorder. Treatment for an immune system disorder may include drugs to suppress the immune system, such as corticosteroids or immunosuppressants.
  • stress and anxiety. Treatment for stress and anxiety may include counseling or lifestyle changes, e.g. relaxation techniques and exercise. In some cases, medications may be prescribed, to help reduce symptoms.
  • Low blood pressure. Treatment for low blood pressure may include lifestyle changes, e.g. increased salt and fluid intake, as well as avoiding prolonged standing. Medications to increase blood pressure may also be prescribed..

home treatment for chills

In most cases, symptoms of chills can be managed at home.. Below are some tips, to help reduce the symptoms of chills:

  • layered clothing. Layered clothing helps maintain body temperature. Wear, appropriate temperature, and avoid excessive clothing.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids can help maintain a stable body temperature..
  • Get plenty of rest. Getting enough rest can help reduce fatigue and muscle pain..
  • Take a warm bath. A warm bath will help relax your body and reduce the feeling of chills..
  • Exercises. Exercise can help raise body temperature and reduce feelings of chills.

Prevention of chills

Here are some tips, to help prevent chills:

  • MY Ruki. Regular hand washing reduces the risk of contracting viral and bacterial infections.
  • Get vaccinated. Vaccination can help reduce the risk of contracting viral and bacterial infections.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Healthy eating, Regular exercise and adequate sleep will help keep your body strong and reduce the risk of infections and illnesses..
  • Reducing stress levels. Stress can make the body more susceptible to infections. Learning to deal with stress, you can reduce the risk of chills.

Used sources and literature

American Academy of Pediatrics website. Fever. Accessed April 12, 2021.

Hall JE, Hall ME. Body temperature regulation and fever. In: Hall JE, Hall ME, eds. Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 74.

Leggett JE. Approach to fever or suspected infection in the normal host. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 264.

Nield LS, Kamat D. Fever. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Bloom NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 201.

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