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Why Do I Have Chills?

Reviewed on 9/18/2020

What Causes Chills?

Chills are primarily a response to low temperature, but infections disease, neurological problems and other conditions may cause them.
Chills are primarily a response to low temperature, but infections disease, neurological problems and other conditions may cause them.

Chills are a feeling of coldness, usually accompanied by shivering or shaking. They may simply be a reaction to a cold environment or a symptom of illness.

What Symptoms Accompany Chills?

The main symptoms of chills include:

  • Feeling cold
  • Shivering
  • Shaking

Additional symptoms that may accompany chills depend on the cause, and may include:

What Is the Treatment for Chills?

Treatment for the chills depends on the cause. 

  • Cold environment/low core body temperature (hypothermia) 
    • Move the person to a warmer place right away
    • Remove any wet clothing
    • Cover the person with blankets
    • Drink warm beverages (if the person is able to drink)
  • Viral or bacterial infections
    • For both viral and bacterial infections, rest and drinking plenty of fluids helps
    • If the infection is bacterial, antibiotics may be prescribed
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) 
    • Follow the “15-15” rule: Consume 15 grams of simple carbs, such as a glucose tablet, fruit juice, hard candy, or honey, and re-check blood glucose in 15 minutes
    • After that, eat a meal, but don’t overeat to avoid a blood sugar spike
  • Heat-related illness (heat exhaustion, heat stroke)
    • Get medical assistance quickly and call 911: heat stroke is a medical emergency
    • Move to a shaded area
    • Try to cool rapidly using cold water immersion, spray from a hose, cold water sponging, or by placing cold towels over the entire body
    • Drink cool beverages (if the person is conscious)
  • Panic attack
    • For a first-time panic attack, see a doctor
    • If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, treatment may include medication and psychotherapy 
  • Hemolytic anemia
    • Lifestyle changes
    • Medications
    • Blood transfusions
    • Blood and bone marrow transplants
    • Surgery to remove the spleen
  • Malaria
    • Anti-malarial medication
  • Leukemia and other blood cancers 
    • Chemotherapy 
    • Immunotherapy 
    • Targeted therapy
    • Bone marrow transplant (also called "stem cell transplant") 
    • Radiation
    • Surgery
  • Frisson (also called “skin orgasm” or “shivers down your spine”)
    • No treatment needed
    • Frisson is harmless and will stop on its own after a short time

QUESTION

Bowel regularity means a bowel movement every day. See Answer

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Reviewed on 9/18/2020
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