The Chills - What are they and how can I stop them multiplying?


What causes Chills? A feeling of cold accompanied by shivering. Chills are caused when the muscles expand and contract to generate heat (shivering) while surface blood vessels constrict to reduce heat loss.

Diagnosing Chills

You have the chills when you spontaneously get the feeling of being cold and start to shiver or shake without an apparent source of cold.

Chills symptoms

Having the chills refers to a feeling of being cold without an apparent cause. Chills often accompany a fever , but can also occur independent of a fever. 

Causes of Chills

Chills can be a symptom of a number of illnesses or circumstances, including:

  • Gastroenteritis
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hypothermia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Malaria
  • Meningitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Sinusitis
  • Strep throat
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Viral infections, including cold, Flu and COVID-19 

Chills Self Care

Over the counter medication that can be used to control fever may also be used control or reduce the chills. Aspirin, Ibuprofen and Paracetamol can be used to treat the chills by adults, but children should be restricted to ibuprofen or paracetamol.

See a Doctor If:

You should see a doctor if your chills persist for more than 48 hours and don’t improve with home care. You should also seek medical help if you experience one or more of the following symptoms in conjunction with chills:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Confusion or vagueness
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Lethargy or sluggishness
  • Light sensitivity
  • Neck stiffness and pain
  • Severe coughing 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Urinary problems including frequent urination, lack of urination or pain during urination
  • Vomiting

If you’ve got chills, the easiest, most convenient and effective way is to book an appointment with a doctor online through MyHealth1st.

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