Chills are the most common physiological responses that alert the body about a probability of an infection by a virus. The majority of the global population has experienced chills at some point in their lifetime. While chills may lead to malaise, they are a significant part of the protective mechanism incorporated by our bodies. However, people do not understand the underlying causes of chills and their correlation with physiology. The article will help people understand what chills are and how to go about their treatment.

Symptoms of chills

Chills are a natural mechanism of our body to regulate the core body temperature. They can cause shivering, an involuntary response, by which the movements tend to warm the body by contracting and relaxing skeletal muscles. Chills can be a sign of infections or cold temperatures. Generally, chills cascade into a fever, and some of the common symptoms of chills may include the following:

  • Shaking
  • Tremble or shiver
  • Goosebumps, also known as gooseflesh or goose pimples
  • Chattering teeth.

Causes of chills

Exposure to cold temperatures can cause chills. They can also be a response to a viral or bacterial infection. Some of the common conditions that are associated with chills are as follows:

  • Flu
  • Sinusitis
  • Strep throat
  • Viral or bacterial gastroenteritis
  • Low blood sugar
  • Pneumonia
  • Hangover
  • Urinary tract infections (UTI)
  • Malaria
Chills: When to see a doctor?

You should consult a doctor if the chills or fever do not subside post 48 hours of home care. If you have other symptoms like cough, wheezing, shortness of breath or any discomfort along with chills and fever, please do not hesitate to seek professional medical advice. To book an appointment with the experts, contact Yashoda Hospitals, Secunderabad, India.

Prevention of chills

You can prevent chills by wearing warm clothes in a cold setting or weather. Take necessary steps to safeguard your health against medical conditions that cause chills. If you have conditions like diabetes, ensure to control your blood sugar levels. Also, avoid misusing alcohol and drugs.


Remedies/Treatment for chills

Chills are not that serious. However, If your chills and fever remain persistent after two days, consult a doctor and check for any underlying cause. Also, if the body temperature goes above 104৹F (40৹C) or below 95 F (35৹C) in an adult or a child older than three years of age, you should consider visiting a physician.


The physician may ask you questions, including the highest temperature accompanied by chills, number of episodes, the onset and other symptoms. Post the questionnaire, the doctor will conduct a physical examination and may run diagnostic tests to rule out any viral or bacterial infection.


Some of the common treatment options for chills include the following:

  • For chills caused by cold temperatures, home care like wearing warm clothes or sipping warm liquids, such as hot coffee or tea, is ideally recommended. 
  • Diagnosis may reveal an illness or disorder for which your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, antiviral medications or over-the-counter medicines.

If your treatment options do not give relief, consult a physician as soon as possible. To book an appointment, contact Yashoda Hospitals, Secunderabad, India.


If you have been experiencing chills, you’re not alone! They’re often a sign that your body is fighting off an illness or feels too cold. If you feel that there is some underlying sickness that is causing chills, you shouldn’t delay and visit your physician. They will examine you and decide on the best treatment for you.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Chills

Yes, chills can be a symptom of an anxious episode. According to experts, chills or hot flashes can be experienced during panic attacks, which are similar to those you experience when you have a fever. In such a case, you will be able to stimulate the blood flow by walking around your vicinity to ease the symptoms.

Yes, a lack of sleep can cause chills. While asleep in the middle of the night, your body temperature falls to the lowest point. Hence, a lack of sleep may cause a drop in your body temperature and give you chills, in turn.

Low blood pressure, often referred to as hypotension, can trigger shakiness in your body that mimics chills. So in a way, you may experience chills when your blood pressure is low. If the chills are followed by dizziness or fainting, seek medical help immediately.

Chills can be a side effect of some medications or a combination of prescribed drugs. A few common ones that cause chills include diabetes medications, general anaesthesia for surgery or chemotherapy medication. Be vigilant and discuss the possible side effects of any medication you take with your doctor.

Commonly used over-the-counter (OTC) drugs aid chills or act by raising the body temperature to be optimal. Medications like paracetamol, acetaminophen or ibuprofen are the most common OTC medications consumed to suppress chills. Ensure that you follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and take them as directed.


  1. Why Do I Have Chills? By Stephanie Booth. Medically Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on May 15, 2021 (https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/why-do-i-have-chills)
  2. Chills: Symptoms & Signs, Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD. Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019. (https://www.medicinenet.com/chills/symptoms.htm)

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