What is your body telling you when you get the chills?

What is your body telling you when you get the chills?

You can expect to get the chills when in a cold environment or if you have a cold or the flu. While chills and fever often come together, they don’t necessarily have to.

Chills are brought on by your muscles expanding and contracting; it’s your body’s attempt to burn energy to keep you warm. By themselves, the chills are not an illness, but can signal that an illness might be causing them.

Dr. Scott Carrington, a family medicine physician with Advocate Medical Group, explains that sometimes the chills are the start of an illness and a fever may soon follow. It is very important to monitor this and consult a physician if a fever does present. Sometimes an infectious or systemic illness might bring on the chills, Dr. Carrington says. The infection or illness causes the immune system to shift the body’s temperature upward as a defense mechanism, which conversely results in the sensation of feeling cold.

But the chills aren’t always accompanied by a fever.  According to Dr. Carrington, the most common causes of chills with no fever are:

“You should consult with your physician if your chills occur often, do not go away, or if you have a prolonged fever,” says Dr. Carrington. “It is important to take note of other symptoms that may give your physician more information to determine why you get the chills.”


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  1. If I mix two antibiotics and now have chills

  2. I had my right breast removed one month ago. I am NOT on anastozole yet. I am having chills and sweats. for a week now my question is this could the reason because of the mastectomy

  3. Had chills for 24 hours it comes n goes with fever being controlled with Tylenol it also hurts when I urinate plus had diarrhea

  4. Russell, this sound like possible UTI, possible kidney infection since you have diarrhea. Get to your MD NOW..but..I do hope you already seen one

  5. Bonnie Gatewood March 4, 2019 at 9:07 pm · Reply

    I have been coughing most.of the day getting worse as the day went on. Now I have had cold chills for about 2 hours

  6. My 68 year old husband was awakened during his sleep by uncontrollable “shakes” while feeling cold. Temp in house was fine. No fever. Blood sugar tested and fine. Lasted 3 1/2 hours. Now sore all over (I think because of shaking for so long?). Was rxd Clindamycin earlier in the day. Any ideas?

  7. I had same thing happen last night – pronounced shivering at 1:30 am – lasted 30 mins or so. Now tonight, (Mar 20) at sleep onset, same thing – pronounced shivering – but I am not cold. I had the flu 3 weeks ago and still have cough. After about 30 mins of shivering, I feel warm and calm and can sleep. Could an infection cause this?

  8. I’ve had chills off and on since last night… no fever, don’t feel ill just cold… the house is hot. My skin appears cold, but even when it’s warmed up I still feel cold. I been having muscle pain in my legs the last few days. I also been working around the house a lot more since my surgery in Oct for my gallbladder removal. Let me know what you think.

  9. I was at work today and out of nowhere I had the chills. It was about once or twice within a minute. Not cold havent been sick. It was weird and has never happend to me before. Trying to look it up and see what it could be, but not trying to freak out by what I see.

  10. Russell . It seems I’m having your same exact symptoms . What did you find out?

  11. My 13 years old is having chills with muscle pain every one month pass,he had several test but e everything came good…Dont know what more is causing that symptoms.

  12. I have been having chills the last week. No fever. They just come amd go. Very tired.

  13. My brother 62, gets chills and intense fatigue for sometimes 2 days, no fever talks like he is delirious during this time,then symptoms just go away and they come on just as fast no warning. Has happened every 2 months for 2 years now, dr said liver tested fine, bloodwork fine has no clue gonna test for lyme disease any ideas?

  14. i woke up because my body was shivering but i dont have fever i was diagnosed with goiter

  15. i have had chills off and on for 6months.Had blood check cant find anything.I say cold all the time

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.