Shivering or shaking of the body is referred to as chills. It occurs due to rapid contraction and relaxation of the muscles which helps in heat production and increase in internal temperature of the body. A higher than normal body temperature is termed as fever.
Chills may cause symptoms like chattering teeth, perspiration, trembles, and Goosebumps, etc. It usually occurs with a high body temperature or fever. However, chills can also occur without fever.
A few common causes of chills without fever along with accompanying symptoms and associated treatments are mentioned below.
Causes of chills without fever
Chills without fever may occur in the following cases:
- Cold Climate or Weather
- Exposure of the body to cold environments or very cold weather can result in shivering and chills without fever as the body cannot tolerate such low temperatures.
- Wear proper clothing to keep the body warm when going outdoors in cold weather so as to prevent chills and shivers
- Common Cold or Flu
- Common cold and flu are viral infections marked by fever and chills. However both may not occur simultaneously. ‘Chills without fever’ is usually observed during the initial stages, when a person has been exposed and infected with the virus. Fever eventually develops when the germs become fully active.
- The above viral infections resolve without medical treatment in 1 to 2 weeks. Plenty of bed rest and keeping the body hydrated will hasten the recovery process.
- Bladder Infections
- Mild instances of bladder infection may be marked by sporadic bouts of chills without fever. Spread of the infection to the kidneys may cause just chills in the initial stages, but will later be accompanied by fever. Other symptoms of bladder urinary tract infections include pain when passing urine, bad urine odor, burning sensations during urination, etc.
- Treatment of bladder infection includes antibiotics, painkillers, and better personal hygiene, etc.
- The condition of reduced number of red blood cells and low hemoglobin levels is called anemia. Patients may suffer from cold sensitiveness, weakness, inattention, lethargy, fatigue, poor appetite, and pale skin, etc. Diminished hemoglobin may be marked by cold hands and feet and random episodes of chills without fever.
- Vitamin B12, iron, and folate play an important role in creation of hemoglobin in red blood cells. Anemia can be caused by deficits in such nutrients. Anemia can also occur due to blood loss and/or RBC destruction due to certain pre-existing ailments, etc.
- Intake of iron supplements, eating vitamin C rich diet, medications, and other home remedies can help manage anemia.
- Nutritional Deficiencies
- Intake of a diet with minimal or no nutrients like vitamin B or vitamin B12, etc., may result in shivers or chills without fever, sudden coldness, etc.
- Add eggs and fish to a daily healthy and balanced diet to overcome nutritional deficits
- Food Poisoning
- Uncontrollable shivering or chills without fever is one of the major symptoms of food poisoning. Chills may be so problematic as to prevent patients from speaking without a stammer or stutter. Affected people may also elicit symptoms like diarrhea, cramps or pain in stomach, and vomiting, etc.
- Food poisoning usually occurs due to intake of food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other germs. Food contamination is caused due to eating raw or undercooked food, bad personal hygiene, unhygienic cooking areas, and improper food handling, etc.
- Food poisoning resolves without medical treatment in about 6 to 7 days. Patients need to drink adequate amounts of water and fluids to prevent diarrhea/vomiting-induced dehydration. Electrolyte solutions will help restore the balance of salts in the body.
- The condition of low levels of blood glucose is known as hypoglycemia. It may cause symptoms such as dizziness, sweating, headaches, increased rate of heartbeat, and bouts of chills without fever, etc.
- Diabetic people who use insulin to manage the condition are more vulnerable to suffering from hypoglycemia. Intake of a diet that is low in carbohydrates; unintended higher than normal insulin dosage that triggers drop in levels of blood glucose; alcoholism; skipping regular meals; and excessive exercising are some other causes of low blood sugar levels.
- Eating chocolate or other sugar-rich foods can help raise the blood sugar levels.
- Acute Bronchitis
- Infection of the bronchi by viruses or bacteria is known as acute bronchitis. The tubular airways that allow the passage of inhaled air to the lungs are known as the bronchi.
- Symptoms of acute bronchitis include swelling or inflammation of the airways, chest pain, incessant coughing fits, breathing difficulties, and chills with or without fever.
- Antibiotics are used for treating bacterial infections and anti-virals for viral infections. Additional treatment options include painkiller, avoiding lung irritants, cough expectorants, and intake of adequate water and other fluids.
- Dehydration means very low levels of water and other fluid content in the body.
- The body is unable to maintain or regulate its temperature if it is dehydrated. This can trigger sudden increased sensitivity to external weather and cause shivering or chills without fever. Patients may additionally suffer from symptoms like muscle aches or cramping, darker urine, nausea, and headaches, etc.
- Dehydration can be treated with intake of electrolyte solutions and lots of water and other liquids.
- Other Causes
- Chills without fever may also be caused by thyroid gland dysfunction, anxiety disorders, toxoplasmosis, mild reaction to prescription drugs, gallstones, and spider bites, etc.
Filed in: Conditions