What do the chills mean when you are sick

what do the chills mean when you are sick

"If I?m getting the chills does it mean I have the flu?"

Jan 08, The term chills refers to a feeling of being cold without an apparent cause. You get this feeling when your muscles repeatedly expand and Author: Maureen Donohue. May 19, Body chills are commonly caused by cold external temperatures, or changing internal temperatures, such as when you have a fever. When you have chills without a fever.

We've all been there: burning with fever and shivering with chills at the same time. It turns out that what feels like an odd internal thermostat malfunction is actually a sign that your body is fighting off an infection. The first thing to understand is that most viruses and bacteria have a hard time surviving above normal human body temperature, which can vary by age, activity, and time of day, but is generally accepted as National Library of Medicine.

In fact, even just a one- or two-degree hike in temperature can stop many invading microorganisms in their tracks. As soon as your brain shifts its internal thermostat to a higher set point to fight off an infection, the rest of your body goes to work trying to generate extra heat to meet that higher temperature goal.

The length of a fever and any accompanying chills can vary significantly depending on its cause. The best thing to do is play detective to determine the source of your fever based on other signs and symptoms of your illness, he says. Possible causes abound, including colds and the flubronchitispneumonia how to start becoming a vegan, appendicitisgastroenteritismononucleosisear infectionssinus infectionsand urinary tract infections UTIs.

While fevers are usually caused by viruses, other conditions that can spike your temperature include certain inflammatory disorders such as lupusrheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn's diseaseas well as cancer and blood clots deep vein thrombosis.

Even certain medication such as penicillin, sulfa drugsand antipsychotics can trigger a fever, as can some illegal drugs such as cocaine, according to the Merck Manual. Fevers in adults and the chills that go hand in hand generally resolve within a few days, note Mayo Clinic experts. If your temperature is mildly elevated between degrees F and degrees F and you have no other worrisome symptoms how to bathe a chicken belowsimply rest and drink plenty of fluids to keep from becoming dehydrated.

If your temperature hits degrees F, Mayo Clinic experts advise you to contact your doctor. Per the Merck Manualyou should also consult him or her if:. Seek medical help immediately if anything unusual or alarming accompanies the fever and chills, such as any of these symptoms:. Follow instructions on the label precisely for proper dosage. Also be careful not to take more than one medication containing acetaminophen, which is a common ingredient in many over-the-counter medications, including cough and cold remedies.

Acetaminophen can cause serious harm to the liver if you take too much. By subscribing you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Health Topics. Health Tools. Last Updated: July 6, Medically Reviewed. When Should I Call the Doctor? Per the Merck Manualyou should also consult him or her if: You have a serious medical condition that could make a moderate fever more dangerous, such as a heart or lung disorder A fever lasts more than 2448 hours Seek medical help immediately if anything unusual or alarming accompanies the fever and chills, such as any of these symptoms: A change in mental function, such as confusion A headache, stiff neck, or both Flat, small, purplish red spots on the skin, which indicate bleeding under the skin Low blood pressure Rapid heart rate or rapid breathing Shortness of breath Recent travel to an area where a serious infectious disease such as malaria is common Recent use of drugs that suppress the immune system immunosuppressants What Medication, if Any, Should I Take?

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May 21, You get chills when the muscles in your body squeeze and relax to try to make heat. This sometimes happens because you're cold, but it can also be an attempt by your immune system -- the body's. Mar 19, Having the chills is often an early red flag that youre about to get sick from a virus or bacteria, Dr. Middleton says. Typically, its muscle-shaking triggered by . Dec 03, Having chills refers to feeling excessively cold, even when you are wearing warm clothing or are wrapped in blankets. When you have the chills, you may also be shivering or look pale. Chills are often related to fever, an increase in body temperature above normal ( degrees Fahrenheit). Fever is a sign of inflammation or infection in the body.

It's totally normal to get chilly when temperatures drop but feeling a little cold is different from having the chills, which tends to happen when you're sick.

So, what should you think and more importantly, do if you suddenly come down with chills? Here's what doctors have to say. Chillsalso referred to as rigorsare episodes of shivering paired with paleness and feeling cold, according to the US National Library of Medicine's MedlinePlus resource , often as a result of a fever or the beginning of one. When you have a fever commonly caused by an infection like the flu or COVID , it stimulates your body to release inflammatory chemicals and other substances to try to rid yourself of the illnessand that can raise your temperature, Dr.

Giordano says. The chills get better when you reach the new higher temperature, and now you have a fever. Because chills are usually linked with a fever, which is one of the most common symptoms of COVID, Thomas Giordano, MD, MPH, professor and section chief of infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine, tells Health , that means they're also quite common with a coronavirus infection. Some allergic reactions can give you a fever, for example," Dr. Sellick says.

So, if you have chills a fever, cough, and muscle aches, "COVID certainly would be a consideration, as would influenza at this time of year," Dr. Basically, you should call your doctor about next steps. Still, it's going to be difficult for even your doctor to know what's going on for sure. Giordano saysand it's not necessarily a symptom you want to or can treat on its own.

With that in mind, doctors recommend that you do the following to try to feel more comfortable and to help the process along:. It's also a good idea to take fever-reducing medications if you do, in fact, have a fever. This can "reduce the inflammation and turn the thermostat in your body back down, so they reduce the fever and the need for chills," Dr. Just know that you'll probably sweat once the medication kicks in because your body has to release extra heat to get your core temperature down.

Keep this in mind, though, per Dr. Giordano: "Fever reducing medications don't cure the infection, they just mask the symptoms.

After they wear off, if you are still sick, you could get another round of chills as the fever returns. The information in this story is accurate as of press time. However, as the situation surrounding COVID continues to evolve, it's possible that some data have changed since publication.

While Health is trying to keep our stories as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations for their own communities by using the CDC , WHO , and their local public health department as resources.

To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter. By Korin Miller November 16, Save Pin FB ellipsis More. Put on more layers Have a hot drink Wrap yourself in a blanket Stay hydrated. Something went wrong. An error has occurred and your entry was not submitted. Please try again. Close this dialog window Share options. Close Login. All rights reserved. Close this dialog window View image.

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