Chills without Fever

Chills refer to a condition wherein the body shivers significantly, the muscles rapidly contract and relax, and the body tries to produce heat so as to raise its internal temperature. Chills are accompanied by symptoms like Goosebumps, chattering teeth, shaking, and sweating, etc.

Fever refers to high body temperature. Chills usually occur with fever. However, there are many occasions when chills may occur without fever. The different causes and instances of chills without fever are discussed below.

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Chills without fever – causes

The varied causes of chills without fever as well as the associated symptoms and treatments are as follows:

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  • Cold weather: When the body is exposed to extremely cold weather it is not able to bear the low temperature of the surroundings. The body then responds by shivering or eliciting chills without fever. Wear proper clothing to prevent it.
  • Anemia: Anemia is a condition marked by lack of sufficient number of healthy RBCs and low levels of hemoglobin. Patients may elicit symptoms like weakness, sensitivity to cold, fatigue, pale skin, reduced energy, confusion, inattentiveness, and appetite loss. It can occur due to deficiency of nutrients like iron, folate, and vitamin B12, etc., which are vital for production of hemoglobin in RBCs. Other causes include destruction of RBCs due to some underlying disease, blood loss, etc. Low hemoglobin can cause intermittent bouts of chills without fever as well as cold feet and hands.
    • Anemia can be remedied by taking iron supplements and eating a healthy diet that is rich in vitamin C, iron, and other essential nutrients.
  • Flu and common cold: These are viral infections that cause fever as well as chills, but not at the same time. Patients may experience chills without fever when he/she is catching the viral infection and fever may occur after the complete activation of the pathogen.
    • The conditions resolve on their own in 7 to 14 days. Patients need to drink lots of water and take sufficient bed rest.
  • Nutritional deficits: A bad diet that lacks vitamin B12, vitamin B, and other vital nutrients can cause shivering, unexpected coldness, and chills without fever.
    • Modify the diet to include all essential nutrients to overcome this problem. Eggs and fish are abundant in vitamin B12.
  • Infection of bladder: People with bladder infection may suffer from symptoms like smelly urine and painful urination, etc. In mild cases, patients may experience intermittent episodes of chills without fever. A UTI that has migrated to the kidneys may cause isolated chills in the beginning, but ultimately occurs with fever in later stages.
    • Bladder infections are usually caused by bacteria. Hence it is treated with antibiotics and pain killers, etc.
  • Hypoglycemia: It is condition of low blood glucose levels and may occur with symptoms like sporadic chills without fever, dizziness, increased perspiration, rapid heartbeat, and headache. Insulin-injection using diabetics are more susceptible to hypoglycemia. It can occur due to accidental high dosage of insulin that causes rapid reduction of blood glucose levels; eating low-carb diet; occasional skipping of meals; prolonged workouts; and alcohol drinking.
    • Blood sugar levels can be easily raised by eating a sugary snack.
  • Thyroid dysfunction: Thyroid gland dysfunction can affect the normal secretion of hormones. This can result in hypothyroidism marked by extreme fatigue, chills without fever, and other symptoms.
    • It is treated with medicines like levothyroxine. It is a lifelong condition and patients need to continue taking medicines for the rest of their lives.
  • Acute bronchitis: The bronchi are tube-like passageways that facilitate the flow of inhaled air into the lungs. Acute bronchitis is bacterial or viral infection of the bronchi. Patients may experience symptoms like bronchi inflammation or swelling, pain in chest, frequent coughing episodes, and breathing issues. Patients may also suffer from fever or chills without fever.
    • Symptoms can be alleviated with OTC pain medications, cough expectorants, dinking lots of liquids, and avoiding things that irritate the lungs.
  • Food poisoning: It is a condition caused by eating food that has been cooked or stored unhygienic conditions and hence contains germs. One of the main symptoms of food poisoning is shivering or uncontrollable chills without fever. The chills may be so bad that patients may not be able to speak without stammering or stuttering. Other symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping.
    • The condition resolves on its own in about a week. Drink lots of water as well as take electrolyte solutions to compensate for the loss of electrolytes and fluids caused by diarrhea.
  • Dehydration: A dehydrated body is often unable to sustain its temperature. This causes increased sensitivity of the body to the surrounding climate and results in sudden chills without fever. Dehydration may also occur with symptoms like muscle cramps, headache, dark urine, and nausea.
    • Drink lots of water to restore the loss of fluids from body. Take electrolyte solutions to restore the electrolyte levels imbalance.
  • Other causes: Other causes of chills without fever include side effects of prescription drugs; toxoplasmosis; anxiety disorders and other mental conditions; bites by spiders like the brown recluse or black widow; and gallstones.
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