Why do we have chills
Health & Wellness Lifestyle

Why do we have chills?

Sometimes a sudden tremor takes over our body: it is the chills, which should not be confused with goosebumps. Discover their function, why they appear, and what health problems indicate if they are continuous.

The chills are a feeling we’ve all ever had, and I ‘m sure you wondered what they are or what the role of these sudden tremors in the operation of the machinery required is the body. We will give you the first clue: chills are an involuntary reaction to an air current or a variation in body temperature. It is not serious, much less, but if they are continuous or lengthen much in time, they can indicate some important health problems.

On many occasions, the chills are confused with another sensation; we refer to piloerection, or what is commonly called goosebumps. But it is not the same, because piloerection can occur for several reasons, such as a sudden drop in temperature or an intense emotion – such as fear or disgust.

What is the function of chills

Every reaction in the body has a utility, and chills also have it. As we have said, its main function is to maintain and generate heat when the body temperature drops or rises from 36ºC-37ºC.

This is achieved thanks to rapid muscle contractions and relaxations, which produce metabolic heat and give rise to the characteristic movement of chills.

Do not confuse chills with goosebumps, because emotion does not cause chills, but try to regulate the internal temperature

If these shivers occur in isolation, there is nothing to worry about, since it is only a wake-up call. So that we realize that we have cold or excessive internal heat, but if they occur continuously they could be disease symptoms or indicate health problems like these:


  • It is one of the most common reasons for recurrent chills. The tremors try in this case to reduce the high temperatures reached by the organism.


  • It is the main cause of the fever that causes chills, and you should see your doctor as soon as possible. So that you can assess whether it is viral or bacterial and establish an appropriate treatment. Some of these infections may include typhoid fever, hanta viruses, or a urine infection.

Thyroid disorders

  • It is normal for people who have hypothyroidism to be more sensitive to cold so that they will have more chills than normal.

Malnutrition or lack of nutrients:

  • The absence of some micro nutrients may cause the tremor to be more numerous. In addition to causing other symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, and exhaustion.

Anemia :

  • The lack of iron in the blood can cause those affected to experience chills every day. As in the case of malnutrition, usually causes weakness and dizziness.

Digestive problems

  • Chills may also indicate some food poisoning or digestive disease, such as viral or bacterial gastroenteritis.

Hypoglycemia :

  • In these cases, seizures appear as a result of lowering blood sugar below normal levels.


  • The consumption of some drugs can cause chills as a side effect, as they can damage the liver, causing these involuntary tremors.

Hypothermia :

  • Although it seems obvious, continuous chills can indicate a case of hypothermia. Where the body temperature drops dangerously below 35 ° C. Putting at risk the proper functioning of the organic systems and even causing death.

Why do children usually have more chills?

It is true that chills tend to be more frequent in children, and this is because they experience more temperature changes than adults, and have fever episodes more frequently.

It is not necessary to trust, and if we observe that the tremors in the smallest ones are very numerous. one must go to the doctor as soon as possible to rule out a possible disease.

What to do if you have chills?

As the most common cause for chills to appear in the cold, getting rid of these annoying tremors is as easy as putting on some more warm clothes, taking shelter in a closed place, having a tea , or having a good hot water bath, but without going over, because the sudden change in temperature could cause chilblains to appear on your skin.

If the reason for the chills is fever, it is important that you go to your doctor so that you can assess what is causing that febrile state, and based on that, I prescribe medication to treat it, in addition to antipyretics. If it is anemia, the doctor will indicate the richest food sources in iron.

Before chills related to taking medications, the doctor should be consulted if it is possible to suspend the doses and follow an alternative treatment that does not cause this side effect. 

Finally, if they are related to a case of hypoglycemia, a digestive problem, or a thyroid disorder. The corresponding specialists will indicate how to solve the situation, always based on your medical history.

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