This article is all about how to get rid of chills. Chills is a condition of feeling extremely cold accompanied with shivering and shaking of body. Chills occur when core temperature drops down drastically and body produces heat from within which causes muscle spasms. These muscle spasms i.e. alternate contractions and relaxations of muscles are experienced as chills. Chills are an indication that you need to warm up yourself. Chills can be felt with or without fever. Chills can be constant or periodical. An episode of chills can be as short as a minute or two; or it can last for more than an hour. In some cases, professional medical care is needed to get rid of chills.
In addition to shivering and uncontrollable shaking, chills are accompanied by some other signs. A person may have one or more or none of the following signs:
- Teeth chattering
- Sweating- When body generates heat, it can lead to sweating at warmer or folded body parts like armpits, neck and groin area
When trying to get rid of chills, one must know the underlying cause and try to cure the same. Various causes of chills and the corresponding cure have been listed down:
1. Cold Environment- It is the most common cause of chills. When one moves from a warmer environment to a colder one, body abruptly starts producing heat to adjust to the new lower temperature. As body produces heat, muscles contract and relax. This alternate contraction and relaxation of muscles gives chills and goosebumps. Higher the difference in the warmer and colder temperature, higher is the intensity of chills.
Hypothermia: Unusually low body temperature
Frostbite: When body remains exposed to cold environment for a prolonged duration, blood circulation to certain parts of body may get affected. Affected body part gets inflamed or goes numb.
Chilblains: Toes and feet get painfully swollen and turn reddish. Same can happen to fingers of hands as well.
Shivering and Shaking: As discussed earlier, exposure to severely cold temperatures signals body to generate high amounts of heat. This leads to continuous contraction and relaxation of muscles. These contractions and relaxations of muscles are seen as shivering and shaking of body.
- To get rid of chills caused by cold environment, it is advisable to keep yourself warm. Wear multiple layers of warm clothes. Two or three layers of warm clothes are more effective than one thicker layer.
- Wear cap, hoodies, ear muffs, gloves and socks.
- Drink enough water and keep yourself hydrated.
- Use hot compresses or heating pad to warm up yourself.
- Drink lemon and hot water to boost immunity
- Have some warming drinks like ginger tea, herbal tea or chicken soup etc.
2. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) are caused by bacteria entering the bladder through urethra. These bacteria further enter kidneys if not checked. UTIs are more common in women than in men. However, susceptibility of men to UTIs increases with age. When it gets severe, chills are felt as one of the symptoms.
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Increased frequency of urination
- Feeling of full bladder even after emptying out
- Strong smell of urine
- Blood in urine
- Cloudy urine
If UTI is the cause of chills, then curing UTI will automatically cure chills. Consult a physician in such scenario. However, there are certain precautionary measures that one can take when suffering from Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).
- Have plenty of water to keep releasing toxins from body.
- Abstain from sexual intercourse
- Do not wear tight fitted and synthetic undergarments
- Never suppress the urge to pass urine
- Maintain personal hygiene.
- Stop using products containing harsh chemicals in and around genital area
3. Malnutrition: Malnutrition leads to decreased immunity and increased vulnerability to various infections and diseases. Body does not have enough energy to perform day to day activities due to lack of nutrients.
- Chills without fever: Malnutrition leads to both weight loss and fat loss. Amount of fat is a determinant of heat generated by body. Less fat means less heat in body. Insufficiency of heat generated by body leads to chills.
- Weight Loss
- Healthy and balanced diet
- Consider taking dietary supplements after consulting a physician
4. Anaemia/ Low Haemoglobin: Anaemia is a very common condition, particularly in women and children. Anaemia is deficiency of red blood cells in body.
- Loss of energy
- Unusually fast heart beat even with little physical activity
- Shortness of breath
- Cold hands and feet
- Pale Skin
- Include foods rich in iron, folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin C in your diet.
- Take iron supplement.
- Don’t take caffeinated drinks. Caffeine hinders the absorption of iron in body.
5. Hypoglycemia/ Low Blood Sugar: When level of blood sugar (glucose) lowers down significantly, the condition is called hypoglycemia. Its symptoms include:
- Erratic heartbeat
- Chills without fever
- Hunger Pangs
- Consume foods rich in carbohydrates
- Have mini-meals every two hours to maintain blood sugar levels in body
- Always carry some kind of snack when going out
- Avoid alcohol
If you are perfectly healthy and there is no underlying cause of chills, following methods can be opted to manage the condition:
- Eat a healthy and nutritious diet.
- Sleep well. Sleep for at least eight hours in one go.
- Sip hot water to keep yourself warm.
- Have ginger tea or any other herbal tea and chicken soup.
- Exercise daily. Even a walk will prove beneficial.
- Vitamin B manages the chills by maintaining temperature of the body. You can consider taking vitamin B supplements after consulting a doctor.
- A hot shower or steam bath helps to keep the body warm.
- Wear multiple layers of warm clothes. Keep head, feet and ears covered. Use cap, hoodies, gloves, socks and ear muffs to protect yourself from chills.
- Last but not least, stay hydrated.
If episodes of chills are recurrent and symptoms do not improve, don’t be oblivious to the condition. If chills are accompanied by any one or more of the following signs , consult a certified physician:
Fever: It can be as simple as common cold and flu; or might indicate something serious like malaria, meningitis and swine flu etc.
Dehydration: If you feel excessively dehydrated and condition is not improving even after primary care, consult a physician. It could be more serious in children.
Unconsciousness: A person gets unconscious along with chills, is unable to respond and exhibits a state of confusion
Severe Pain: Severe pain in any part of the body should not be ignored.
In such cases, it is advised to consult a certified physician. Only a physician can diagnose the underlying cause and provide the necessary care. Chills should not always be taken merely as an annoying and un-comforting condition to the body. They may rather point out towards something more serious. It is better to see a doctor in time to avoid unnecessary problem at a later stage.