February 16, 2010

Body Chills: Symptoms & Remedies

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

We often use the saying “I have the chills” at the onset of a fever or when we know that we’re coming down with something, and how right we are. The chills we refer to, is feeling cold after exposure to a cold surrounding or it could also mean bouts of shivering, feeling cold and experiencing paleness.

No Pill To Cure The Chill – Home Remedies To The Rescue

The chills are usually indication of the beginning of an infection and a fever. The body causes rapid muscle relaxation and contractions as a way of generating heat, when it senses cold. Chills are common in young children and are also seen in adults. The symptoms of body chills may include body aches and pains, diarrhea, fever, earache, cough, hot dry skin, nausea, lethargy, sweating or vomiting. Some symptoms of the chills that may be indicative of a serious condition and will require immediate medical attention include, high fever (above 101 degrees), changes in the levels of alertness and or consciousness, inconsolable crying, discoloration of the skin, nails and lips, seizures or respiratory problems

There are a variety of reasons; mainly infectious diseases that weaken the body and makes it susceptible to chills. Besides this it could also be due to other conditions like allergic reactions and autoimmune diseases. More serious ailments like certain cancers can also bring about the chills. Some other infections that cause chills are appendicitis, bronchitis, bacterial gastroenteritis, common cold, influenza, meningitis, strep throat or urinary tract infections. Malaria is one such infection that shows symptoms of the chills, usually at night.

Depending on the nature of the condition, a cure for chills can be determined. Fever is the body’s response to deal with various conditions. Treatment for a fever, if below 102 degrees Fahrenheit and without side effects, can be taken care of by drinking lots of fluids, getting loads of rest and taking over-the-counter fever-fighting pills. There are also many home remedies that can help reduce the chills. They are:

  • Sponging: Sponging of the body with comfortable warm water helps in reducing a fever. Evaporation of the skin helps it cool down hence decreasing body temperature.
  • Lemon and Hot Water: Mixed with honey and half a teaspoon of grated ginger. Lemon and ginger are known for their medicinal and antioxidant properties.
  • Herbal Tea: With a teaspoon of honey can be therapeutic for the chills.
  • Chicken Soup: Helps with symptoms of the flu and respiratory tract infections.
  • Steam Treatment: Boil a pot of water and remove from the heat. Drape a towel over your head and the pot. Make sure your body doesn’t come in contact with the pot or the hot water. Breathe in deeply for about 30 seconds through your nose. This helps to ease congestion. Asthmatic patients should not use this method.
  • Diet: Traditional Chinese medicine recommends the consumption of warm foods, this refers to internal warming effect of the food rather than the actual temperature of the food. Other than this, eating healthy by consuming vegetables helps towards reducing chills.
  • Hydration: Drinking a lot of fluids helps to stay hydrated. Water is the best in such cases; however, fresh fruit juices can also help. Dehydration can cause dizziness and weakness

It is recommended that you avoid alcohol, caffeine, cold foods and drinks and smoking tobacco when experiencing the chills as it reduces cold tolerance.

If you are suffering from the chills, that are persistent along with a fever and profuse sweating, all possible causes should be investigated. Consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and detection of the underlying disease. Blood and other tests might be advised to find out the actual cause of the frequent chills.


  1. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003091.htm