Q. Why do I get chills without any trigger or cold climate?

Answered by
Dr. Zubayeralam
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 30, 2020 and last reviewed on: May 11, 2020

Hi doctor,

I am a 23-year-old female. I have severe chills that I needed to wear thick sweaters and jackets at home without AC or fan. I do not feel the heat. And just cold water or slight cold breeze in the morning makes my head frozen or close to shutting down and it is getting worse. It always starts with the nose and then my head. Sometimes, I have to sleep to make the symptoms less severe. I am not under any medications nor do I have any medical condition.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I can understand your concern. According to your statement, you have been suffering from severe chills that you needed to wear thick warm clothes at home without AC or fan in summer now. Chills are the sensation of feeling cold. Chills are caused by rapid muscle contraction and relaxation. They are the body's way of producing heat when it feels cold. They often occur alongside a fever which is when the person's temperature is higher than normal.

However, a person can also experience chills without a fever like you and there can be many different reasons for this. Possible causes include hypothyroidism is when a person's thyroid gland does not produce enough hormone that regulates their metabolism. Some people like you are more sensitive to the cold and may feel chills more frequently. Any type of viral or bacterial infection sometimes produces chills before a person gets a fever.

Chill is a classic symptom of Malaria. It can have three stages.

1. Cold stage where a person experience chills.

2. Hot stage where they have a high temperature.

3. Sweating stage.

Anemia may develop due to poor diet, age, chronic illness, medications, gynecological diseases, etc. Most common symptoms include waking up tired, looking pale, and always feeling cold with chills. Hypothermia can be resulted from dropping body temperature below the normal range due to any causes. Hypothermia can be dangerous especially when your body temperature falls further. If the temperature falls below 96 degrees you should seek medical care immediately. So you should monitor the body temperature with a thermometer during chills. You can do some investigations like CBC (complete blood count) with PBF (peripheral blood film), thyroid function test (T3, T4, TSH), RBS (random blood sugar), etc. Treatment depends on causes. So we should find out the exact causes of your suffering and then treat them accordingly.

I want to add that dehydration, anxiety, panic attacks may cause chills too. When your body does not have enough fluids it is hard to maintain regular body temperature and this can lead to hyperthermia and fever like symptoms including chills. Again anxiety is more often associated with feeling sweaty than feeling cold but sometimes it can cause a chilly feel as well. And if you have panic attacks you might experience full body chills according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). In order to cope up with your chills, you can do the following

• Drink lots of fluids including oral rehydration saline and plenty of rest.

• Sponge with lukewarm water.

• Don't bundle up in blankets or use AC or high speed fans.

• Enjoy a warm soup and drink warm beverages.

• Use a humidifier.

Please inform the results after undergoing the investigations.

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