Chills with or without fever, during illness, stress and pregnancy?

Chills with or without fever, during illness, stress and pregnancy?
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Chills are an unpleasant sensation of unreasonable cold. It is a common symptom of infections, inflammation and various diseases. It may not only have a morbid origin.

Chills are an unpleasant sensation of unreasonable cold, cold. It appears even in cases when the surrounding room temperature is normal. Then it can be a symptom of infection, inflammation or various diseases.

In such a case, even covering up and trying to warm up usually does not help.

Shivering often goes along with it, which is designed to raise the body temperature. Chills along with shivering occur in children, adults and the elderly.

The cause of their occurrence is a disease process and the body's efforts to fight pathogens. It is a physiological reaction to the penetration of a foreign substance into the body.

The moment the body temperature crosses the threshold and turns into a fever, it is necessary to intervene and lower the body temperature.

In most cases, chills occur when the body temperature rises acutely, then subsides after reaching a certain level. In doing so, it may be followed by a feeling of heat, sweating and other general symptoms of infectious disease.

This unreasonable cold sensation occurs even for causes that do not indicate illness.

We associate chills with terms such as shivering, goosebumps, and frostbite.

In a nutshell about body temperature

Body temperature is maintained within a certain range, and this is to keep the body running smoothly.

It is in charge of the thermoregulatory center in the hypothalamus.

The hypothalamus (thermoregulatory centre) responds to active substances in the blood. These are formed during an inflammatory reaction. These include cytokine, prostaglandins and others.

A rise in body temperature is accompanied by a cold sensation that usually persists until the desired temperature is reached.

The body attempts to provide the increase in temperature through multiple mechanisms. The largest producer of heat in the human body, along with metabolism, is the work of the muscles.

This is why shivering, or muscle trembling, occurs.


The body engages the smallest muscles of the human body in this reaction. These are the tiny muscles of the skin hairs. Professionally, this process is known as piloerection, the erection of the tiny muscles of the skin hairs.


The sensation of coldness is enhanced by the constriction of tiny blood vessels in the peripheral parts of the body (periphery). The bleeding of the periphery results in coldness, a sensation of chilliness, paleness of the skin of the fingers, hands or feet. Alternatively, sweating may also occur.

A similar reaction has been known to occur during the experience of stress and psychological strain, which is also associated with chills.

The normal body temperature is between 35.8 and 37.3 °C.

Body temperature is affected by, for example:

  • Metabolism
  • activity and muscle work
  • time of day
  • age
  • mental activity
  • thyroid and adrenal hormones

A rise in body temperature means that something is happening in the body. For example, the body is reacting to the entry of foreign pathogens, which thrive at normal body temperature.

The aim of raising the body temperature is to worsen the living conditions for these foreign organisms and to increase the body's defences.

On the other hand, we measure hypothermia. This is reported when the body temperature is below 35.5 °C.

The body temperature is obtained by measuring it using a thermometer.

Most often, body temperature in large children and adults is measured in places such as:

  • axillary temperature
  • rectum - rectal temperature is 0.5 °C more
  • on the skin of the forehead or temples
  • in the ear
  • 0.3 °C more in the mouth and under the tongue - oral temperature
  • in the vagina - basal temperature, 1 °C higher

In young children, it is best to measure body temperature in the rectum. This is because it is important to follow certain measurement principles that young children do not understand.

After measuring the body temperature in the rectum (anus), subtract 0.5 °C.
This will give you the final value.

Body temperature values in the table

Value °C Naming Description
35,9-36,9 normothermia normal body temperature
37-38 subfebrile elevated body temperature
38,1-40 febrile fever
40-42 overheating of the organism hyperpyrexia

Want to know more?
What's behind the chills?
Can they be a sign of serious illness?
Read along.

Back to the causes of chills

Wondering what causes chills and the uncomfortable feeling of cold?

As we state, chills often occur because of a disease process in the body.

Frequently, it is in infectious diseases and inflammations that are accompanied by an increase in body temperature.

It is not only in this case. Often it also occurs in various oncological diseases, in tumors and cancer.


That's not all. We could name a whole list of diseases. As well as fever and fever.

If you are interested in these topics, please read the following articles:
Elevated body temperature
How to reduce fever - with a wrap
Decreasedbody temperature
Measuring blood pressure, pulse or breathing at home. How to know the values?

Most often we encounter the coexistence of chills and an increase in body temperature. Especially during the autumn and winter months, infectious diseases of the respiratory (breathing) system occur at an increased rate. And this is equally in children and adults.

Seniors or children in a collective and people with weakened immunity are susceptible. However, influenza can overwhelm even an immune strong person.

In children, laryngitis or epiglottitis is dangerous.

Some diseases associated with chills:

  • Infections of the respiratory tract
    • influenza
    • colds
    • tonsillitis
    • inflammation of the upper and lower respiratory tract
    • pneumonia
  • neuroinfections such as meningitis
  • inflammation of the digestive tract
    • stomach, liver (hepatitis), gall bladder, gastroenteritis, intestinal viruses, intestinal infectious diseases such as salmonellosis, typhoid fever, listeriosis, etc.
  • inflammation of the urinary tract, kidneys and bladder
  • gynaecological infections
  • sexually transmitted diseases
  • skin infections
  • sepsis
  • malaria
  • TB
  • mononucleosis
  • chickenpox
  • shingles
  • rubella
  • Lyme disease
  • tetanus
  • but also inflammations of the heart and blood vessels or blood
  • endocrine and metabolic diseases
  • malnutrition

And many others, ranging from less serious to serious health- and life-threatening diseases.

Within these, general manifestations are also commonly encountered. Sometimes these are also referred to as flu-like manifestations.

General manifestations may include:

  • fatigue, malaise and weakness
  • feeling cold, chilly and cold extremities, shivering
  • headache
  • pain throughout the body, joint and muscle pain
  • lack of appetite
  • nausea
  • behavioural changes in young children, irritability or, conversely, depression and apathy
  • pallor, and later, when the temperature rises, a red colour of the skin
  • sweating

Similarly, rheumatic diseases, of which there is a large spectrum, are usually characterised by the presence of these general non-specific symptoms, especially in the acute phase and at the time of relapse.

An allergic reaction is also characterised by a pathological, exaggerated reaction of the immune system to a certain substance, although it is not a disease similar to those already mentioned. In this case, too, a feeling of unreasonable cold may be present.

The most serious causes of chills...

The most serious cause of chills is certainly oncological disease. In this case, too, it is a wide group of tumours and cancers. Cancers of the breast, larynx, liver, bone, skin, colon, cervix, lung (we could go on naming from memory...).


Drugs and reactions to drugs.

Some medications may have this manifestation as a side or adverse effect.

Chills, tremors and high blood pressure

In the case of a rise in blood pressure, we encounter various difficulties. Among them, people often complain of chills, a feeling of cold, trembling of the limbs, dry mouth. Possibly even headache and dizziness.

High blood pressure is a risk of developing other more serious health complications. It threatens a person's health and life in the short and long term.

We also provide links to more articles dealing with hypertension.

Chills on holiday and vaccinations?

To avoid catching chills on holiday, you need to get vaccinated.

Of course, there is no vaccination for feeling cold.

But different exotic destinations are characterized by the presence of different exotic diseases. And our immunity has no experience with those. So the disease has an easier path to outbreak.

Also referred to as foreign diseases.

It happens that people bring them back as a souvenir from their holidays without knowing it when they return home. But the outbreak occurs after a certain period of time.

The importance of vaccination is discussed in detail in the following article:
Vaccination, its importance before travelling abroad - foreign diseases

Other interesting articles:

During sunny and hot days, sunstroke or heatstroke is quite common.

Heatstroke, heatstroke and overheating. More terms and the same problem.

If heat builds up in our body and the body can no longer cope with it, thermoregulation is disturbed.

Overheating is dangerous for several reasons.

In heatstroke, we may experience symptoms such as:

  • headache
  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • muscle pain
  • straining to vomit to vomiting
  • increased body temperature above 41 °C
  • and others

Similarly, in the case of heatstroke, the sun burns our body and neck for an inordinate amount of time. It also confuses our heat regulation.

The symptoms of heatstroke are similar to those of heatstroke, and thus:

  • weakness
  • faintness
  • headache
  • impaired concentration
  • dizziness
  • nausea to vomiting
  • stiff neck
  • dry skin
  • sunburnt skin

Yellow fever

Yellow fever is a viral infectious disease. The virus affects the liver, bone marrow, and kidneys.

It occurs in subtropical and tropical Africa and Central and South America. The source of the disease is a monkey or a human with active disease at the time of viremia.

The mosquito is the vector of the virus and is distinguished into urban and jungle forms.

The disease has a high mortality rate, ranging from 25 to 50%.

Yellow fever occurs in two stages.

The first is referred to as red because those affected have reddened skin, as well as fever, chills, shivering and other general symptoms.

The second (yellow) is characterised by general deterioration. The person has pale skin to icterus (jaundice), due to liver damage, which is accompanied by mucous membrane bleeding.

Chills without fever and without illness

In addition to occurring in disease, it tends to be a part of other conditions that do not have a disease basis.

You come home from work, lie down in bed tired, and can't even get warm under the covers.

And that's regardless of whether the work was mental, psychological or physically demanding.

An unpleasant feeling of cold and evening chills after a day's work is common.

Do you like sports and do not mind excessive physical exertion, weight training?

Then you should be prepared for the association of this not entirely pleasant manifestation of physical exhaustion and fatigue. We do not need to explain further what muscle fever and chills after exercise are.

Perhaps on the opposite side, but close by is mental fatigue.

Feeling cold, cold and wet limbs, fingers, feet, excessive perspiration, body trembling, nausea, sometimes feeling like vomiting or diarrhea.

No, in this case, these are not symptoms of intestinal viremia. Although they could be.

They are stress.
Stress before an exam, during a difficult time in life, and with persistent mental overload.


You can also experience chills because of mental discomfort.

Chills in pregnancy and in women for hormonal changes.

In women, it's a separate chapter, because...

Exactly. Women have the upper hand in this problem.

It's because of hormonal changes. That's when they get chills before menstruation.

So does pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, when the changes in hormone levels are most pronounced. No, we can't list chills as a symptom of pregnancy.

It could indicate inflammation of the mammary gland during lactation. When it's accompanied by redness, hardening, pain and swelling of the breast.

Of course, it can also be a sign of an ongoing disease in pregnant and lactating women. Therefore, when the trouble persists and is associated, a professional examination should be sought.

Chills and cold

When staying in a cold place, the body tries to warm itself. We feel chills, shivering, goosebumps. It helps itself with increased muscle work.

If we do not warm it up, add a layer of clothing or move to a warm place, there is a risk of hypothermia.

The conduction of heat and cold is increased by humidity, water. So the problem is multiplied by wet clothes, cold water in the pool, in the river, in the sea. Whether it's swimming or drowning.

In this case, hypothermia often sets in more quickly.

The basic signs of hypothermia are:

  • paleness of the skin
  • cold
  • stiffness of muscles, limbs
  • impaired speech and contact
  • confusion and disorientation
  • stinging and burning in fingertips, ears, nose
  • frostbite and blisters

Chills in children - with and without fever

In children it is the same as in adults.

They are overcome by fatigue, whether it is mental or physical fatigue. They complain of weakness, a feeling of cold without a rise in body temperature and fever.

Associated symptoms and rise in temperature to the presence of fever should be taken more seriously.

The onset of vomiting, diarrhea and pain is also an example. As is the case with various infectious diseases. Norovirus is an example of an acute febrile and diarrheal illness with vomiting, crampy abdominal pain.

Another example is appendicitis.
This is characterised by abdominal pain starting around the umbilicus and gradually moving to the right and lower abdomen.

Children become dehydrated more quickly and this means an increased risk of complications.

Read also the articles:
Intestinal viral disease
How to manage diarrhoea in children
How salmonellosis is transmitted
What we should know about stool

How to manage chills?

How to manage chills? First of all, it is about distinguishing its cause. Secondly, choosing the appropriate course of action.

If it is not caused by an illness but is the result of fatigue, it is important to rest, get some sleep. If necessary, cover up and warm yourself with tea.

Caused by illness?

Various diagnostic methods are helpful to distinguish the underlying cause. Examples are blood sampling, CRP, sedimentation (FW), culture, throat swab, sputum collection, urine collection and culture, X-ray, SONO, CT scan and others (depending on symptoms).

It is important to know the particular disease that is causing the difficulty.

Only if the primary cause is well and adequately treated can the chills be successfully addressed.

Antipyretic drugs (antipyretics) are given for fever. A wrap or a shower in lukewarm water will help quickly.

Do not forget to drink enough.

If the problem persists, it is necessary to seek professional examination.

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