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What Causes Chills?


Chills happen if you feel severe coldness which can lead to shivering even when you are wrapped with thick clothing or blankets. This occurs when you get exposed to a cold environment.

But it can also be a symptom of various illnesses, which in most cases need immediate medical attention. Paleness and “goose bumps” are also other signs of chilliness. Usually, chills are experienced at the start of an infection.

This symptom happens when muscles relax and contract rapidly which is the body’s initial reaction to generate heat. To get more into detail, below are some causes of chills.

  1. A common cold can cause chills. It is a viral upper respiratory infection which can originate from hundreds of viruses.
  2. Flu or influenza is an infection of the lungs, throat, and nose. Aside from experiencing chills, other symptoms are body aches, headache, nausea, and dizziness.
  3. Pneumonia or bronchopneumonia is the inflammation of the lungs. Different types of bacteria, viruses, or even fungi can lead to this disease. Pneumonia can be mild or life-threatening which is why it is very important to seek medical help once you get the disease.
  4. Another infection that can be very dangerous is meningitis, which affects the membranes surrounding the brain and the spinal cord. Meningitis can also be triggered by drug allergies, tumors, fungi and chemical irritation. Part of the symptoms of the disease is also chilliness.
  5. Malaria is a tropical disease that is common in tropical and subtropical areas. It is a disease coming from mosquitoes. Other symptoms of this aside from shivering are fever, vomiting, arthralgia or joint pain, and anemia.
  6. Urinary tract infection or bladder infection is an infection that involves the urinary tract. This can be in the kidneys, bladder, urethra, and ureters. Based on studies, women are more prone to get UTI since the urethra is closer to the anus. You can also get this when you have bowel inconsistency, kidney stones, menopause, catheterization, multiple sexual partners, pregnancy, and many more.
  7. Chills is also a symptom of bacterial gastroenteritis or infectious diarrhea. This happens when you have inflammation in the stomach or intestines instigated by bacteria, such as E. coli, Salmonella, Clostridium, Yersinia, Shigella, and Staphylococcus.
  8. Strep throat or pharyngitis is a common infection of the throat caused by bacteria. Generally, patients experience some of the following symptoms: sore throat, difficulty in swallowing, nausea, rash, loss of appetite, redness of throat, fever, and chills.


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