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Well, it sounds like you have the chills and possibly even a fever. We’ve all had the chills, but do you know why you get them when your body temp is higher than normal?
Although you can get the chills simply by being exposed to cold temperatures, they often occur with a fever. When your body is fighting an illness, it will sometimes raise its temperature to try to kill the virus or bacteria that is making you sick. As your temperature rises, the rest of your body tries to catch up, making you feel cold. Your muscles then contract and relax very quickly to help you warm up, which causes the shivering.
Fever and chills are common symptoms of these conditions:
The treatment for a fever and the chills can vary depending on what’s causing them. Generally, if your fever is mild (102ºF or less) you can try to lower it at home first. Home remedies include:
According to the U.S. Library of Medicine, bundling up in blankets or turning up a fan or AC will only make the chills worse.
Make an appointment with your doctor if:
If you have a baby younger than three months old, you should go to the doctor if they have a:
Your doctor will usually ask you a couple of questions and run some tests to figure out what’s causing the fever and chills. Once the cause is found, you'll get advice on how it can be treated.
Originally published 2/10/2016; Revised 2021, 2022
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