Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Underlying Cause

Chills Overview

What are chills?
Chills are common, but often are not related to an underlying disease. The most common cause of chills is simply being cold (shivering). Physicians will often search for a more specific starting symptom for a patient who complains of chills. This is because chills are a very nonspecific symptom. The first thing the doctor will do when you complain of chills is take your temperature.

What are the symptoms of chills?
Symptoms of chills depend on the underlying cause. Most people with chills due to a disease also have a fever.

How does the doctor treat chills?
Treatment of chills depends on the underlying cause. Acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications are recommended for fever control.

Continue to Chills Underlying Cause

Last Updated: Aug 18, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Chills References
  1. Batsis JA, Uslan DZ, Baddour LM. 70-year-old man with fever, shaking chills, and weakness. Mayo Clin Proc. 2005 Sep;80(9):1209-12. [16178501]
  2. Call SA, Vollenweider MA, Hornung CA, Simel DL, McKinney WP. Does this patient have influenza? JAMA. 2005 Feb 23;293(8):987-97. [15728170]
  3. Lutfiyya MN, Henley E, Chang LF, Reyburn SW. Diagnosis and treatment of community-acquired pneumonia. Am Fam Physician. 2006 Feb 1;73(3):442-50. [16477891]
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