The chills (Febris undularis) are a sensation of external and internal cold, which is accompanied by muscle tremors and often occurs concomitantly with fever. Chills are very similar to the shivering of the skeletal muscles for increased heat production. In shivering mainly the large muscles, that is, the thigh muscles and the back muscles, and the masticatory muscles contract very quickly and then relax again. In this way the body wants to produce heat.
Chills as a symptom
The healthy body is able to maintain 37 degrees Celsius through normal metabolism. However, as a result of infection, inflammatory agents may increase the set point of core body temperature via the heat regulation center in the hypothalamus of the brain. Then additional heat must be produced - just by chills. Willingly, this "muscle tremors" that lasts several minutes and runs in the form of bouts, not to influence.
Symptoms of a chills in the sense, there is not really, because the chills itself is a symptom. But there are accompanying symptoms. Muscular chills cause tremendous strain on the body. Therefore, a shivering thrust is often associated with severe drowsiness. In addition, especially in a flu infection chills and fever paired with headache and body aches.
The causes of chills
Chills occur in the context of febrile infectious diseases. This can be a cold or the flu (influenza). As children with fever easily rises quickly, they also have more chills.
Chills can also occur as a result of the following diseases:
- lung infection
- blood poisoning
- Typhus coupled with severe diarrhea
- Inflammation of the epididymis
- mushroom poisoning
Anyone who has been in a tropical country has to remember that chills can also occur as a result of malaria, yellow fever, anthrax and smallpox. Even an acute glaucoma attack, that is, a sudden and sharp increase in intraocular pressure, heat stroke and sunstroke can cause chills without fever. Chills are similar in withdrawal or hyperthyroidism.
Chills - what to do?
If it is certain that chills are the result of a cold or flu, it is usually not necessary to see a doctor because of a chill. However, the flu itself may require a doctor's visit.
For all other causes, however, it makes sense to go to the doctor. He will first clarify what the causes are by taking an anamnesis, blood tests, listening to the lungs and palpation of lymph nodes and, if necessary, imaging studies. Then it can be treated properly.
Chills in a cold
If it is a cold or flu, home remedies such as hot baths, warming teas and cold calf rolls (against the fever) help or the patient is covered with several blankets to make a sweat cure. For severe complaints, if necessary, use an analgesic and antipyretic medication.
In addition to conventional medicine homeopathic home remedies can also be used. For example, in chills and fever, Aconitum napelles (blue monkshood, Sturmhut) D200, Belladonna D200 - especially when pounding headache in combination with fever and chills - and a specially prepared bark of the Red Chinarindenbaum are suitable as a fever-reducing measure.
Chills due to infection
If it is an infectious disease and the pathogen has already been determined by the doctor, it is usually necessary for a bacterial pathogen to take an antibiotic. In most cases, with severe symptoms and chills with fever, a pain-relieving and antipyretic medication is needed.
If it is a case of glaucoma, then the underlying disease must be treated quickly, that is, the pressure in the eye must be lowered immediately.
Chills in case of heat stroke or sunstroke
If it is a heat stroke or a sunstroke accompanied, for example, by severe headache, nausea and / or vomiting, then the body must be cooled. Home remedies such as cold towels, baths and calf wrap are ideal for this. Care should be taken to ensure adequate hydration, with as many drinks as possible being rich in minerals to compensate for any loss of electrolyte.
There are no preventive measures against chills - apart from all that helps to increase the immune system, such as sufficient sleep, healthy nutrition, hardening and the avoidance of chronic stress.