Generally, people shiver to generate heat during chilly times. Nevertheless, shivering may lead to several basic medical issues.

The contraction and relaxation of muscles in a person’s body may help them to warm up during chilly times. Due to this process, the entire or few parts of the body may shiver or shake (tremble). Chilly wind can make us shiver even on a bright day. One may also shiver when they are under a shade.

Introduction

Shivering is not a voluntary mechanism of the body and hence cannot be controlled. Few examples such as hiccups and sneezing are not voluntary.

Babies and Shivering

The neo-natal or new-borns don’t shiver when the surrounding is cold because they have a different temperature-controlled reaction. A process called thermogenesis allows newborns to increase their body temperature by burning fat. It’s the same as to how the hibernating animal’s body functions and their body is maintained at the optimal temperatures during the winter.

The reasons for shivering

Shivering takes place ordinarily when an individual feels chilly. As soon as the individual heats up the shivering stops. Hence, it is not permanent.

Nevertheless, physical or mental sickness may cause shivering.

The eight probable reasons for shivering on:

1. Fever

Apart from cold, fever is the major (common) reason for shivering which doctors describe as body temperature higher than 100-degree Fahrenheit.

Generally, the infection causes fever but the body temperature may be increased due to inflammation or allergic reaction. Few people with fever have certain indicators of flu but other people may not have such extra signs.

Sweating, feeling cold when nobody else does, sleepiness, shivering, unable to concentrate on the problems, lack of appetite, lethargy, dehydration (it is preventable when the person is sufficient fluids in the body), depression, irritability, confusion, delirium, seizures, and hyperalgesia, or increased sensitivity to pain are the symptoms of fever.

In order to decrease the temperature, lots of fluids must be taken along with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen belong to Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can ease the symptoms of fever. Your physician may recommend you to use antibiotics only your fever is caused due to a bacterial infection.

An individual should take medicinal suggestions within 24 hours in case he has certain signs especially a stiff neck, rapid heartbeat, or shallow breathing. In case fever exists for three days without any other signs, only then the doctor must have consented.

2. Psychogenic movement disorders

Stress or mental health factors may lead to shivering and certain involuntary movements for a few people. Psychogenic movement disorders generally take place due to this, which affects certain parts of the body.

Psychogenic tremor, psychogenic dystonia, psychogenic myoclonus, psychogenic parkinsonism, psychogenic tics, psychogenic paroxysmal dyskinesia, and psychogenic gait disorders are the types of psychogenic movement disorders.

Individuals who specialize in diagnosing psychogenic movement disorder which affect the brain are called the neurologist.

3. Shivering following the anesthesia treatment

Shivering may take place when an individual becomes conscious following a regular anesthetic.

Shivering can be caused due to a decrease in an individual’s temperature during a surgical procedure. It usually occurs when an individual awakens once the surgery is complete.

The body’s capability to regulate temperature is affected by the anesthetics thus making it hard for the body to warm up as soon as the surgery is complete.

Individuals are provided with blankets or heaters if required once their temperature is checked.

4. Fright, Anxiousness, or Tension

Frequently as a result of the rush of adrenaline in the body strong emotions may lead to shivering or shaking. A flight-or-flight reaction in the body is triggered by a hormone named adrenaline.

The physical and mental symptoms of stress include sleeplessness, headache, restlessness, stomach ache, irrational anger or irritability, rapid heartbeat, unable to concentrate on the things or tasks that you need to perform, sweating, feeling tensed or nervousness, jitteriness, panic, fast breathing, and muscle tension.

As soon as we get rid of the adrenaline in the body shivering stops. It occurs rarely for several individuals, possibly in the course of a specific anxious or terrifying situation. Adrenaline rush and shaking may become regular for individuals who undergo chronic stress.

5. Tremor

Essential tremor is a medical condition which causes involuntary trembling, shaking or shivering. It is a neurological condition which means that it is related to the brain.

In the U.S, almost ten million people go through this condition which causes trembling in hands, voice, legs.

Shaking voice, balance problems (in rare cases), uncontrollable shaking that occurs for brief periods of time, tremors that lessen with rest, nodding head, tremors that get worse with purposeful movement, shaky hands while you are trying to do an activity

One of the indicators of Parkinson’s disease is tremors. An area of the brain is affected by this disorder and is likely to grow slowly.

6. Minimal blood sugar

Glucose levels in an individual’s blood fall if he does not eat or drink for a long time. Such a drop in blood sugar may result in shivering or shaking.

Blurry vision, loss of consciousness, fast heartbeat, unable to concentrate on the things, sudden changes in your mood, skin tingling, feeling tense all the time or nervousness, unable to sleep or insomnia, unexplained fatigue, sweating, pale skin, dizziness, shaking, headache, and hunger are the common symptoms of low blood sugar.

For individuals suffering from diabetes, it is called hypoglycemia and it can be hard. Individuals suffering from diabetes should get their blood sugar levels checked frequently to stop the levels from falling.

7. Anxiety

A psychological health phenomenon which influences the body along with brain is known as anxiety. High levels of heart rate, nausea, shivering, and shaking are the outcomes of a person who is experiencing anxiety.

Increased heart rate, fast breathing, restlessness, unable to concentrate on things, and difficulty in sleeping or insomnia are the general symptoms of anxiety.

There are many foods that you can include in your diet in order to reduce your anxiety levels. These include green tea, salmon, yogurt, chamomile tea, dark chocolate, and turmeric.

Following are the lifestyle changes that you can do to yourself and can ease the symptoms of anxiety are getting enough sleep, quitting smoking cigarettes, meditating, avoiding caffeine content foods, maintaining a healthy diet, reducing your alcohol intake or avoiding it completely, going to the gym daily and working out, staying active are the

Therapy, medication and lifestyle changes are included in anxiety cure. Physical exercise, listening to music, and spending time with helpful family and friends are events that might assist an individual in anxiety management.

8. Sepsis

A significant reaction of the body to infection is Sepsis. It mostly takes place in combination with lung, skin, gut, or urinary tract infections.

Extreme weakness, patches of discolored skin, unconsciousness, decreased urination, chills due to fall in body temperature, unable to concentrate on the things, changes in mental ability, abnormal heart functions, sudden cessation in your platelet count or low platelet count, and experiencing breathing problems are considered as the severe symptoms of sepsis.

Shivering is a sign of sepsis. Following are the signs of Sepsis and these include

  • Confusion,
  • feeling sweaty or clammy, pain,
  • rapid heart rate, and
  • shortness of breath

Bloodstream infections, pneumonia, kidney infection, and abdominal infection are the main causes of sepsis. Individuals with sepsis require immediate therapy with antibiotics in a hospital since it is a medical emergency.

The following are the long-term effects of sepsis. These include lowered self-esteem, damaged organs, lowered cognitive functioning, nightmares, unable to concentrate on things or poor concentration, disabling muscle and joint pains, and fatigue.

If you feel that you are suffering from sepsis, or experiencing any of the symptoms of severe call your physician or healthcare provider immediately and get medical attention.

How to treat shivering at home and when should a doctor have consented

Generally, shivering is not permanent. In case shivering takes place as a result of fever, low blood sugar, or strong emotion, it must be resolved as soon as the individual cures the original reason. They can:

  • treating the symptoms of fever with fluids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • following a healthy diet in order to restore blood sugar levels
  • following breathing techniques such as breathing slowly in order to control the strong emotions

The actual health condition of an individual can also be a reason for shivering. Signs must be noted and medical assistance must be sought in case an individual is concerned.

Conclusion

For elder people or individuals with a primary health condition, shivering can be a serious indicator. Generally, elder people experience the cold rapidly as they are not more capable to maintain the optimal body temperature. Warming up during chilly weather is significant for better health.

Heart rate is increased and breathing us made quicker during fever. For an individual with heart or lung condition, it can be severe.

We would advise you to consult a physician if you are going through the severe symptoms of fever such as seizures, irritability, delirium, and confusion. If you think your condition is not getting better even after taking the medications that have been prescribed by your physician or if you feel like you are experiencing the symptoms again, call 911 or contact your healthcare provider immediately.

References

  1. http://www.jurnalul-anestezie.ro/archive/y2018/n1/a12/
  2. https://journals.lww.com/jnnonline/Fulltext/2018/04000/Shivering_Treatments_for_Targeted_Temperature.4.aspx
  3. https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1807-59322011000700011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en
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