The chills, goosebumps and shivering is one of your body’s automatic insulating responses to a cold environment, to prevent hypothermia. However, a “core temperature warm-up” is not the only cause for chill jumpin’ skin.
Another cause for chill bumps and shivers is your autonomic nervous system “flight or fight” response. When your brain perceives a situation that might “require” a quick reaction or is emotional, it gets the ball rolling with a shot of adrenaline.
Adrenaline causes the contraction of tiny muscles attached to each hair. This is what’s behind those bumps, chills, shivers and standing up hairs. In other words, adrenaline can make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.
So what about those times you feel cold during your bask in a warm and relaxing place. Some causes for inexplicably feeling cold all the time, night chills, sweat chills or goosebumps are acute infections and certain chronic medical conditions.
Some chronic type scenarios that may be causing your chills, night sweat chills or chill bumps include:
Chills are one of the serious side effects of prednisone.
Your mystery chills, with or without a fever, may be a sign of a mounting infection. One of your body’s battle strategies in fighting a viral/bacterial infection is raising your body’s temperature at the infection site. Shivering muscle contractions markedly assists in this temperature increase.
The feeling of chilliness often precedes, as well as accompanies, a fever. Types of infections that often cause chills:
- strep throat
- relapsing fever
- common colds
- bubonic plague
- kidney infection
- chickungunya fever
- urinary tract infection
- spider bite ~ brown recluse
Chills are also a symptom of photosensitivity.
When you first notice the chills, feeling chilly, a couple of goose bumps or slight shivering, a couple of infection fighting and health promoting things you should do is:
- get plenty of rest
- take a warm bath
- drink lots of fluids
You know the fever chill drill ~ blankets on and off as fever produces sweat and sweat produces chills. But don’t bundle up too much, this may cause your fever to rise.
If your fever is mild (<102) without side effects, acetaminophen is an effective treatment for fever and chills. Always remember, no aspirin for children.
During a sweat chill episode try to keep your skin dry, and step out of the wind.