Fever and chills are commonly experienced when one is down with viral or bacterial infections such as influenza, pneumonia, meningitis, strep throat, gastroenteritis, tonsillitis, etc. This sensation is a natural response of the body to a cold environment. Our body has various mechanisms for dealing with changes in the environmental conditions. When we are exposed to the cold, muscles of the body contract and relax rapidly so as to generate heat. Thus, the sensation of chills, shivering, and goose bumps on the skin are the body's way of adjusting to the temperature changes. While this sensation of cold may be just a natural response of the body to maintain the body's temperature at an optimal level, at times one may experience chills without a fever.
When a sudden rush of intense cold is accompanied by fever, it usually indicates that the body is fighting against an infection. Shivering alone with no fever may just be the body's reaction to a cold environment. However, it could be a symptom of certain medical conditions.
Anemia, which is a medical condition associated with the decrease in the red blood cell count, could be a contributing factor. You might have seen people who wrap themselves up in layers of clothing even when the weather is pleasant and not cold. Such people must get themselves checked for anemia, as this condition is associated with increased intolerance to cold. In case of women, blood loss during periods could lead to a decreased red blood cell count, which in turn can cause chills.
The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland that is located just below the Adam's apple, in the lower section of the neck. It performs a variety of important functions, one of which, is the regulation of body temperature. If the thyroid gland is not functioning properly, one may experience fatigue along with frequent episodes of chills without any fever.
Nutritional deficiencies could also affect one's ability to tolerate cold. It is believed that a deficiency of vitamin B-complex could make one more susceptible to anemia, which in turn, may increase one's sensitivity towards cold.
Stress is known to have an adverse effect on one's immune system. Stress can also lead to hormonal imbalance, which in turn, can affect the temperature regulation mechanism employed by the body. Poor physical health generally affects the body's ability to generate and regulate body temperature.
Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar could also be responsible for causing the sensation of cold. A person with low blood sugar levels may also experience cold sweats, headache, trembling, or malaise. If the levels of blood sugar are very low, one may feel dizzy as well.
Use of Certain Drugs
Prolonged use of certain medication could also be a contributing factor. Narcotic painkillers and a class of medication called beta interferons could give rise to the sensation of intense cold.
There is a connection between fat and sensitivity towards cold. People who are underweight feel cold more often. Fat helps in generating as well as retaining the heat in the body. So, less adipose tissue and muscle mass may be the reason behind one feeling cold.
Individuals who often experience chills should get a thorough medical checkup done to ascertain the underlying cause of cold intolerance. They should follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen, and protect themselves from cold during winter.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.