We all get the shivers sometimes. Usually shivering occurs as a response to the cold as the body contracts and relaxes the muscles in order to generate some heat. Once you warm up the shivering will stop.
However there are other reasons why you may get random shivers and some of these may need medical attention.
1/ Fever causes shivering. If you are running a temperature of higher than 100% – the classification of a fever – shivering is a very common side effect of an infection or an allergic reaction. You should seek medical attention especially if the fever continues for more than 24 hours.
2/ Strong emotions can cause shivering. Excitement, fear and stress leads to a rise in adrenaline levels – the hormone that causes the fight or flight response. Once adrenaline subsides the shivering should stop. This can be common in people who suffer from chronic stress.
3/ Low blood sugar can cause shivering. If your blood glucose levels are low it can lead to hypoglycaemia and is dangerous if you suffer from diabetes
4/ Anxiety can cause shivering. Although anxiety is a mental condition it can also cause physical symptoms such as nausea, shivering and an increased heart rate.
5/ You may shiver after a general anaesthetic. Because your temperature may drop during a surgical procedure, once you wake up it can be hard to feel warm again.
6/ Tremors or shivering can signify an underlying health condition such as Parkinson’s Disease or Essential Tremor. The latter is a medical condition that affects around 10 million Americans and is a neurological condition that can be treated with medication.
7/ Sepsis used to be called blood poisoning and is a medical emergency as if left untreated it can be fatal. Shivering is a common symptom along with confusion, elevated heart rate and clammy skin. If you suspect the shivering may be caused by sepsis call the emergency responders right away and go straight to hospital for treatment.
8/ Psychogenic movement disorders can also cause shivering. The shivering will occur for apparently no reason by may be linked to a neurological disorder that causes the body to make involuntary movements. . So if this keeps happening to you, visit your doctor.
Although shivering can be a sign of a serious underlying condition, in many cases it may be caused by stress and anxiety. One way to improve your mental health and reduce shivering is to ensure you get a good night’s sleep.
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