Chills / Shivering

What Causes Chills / Shivering?

Chills / shivering can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'critical'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose chills / shivering, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "chills / shivering" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis)
  • Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Leukemia
  • Sepsis
  • Pneumonia
  • Babesiosis
  • Hyperthyroidism

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
daily morning stiffness
inner trembling
minor pain in cold/cool/damp weather
diffuse bone pain
frequent unexplained fevers
very great unexplained weight gain
blood clotting problems
muscle pains in family members
having foamy urine
afternoon headaches
mild discomfort when breathing
blue/bluish fingernails
... and more than 120 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of chills / shivering:
Cause Probability Status
Leukemia 94% Confirm
Pneumonia 21% Unlikely
Babesiosis 17% Unlikely
Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia 3% Ruled out
Hyperthyroidism 2% Ruled out
Epstein-Barr Virus 0% Ruled out
Sepsis 0% Ruled out
Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis) 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Metabolic Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about chills / shivering:
Do you sometimes experience 'chills' (sensations of cold accompanied by shivering) that can not be explained by your environment?
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ No
→ Occasionally
→ Often - more than once a month
→ I am experiencing chills due to a current illness
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate absence of 'chills', occasional 'chills', frequent 'chills' or having chills from an illness, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
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