Shivering is a reflexive response of the body to cold temperatures or as a response to fever, infection, or other medical conditions. It is a mechanism by which the body generates heat to maintain its temperature. Shivering involves rapid and involuntary contractions of the muscles, which generate heat through increased metabolic activity.
Shivering can be a normal and healthy response to cold temperatures, but it can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition. In addition to cold exposure and fever, other possible causes of shivering include hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland), anxiety, and side effects of certain medications.
Treatment of shivering depends on the underlying cause. If shivering is due to cold exposure, it can be treated by warming the body with warm clothing, blankets, or a heating pad. In cases of fever, treating the underlying infection or illness can help to reduce shivering. If shivering is due to an underlying medical condition, treatment of that condition can help to alleviate symptoms.
In some cases, medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be used to reduce fever and relieve discomfort associated with shivering. If shivering is severe or persistent, or if it is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention.