What are the causes and remedies for fever and chills?

Symptom Database

Fever and chills are common symptoms that often go hand in hand. They can be indicative of various underlying conditions and can cause discomfort and distress. Understanding the causes and remedies for fever and chills is essential for managing these symptoms effectively. In this article, we will explore the symptoms, causes, treatment, remedies, and prevention of fever and chills.

Symptoms of Fever and Chills

Fever is characterized by an elevated body temperature above the normal range, which is typically around 98.6°F (37°C). Chills, on the other hand, are involuntary muscle contractions that cause shivering and a feeling of coldness. When experiencing fever and chills, individuals may also exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea

Causes of Fever and Chills

Fever and chills can be caused by a wide range of factors, including:


One of the most common causes of fever and chills is an infection. This can include viral, bacterial, or fungal infections. Infections such as the flu, common cold, urinary tract infections, and pneumonia can all lead to fever and chills.

Inflammatory Conditions

Inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, can also cause fever and chills. These conditions trigger an immune response that leads to inflammation throughout the body, resulting in elevated body temperature and chills.


Some medications, such as antibiotics or certain vaccines, can cause fever and chills as a side effect. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional if you suspect that your medication is causing these symptoms.

Heat Exhaustion or Heatstroke

Exposure to excessive heat can lead to heat exhaustion or heatstroke, which can cause fever and chills. It is crucial to stay hydrated and seek shade or air-conditioned environments in hot weather to prevent these conditions.

Treatment for Fever and Chills

The treatment for fever and chills depends on the underlying cause. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. However, there are some general measures that can help alleviate these symptoms:

  • Rest and stay hydrated
  • Take over-the-counter fever reducers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as directed
  • Apply a cool compress to the forehead or take a lukewarm bath to reduce body temperature
  • Dress in lightweight clothing

Remedies for Fever and Chills

In addition to the treatment options mentioned above, there are several remedies that can provide relief from fever and chills:

  • Drink warm fluids, such as herbal tea or chicken soup, to soothe the throat and promote hydration
  • Use a humidifier or take steam inhalation to ease congestion and respiratory symptoms
  • Get plenty of rest to allow the body to recover
  • Apply a warm compress to the affected areas to alleviate muscle aches

Prevention of Fever and Chills

While it may not always be possible to prevent fever and chills, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk:

  • Practice good hygiene by washing your hands regularly
  • Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick
  • Stay up to date with vaccinations
  • Take precautions in extreme weather conditions to prevent heat-related illnesses
  • Manage stress levels and maintain a healthy lifestyle to support a strong immune system

In conclusion, fever and chills are common symptoms that can be caused by various factors. It is important to pay attention to these symptoms and seek medical advice if they persist or worsen. By understanding the causes, treatment options, remedies, and prevention strategies, individuals can effectively manage fever and chills and promote their overall well-being.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
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