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Pediatrics/Shivering for no reason


QUESTION: Hi Dr. Olson,
My 12 yr old daughter has had 2 episodes at night where she says she can't fall asleep because she is shivering. She says that she isn't cold. I'm trying to figure out what could be causing this. She says there isn't anything that is bothering her, but all I can come up with is anxiety. She has an appt with her ped this summer for her annual check up, but was wondering if you could give me some insight. I'm stumped.
Thank you,
Jen Clough

ANSWER: Hi, Jen,

I suspect you are right, especially if she is not sick at all during the daytime and is not running any fevers at night.  If she has a fever, shaking chills can be part of that, but I suspect this may be anxiety, especially if she is prone to this.

Good luck, Dr. Olson

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dr. Olson,
Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. One more thought....she doesn't drink as much water as she should. Is it possible that she could be a bit dehydrated? I know that you can feel cold and have chills when you are dehydrated, but she claims she is not cold, but just shivering
Thank you

Hi, Jen,

To feel chills and shiver due to dehydration would indicate more than just a glass down.  This would be pretty significant, noticeable dehydration (dry mouth, lack of tears, slack skin).  I doubt if she is this dehydrated.

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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