Woke up shaking and feeling sick

Last night I woke up during the night shaking. My heart was beating really fast, I couldn't move and I was feeling sick. The shaking lasted for around 20 minutes and it happened 3 times during the night. I would like to find out what it was that made this happen to me and if there is anything to stop it from happening again. Thank you

Doctor's Response

Date:Jul / 2012

Thank you for your question.

Hi, sorry you had a difficult night, I can explain the most likely causes and what you can / should do about it.

I think the most likely explanation is that you had a rigor, which is an episode when you have a very high temperature and in an attempt to get rid of excess heat your body shivers or shakes uncontrollably. You probably felt cold at the time though.

This is caused by infection usually. Quite often it is a bacterial infection. In an otherwise young fit and healthy male ( you didn't mention any past medical problems you have such as heart problems, bowel disease, chest problems) then the most likely cause is a chest infection. Sometimes the rigor is the first sign that something is wrong.

Other causes might be a kidney or bladder infection which can cause back pain, and or pain passing urine or increased frequency of passing urine. Gastroneteritis causing sickness and diarrhoea is another culprit.

If you still have symptoms of anything I've mentioned above or have had further attacks then I think you need to see a GP to be examined really looking for any focus of infection. It would be helpful to take a urine sample with you.

Taking paracetamol and or ibuprofen regularly and drinking plenty of fluids while you are waiting to see someone will help kep your temperature down.

Hope you are better soon.

Thank you for using Thanks Doctor. I do hope this information is of use to you.
Yours faithfully,
The Thanks Doctor Team

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