As mammals, we are homeothermic. This means that we are able to regulate our own body temperature. We get our heat from the environment around us and from metabolizing our food, while we also have other mechanisms such as shivering that help to keep us warm enough.
However, we are not able to keep ourselves warm in all conditions. If our bodies lose more heat than they generate then our internal body temperature can begin to plummet. This is known as hypothermia and it can be very serious.
The best way to deal with hypothermia is to prevent it from happening in the first place. If you know of vulnerable people during cold weather, helping to keep them warm can literally save their life.
Symptom #1: Shivering
Shivering plays a very useful part in helping to regulate our body temperature. The act is shivering is down to your muscles flexing and relaxing repeatedly and quickly. This causes them to heat up, providing some additional heat to the body. It’s an effective system that is also employed by many other animals.
Shivering is quite common when we are cold and is not usually something to be concerned about. Unfortunately, though, it can also be a sign that somebody has hypothermia. Ironically, it could be an even worse sign when they stop shivering because this can mean the body is no longer trying to raise its body temperature.