Fever, also known as controlled hyperthermia or pyrexia, is when the body temperature goes above the normal range of 98-100F (36-37C).
It is commonly a symptom of an underlying condition, most usually an infection.
A part of the brain called the hypothalamus (it is also the link between the endocrine and nervous systems) acts as the body’s thermostat.
When all is well in the human body, the hypothalamus is set at the normal body temperature.
Pyrexia develops when the hypothalamus is set to a higher-than-normal temperature.
This resetting of the hypothalamus is commonly caused by small molecules called pyrogens in the blood.
Pyrexia Is The Body’s First Line Of Defense
It is viewed with greater concern by healthcare professionals and parents than it usually deserves, a phenomenon known as fever phobia.
Actually, fever serves as one of the human body’s natural defenses against viruses and bacteria which are less efficient at higher temperatures.
If you kill the fever, you kill the body’s defenses, not the germs.
A fever also boosts the immune system into high gear, spurring the rapid production of bug-clobbering white blood cells.
For these reasons, low-grade fevers should usually go untreated, unless accompanied by troubling signs and symptoms.
The degree of temperature increase doesn’t necessarily correspond to the severity of the illness.
Moreover, the fever response tends to be greater in children than in adults since fever requires an enormous amount of energy, which most adults lack.
Extreme temperature elevation (usually > 41° C) may be damaging. Such high temperature is more typical of severe environmental hyperthermia but occasionally results from exposure to anesthetics, illicit drugs (such as – phencyclidine or cocaine), or antipsychotic drugs.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, in babies younger than 3 months, a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher needs to be brought to a healthcare specialist’s attention as soon as possible.
Keeping the body hydrated is important during fever because the increased body temperature can cause dehydration.
Also, drinking water and other fluids help the body expel the bacteria or virus which is causing the fever.
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- Some medications, like – drugs and antibiotics used to treat seizures or hypertension.
- Illegal drugs increase heat production, including – cocaine and amphetamines.
- Certain inflammatory conditions, like – rheumatoid arthritis — inflammation of the lining of your joints.
- Respiratory infections, including – sore throats, colds or flu-like illnesses, ear infections, mononucleosis, sinus infections, pneumonia, bronchitis, and tuberculosis.
- Connective tissue disorders, such as – polyarteritis nodosa, systemic lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, polymyositis, or giant cell arteritis.
- Conditions including – malignant tumors, autoimmune diseases, and immunocompromised patients (HIV/AIDS).
Since most fever is beneficial and helps the human body fight off infections, the primary reason to treat a fever is to increase patient comfort. Treatments usually include:
#1 Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water, teas, or very diluted juice is recommended to replenish fluids lost through sweating.
Take naproxen (Aleve or Naprosyn), ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), aspirin, or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help lower your temperature and relieve body aches and headaches.
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#3 Stay cool
Things you can do to safely cool off include:
- Use a fan to keep air circulating;
- Sit in a bath of lukewarm water;
- Eat popsicles;
- Drink plenty of room-temperature or cool water;
- Try to avoid using too many extra blankets, when you have chills;
- Wear light clothes or pajamas;
- Give yourself a sponge bath with lukewarm water.
Ayurvedic doctors have long regarded this root as one of the best fever-reducing natural foods.
Fever – Spiritual Causes And Meaning
Fever indicates a peak of a burning fury that has not been solved and is now manifesting physically. Pay close attention and try to identify what makes you angry.
It is part of your life and every conflict you experience carries a message. Learn to accept whatever is troubling you, the same way you accept the pleasant part of life. After that, you will become a whole and radiate love.
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Most cases are self-limited and resolve with the treatment of symptoms.
Cover Your Mouth When You Sneeze
Cover your nose when you sneeze and your mouth when you cough, and teach your children to do likewise.
In addition, whenever possible, turn away from other people when sneezing or coughing to avoid passing germs along to them.
Avoid Touching Your Mouth, Nose, and Eyes
Try to teach your children not to touch their mouths, noses, or eyes since this is the principal way viral infections are transmitted from the hands into the body.
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Get Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep has been associated with a laundry list of physical and mental health problems, including an impaired immune system.
Your immune system is especially susceptible to nutritional deficiencies – vitamin C and zinc play a very important role in preventing infections, therefore, make sure that your daily diet contains these nutrients.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, there is an association between smoking and the increased incidence of certain respiratory infections and malignant diseases.
One reason may be that smoking weakens the immune system by depressing antibodies and cells which are in the body to protect against harmful bacteria and viruses.
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”I manifest perfect health by making smart choices.”
”I take good care of myself.”
”I choose to heal for my heart, body, and soul every day.”
”Everything I eat nourishes me and heals me.”
”I am perfect health. I am well.”
“Every cell in my body vibrates with health and energy.”
”Healing is happening in my mind and in my body.”
Images credit – Shutterstock
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References https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16269957 https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM195805222582101 https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/4/7/e004998