What is fever?
A fever is a body temperature that’s higher than is considered normal.
It’s also called a high temperature, hyperthermia, or pyrexia, and it’s usually a sign that your body is working to keep you healthy from an infection.
Normal body temperatures are different for everyone, but they lie within the range of 97 to 99.
A temperature of 100.4 or higher is considered a fever.
Who is controlling the body temperature?
Hypothalamus, a part of brain controls and maintain body temperature.
In response to an infection, illness, or some other cause, the hypothalamus may reset the body to a higher temperature.
So when a fever comes on, it’s a sign that something is going on in your body.
What temperature constitutes a fever?
Normal Temperature : 97-99 degree (36 to 37.2 celsius)
Low grade fever: 99-100.9 (37.3 to 38.3 celsius)
Common fever: 101-103.5 degree (38.4 to 39.7 celsius)
High grade fever: Any fever above 103.6 degree (39.8 celsius)
How to take a temperature?
Always use a digital thermometer to check someone’s temperature. Various types are available:
Rectal thermometers are used in the rectum.
Oral thermometers are used in the mouth.
Temporal artery thermometers use an infrared scanner to measure the temperature of the temporal artery in the forehead.
Armpit (axillary) and ear (tympanic membrane) thermometers, which are less accurate.
Causes of fever
The cause of fever is usually an infection of some kind. This could include:
Viruses – such as colds or upper respiratory tract infections.
Bacteria – such as tonsillitis, pneumonia or urinary tract infections.
Some chronic illnesses – such as rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis that can cause fevers that last longer than two weeks.
Some tropical diseases – such as malaria, which can cause bouts of recurring fever or typhoid fever.
Heat stroke – which includes fever (without sweating) as one of its symptoms.
Side effects of certain medications.
Vaccines and immunizations
Other Causes include
Autoimmune conditions such as lupus and inflammatory bowel disease(IBS)
Teething in babies can cause a mild, low-grade fever (not over 101 degrees)
Elevated body temperature
Chills, shivering, shaking.
Body aches and headaches.
Intermittent or constant sweating.
Flushed complexion or hot skin.
Losing your appetite
Although a fever is easy to measure with a thermometer, finding its cause can be hard.
Besides a physical exam, your doctor will examine the individual and ask them about any other symptoms and their medical history to rule out the reason for the fever
Many experts believe that fever is a natural bodily defense against infection. There are also many non-infectious causes of fever.
Treatments vary depending on the cause of the fever. For example, antibiotics would be used for a bacterial infection such as strep throat.
The most common treatments for fever include over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen.
Ways to lower temperature
Take paracetamol or ibuprofen in appropriate doses to help bring your temperature down.
Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water.
Avoid alcohol, tea and coffee as these drinks can cause slight dehydration.
Ways to lower fever
Sponge exposed skin with tepid water. To boost the cooling effect of evaporation, you could try standing in front of a fan.
Avoid taking cold baths or showers. Skin reacts to the cold by constricting its blood vessels, which will trap body heat. The cold may also cause shivering, which can generate more heat.
Make sure you have plenty of rest, including bed rest.
How can a fever be prevented?
Your lifestyle can affect how well your immune system can protect you from germs, viruses, and chronic illness.
Replacing bad health habits with good ones can help keep your immune system healthy.
Wash your hands
Hand washing is one of the best strategies you can use to avoid getting sick.
Use warm water and soap to wash your hands. Make sure to wash your hands after visiting the toilet, and before and after eating. Also, make sure to dry your hands thoroughly.
Sleep provides essential support to the immune system. Getting sufficient hours of high-quality sleep enables a well-balanced immune defense that features strong innate and adaptive immunity, efficient response to vaccines, and less severe allergic reactions
Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.
Diets rich in whole foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, and seafood, and low in ultra-processed foods can reduce disease risk and promote healthy immune function.
Vitamin C is one of the biggest immune system boosters of all. In fact, a lack of vitamin C can even make you more prone to getting sick. Foods rich in vitamin C include oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, kale and broccoli.
Exercise has a profound effect on the normal functioning of the immune system. It is generally accepted that prolonged periods of intensive exercise training can depress immunity, while regular moderate intensity exercise is beneficial.
Working out while you’re feverish increases the risk of dehydration and can make a fever worse
Drinking water makes your body stronger. It helps you build muscle by carrying more oxygen to your cells. It also flushes toxins out of vital organs
By avoiding stimulants such as energy drinks, excessively caffeinated sodas, and nicotine helps in strengthening the immune system.
Smoking can depress your immune system by suppressing the antibodies created by your body to fight cold and flu viruses.
Drinking more than the recommended daily limit of alcohol can lead to weight gain, which is taxing on your immunity.
Alcohol dehydrates the body and creates an attractive environment for viruses.