A fever is an abnormally high body temperature, often characterized by shivering, headaches, and delirium. The normal body temperature is 98.6 ̊ F. Temperature between 98.6 ̊ F and 100.4 ̊ F is considered to be a low-grade fever. However, temperatures at or above 102 ̊ F may be dangerous and warrants a visit to a doctor for treatment, as it may be a sign of another illness.
Relationship Between Fever And Other Illnesses
Fever is a common indication of an illness. However, having it is not always a bad thing. As a matter of fact, the occurrence of fever plays a key role in the fight against infections. A low grade fever is actually good for the body, and you do not need to treat it. If you try to, you would be fighting one of your body’s defense mechanisms. There are some bacteria and viruses that cannot survive in our bodies at higher temperatures, and the body may increase in temperature to fight them. It is to note that a fever in our bodies is controlled by the hypothalamus. It also controls hunger, thirst and other homeostatic symptoms, and is involved in sleep and emotional activity.
Since a fever is a part of our lives, we should not leave every health or medical issue to doctors only. There are several natural remedies that can be used in treating fever. Some people use their hands to detect a fever, but it's to have your own medical thermometer. With it, you will be able to determine the body temperature, which is important in deciding whether to visit the doctor or not.
When To Seek Medication
With a low grade fever, do not seek medication. You just have to allow the fever to run its course. But in other cases, treatment is needed to bring down the body temperature to its normal level.
For infants (0 to 6 months old), the body temperature must be taken rectally. If the infant doesn’t show other signs, medication is not needed. Drinking plenty of fluids and rest are enough for the fever to go down. However, if the infant seems oddly lethargic (not showing excitement and interest in things that they normally have excitement or interest in), uncomfortable or irritable, call a doctor and seek medical help. For babies who are 6 to 24 months old, giving Acetaminophen to lower the temperature is alright. Do not treat an infant or toddler with an Aspirin. If the medication didn’t help or the fever lasts more than a day, you need to call a doctor immediately.
For people between 2 to 17 years of age who have a fever of above 102.02° F, you can give them Acetaminophen or ibuprofen if they seem uncomfortable. Similar with infants, aspirin must not be given to this age group, and if the medication didn’t help or the fever lasts more than a day, you need to call a doctor immediately.
For adults, if the fever is up to 102.02° F, taking medications is not necessary. You just need to take some rest and drink plenty of fluids. However, if the fever comes with a severe headache, shortness of breath, stiff neck or other atypical signs and symptoms, you need to call or visit a doctor, because there is a possibility that you are suffering from a different illness. On the other hand, if the fever is above 102.02° F, you can take ibuprofen, Acetaminophen or aspirin if you are uncomfortable. If the fever persists, is consistently high or lasts for more than 3 days, you need to seek medical attention for further treatments.
Other Illnesses For Which Fever May Be A Symptom
Fever may occur in our bodies as a symptom for other illnesses. Such examples include malaria, typhoid, delirium, inflammation, acidosis and tonsillitis. A prolonged fever that lasts for more than one day should make you visit the doctor fora diagnosis. Malaria and typhoid may not be common as they are mainly in Africa.
Other Ways to Treat Fever
Take a Bath
Taking a bath in lukewarm water helps to bring down the body’s temperature. Do not plunge yourself in cold water to try to make the fever go down as it will only make your body warm up rather than cool down.
Giving a sponge bath with cool water, especially in areas of high heat such as armpits and groin, can help decrease the temperature as the water evaporates.
When people have a fever, becoming dehydrated is easy. Drinking plenty of fluids is recommended to maintain normal hydration in the body. Some of the good choices aside from water are orange juice and other vitamin C fruit juices. Vitamin C helps the immune system fight against the infection. Sports drinks, such as Gatorade, are also helpful.
Drinking lots of fluid can also regulate the body’s temperature, help the body to work smoothly and flush out the unwanted germs.
Rest and Sleep
The best way to eliminate a mild fever is to have a lot of rest and sleep. Since the body is working hard to keep it from getting sicker, it is only right to give your body the time and energy it needs to fight through sleeping. Through sleeping, enough rest is acquired, and the body gets a chance to produce new cells. White-blood cells are not excluded.
This is one of the most-used natural remedies for treating illnesses. This entails dipping your feet in a basin with hot water, hot to the level of not burning you. In the process, the rest of the body, except the head, is to be covered using a blanket or two. This treatment should be done for about a half an hour. The blanket should be long or big enough to cover even the basin with hot water. Put some cold water in an extra basin, where a face towel is dipped and wrung to wipe the forehead of the patient at intervals of ten to fifteen minutes. Hot water is also added at intervals of ten to fifteen minutes as the water in the basin becomes less hot with time. This is characterized by the whole body sweating. The goal is to make the white blood cells very active, enough to help them fight off infections.