5 Things That Everyone Must Know About Fevers in Adults

January 12, 2019

The temperature of a healthy human body varies within the range of 97.5 ºF and 98.9 ºF. A particular portion of your brain works tirelessly to maintain this level by triggering processes like contraction or dilation of blood carriers to either increase or decrease body heat. A fever is a condition when this mechanism of body heat regulation gets skewed, typically as a result of an infection. In situations such as this, the body temperature rises beyond 100.4° F. Aside from the elevated temperature, the onset of a fever can bring symptoms such as burning eyes, a headache, and chills. Some other ailments like thyroid disorders, rheumatic diseases, and a few forms of carcinoma are also known to cause fever. While a fever that occurs due to an infection is a common occurrence, it is vital to understand its workings to be able to manage it better. To assist you in this, here are answers to some of the questions that you often find yourself asking when confronted by a fever:


1. Is A Fever Harmful?

Fever by itself is not dangerous, however, it is vital to identify the underlying disease and treat it. A few things should be kept in mind, though, when dealing with a fever. If you are suffering from a lung or heart condition, a high temperature may spell trouble as it pushes these organs to work overtime, causing damage. Such people should, therefore, put in extra efforts to keep their temperature down. Dehydration is another fallout of a fever that can be avoided by drinking ample amount of fluids.


2. Does A Fever Serve Any Purpose?

Many old wives’ tales state that a fever is good for you because higher body temperature helps wipe out bacterial growth and infection. While this is partially true, fevers can also help remind us to slow down and give our body rest while it is healing. Sometimes there is a pattern to a fever which can help you identify a cause. For example, if a fever returns every couple of days, it could be a sign of something more serious and is worth discussing with your doctor.


3. Is There Any Truth In ‘Starve A Fever’?

People suffering from a fever often experience a lack of appetite and energy. This symptom may have started the idea that starving yourself can help reduce a fever. However, in reality, insufficient nutrition may fuel the infection that is causing the fever, making you feel sicker. Foods like soups, stews, fresh juices, and porridge can help your body get the nourishment it needs to fight the infection as well as rehydrate it to offset the fever-induced loss of fluids.


4. When Is Medical Attention Necessary?

A fever that raises your body temperature over 104°F warrants a visit to your doctor. If you are experiencing any of the following effects aside from the fever, seek immediate medical assistance:

  • Seizures
  • Breathing problems
  • A stiff neck
  • Unconsciousness
  • Confusion
  • Inflammation and pain
  • Painful urination


5. Steps to Take to Manage a Fever

The symptoms of a fever can be quite debilitating. Here are some simple tips to hep manage the symptoms:

  • Get an adequate amount of rest
  • Up your fluid intake
  • Consider taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce the temperature and get relief from body pain
  • Lower your body temperature by either taking a warm bath or sponging your forehead and wrists with a damp towel.


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