Fever

Fever is when a human's body temperature goes above the normal range of 36–37° Centigrade (98–100° Fahrenheit). It is a common medical sign.

Other terms for a fever include pyrexia and controlled hyperthermia.

As the body temperature goes up, the person may feel cold until it levels off and stops rising.

People's normal body temperatures may vary and are affected by factors such as eating, exercise, sleeping, and what time of the day it is. Our body temperature is usually at its highest at around 6 p.m. and at its lowest at about 3 a.m.

A high body temperature, or fever, is one of the ways our immune system attempts to combat an infection. Usually, the rise in body temperature helps the individual resolve an infection. However, sometimes it may rise too high, in which case, the fever can be serious and lead to complications.

Doctors say that as long as the fever is mild, there is no need to bring it down - if the fever is not severe, it is probably helping to neutralize the bacterium or virus that is causing the infection. Medications to bring down a fever are called antipyretics. If the fever is causing undue discomfort, an antipyretic may be recommended.

When a fever reaches or exceeds 38° Centigrade (100.4° Fahrenheit), it is no longer mild and should be checked every couple of hours.

These temperatures refer to oral measurement, when the thermometer is put in the mouth. For normal armpit temperatures, the temperature measures lower than it actually is and the numbers are reduced by about 0.2–0.3° Centigrade.

When somebody has a fever, signs and symptoms are linked to what is known as sickness behavior, and may include:

  • feeling cold when nobody else does
  • shivering
  • lack of appetite
  • dehydration — preventable if the person drinks plenty of fluids
  • depression
  • hyperalgesia, or increased sensitivity to pain
  • lethargy
  • problems concentrating
  • sleepiness
  • sweating

If the fever is high, there may also be extreme irritability, confusion, delirium, and seizures.

Fever can be caused by a number of factors:

  • an infection, such as strep throat, flu, chickenpox, or pneumonia
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • some medications
  • overexposure of skin to sunlight, or sunburn
  • heat stroke, resulting either by exposure to high temperatures or prolonged strenuous exercise
  • dehydration
  • silicosis, a type of lung disease caused by long-term exposure to silica dust
  • amphetamine abuse
  • alcohol withdrawal

Severity

A fever can be:

  • low grade, from 100.5–102.1°F or 38.1–39°C
  • moderate, from 102.2–104.0°F or 39.1–40°C
  • high, from 104.1–106.0°F to or 40.1-41.1°C
  • hyperpyrexia, above 106.0°F or 41.1°C

The height of the temperature may help indicate what type of problem is causing it.

Length of time

A fever can be:

  • acute if it lasts less than 7 days
  • sub-acute, if it lasts up to 14 days
  • chronic or persistent, if it persists for over 14 days
Herbal remedies for fever
 
 
 
 
 
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*Ashwagandha
(Withania somnifera)
*Astragalus
(Astragalus membranaceus)
*Brahmi
(Bacopa monnieri)
*Burdock
(Arctium lappa)
*Black Cohosh
(Cimicifuga racemosa)
*Bladderwrack
(Focus vesiculosus)
*Celery seeds
(Apium graviolens)
*Chanca piedra
(Phyllanthus niruri)
*Ceylon cinnamon
(Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
*Cat's claw
(Uncaria tomentosa)
*Dandelion root
(Taraxacum officinale)
*Fenugreek
(Trigonella foenum graecum)
*Ginkgo biloba
(Ginkgo biloba)
*Horse chestnut
(Aesculus hippocastanum)
*Hawthorn berry
(Crateagus oxicanthus)
*Horny goat weed
(Epimedium sagittatum)
*Juniper berry
(Juniperus communis)
*Milk thistle
(Sylibum marianum)
*Maca
(Lepidium meyenii)
*Red clover
(Trifolium pratense)
*American Skullcap
(Scutellaria lateriflora)
*Saw palmetto
(Serenoa repens/serrulata)
*Stinging nettle
(Urtica dioica)
*St John's wort
(Hypericum perforatum)
*Sarsaparrilla
(Smilax aristolochiifolia)
*Schizandra berry
(Schisandra chinensis)
*Vitex
(Agnus castus)
*Valerian root
(Valeriana officinalis)
*White willow
(Salix alba)
*Yarrow
(Achillea millefolium)
*Lion's mane
(Hericium erinaceous
)
*Shiitake
(Lentinula edodes
)