Fever

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Who would like to have a fever? It makes us feel terrible and weak.  When someone say the word fever, we automatically refer it to an elevation in body temperature. Technically, any body temperature above the normal oral measurement of 98.6 F (37 C) is fever. However, this is the average, and someone’s normal body temperature may actually be 1 F above or below the average of 98.6 F. Body temperature can also change up to 1 F throughout the day.

Fever is not considered medically significant until body temperature is above 100.4 F. Anything above normal but below 100.4 F (38 C) is considered a low-grade fever. Fever serves as one of the body’s natural defenses against bacteria and viruses which cannot live at a higher temperatures. For that reason, low fevers should normally go untreated, unless accompanied by troubling symptoms.

Fevers of 104 F (40 C) or higher may be dangerous and demand immediate medical attention, as they can result in delirium and convulsions, particularly in infants and children.

Fever is the result of an immune response by your body to a foreign invader. These foreign invaders include viruses, bacteria, fungi, drugs, or other toxins. By raising the body temperature, most of these invaders will no longer be able to survive, thus dying out slowly due to the elevated body temperature.

Signs and Symptoms:

Temperature greater than 100.4 F (38 C)
Shivering, shaking, chills
Aching muscles and joints or other body aches
Headache
Intermittent sweats or excessive sweating
Rapid heart rate and/or palpitations
Skin flushing
Feeling faint, dizzy, or lightheaded
Weakness

With very high temperature (> 104 F/40 C), convulsions, hallucination, or confusion is possible. You should immediately seek medical attention.

Generally, if the fever does not cause discomfort, the fever itself need not be treated. It is not necessary to awaken an adult or child to treat a fever unless instructed to do so by a doctor.

Treatment

Fever encompasses a wide ranging diagnoses like infections, inflammations or even a cancer. Every fever needs to be investigated for the underlying cause. Just treating fever as a symptom without internal exploration is like skiing on the surface of a frozen lake without knowing the thickness of the ice sheet underneath.  Please visit our clinic for a comprehensive plan.

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