Fever is an increase in the body temperature, temporarily, usually due to an illness. It indicates that something abnormal and out of the ordinary is happening within your body.
For adults, a fever is uncomfortable, but it isn’t a cause for anxiety, unless it reaches 103 F or higher. For children, a little elevation in the temperature indicates a serious condition and needs prompt attention and careful monitoring.
What Are The Various Causes Of Fever?
Fever occurs when the hypothalamus in the brain, which is the body’s ‘thermostat’, moves the fixed point of normal body temperature upwards (due to an infection, inflammation or an underlying medical disorder).
Normal body temperature tends to vary throughout the day, it is characteristically low in the morning and higher in the afternoon and evening. Normal body temperature is 98.6 F; factors such as heavy exercise or menses are known to influence your body temperature.
Fever occurs due to:
- Bacterial or viral infection
- Heat exhaustion
- Certain inflammatory conditions in the body.
- Some medications, such as antibiotics and drugs used to treat high seizures and hypertension.
- Some immunizations, such as the diphtheria, acellular pertussis and tetanus.
- Sometimes the cause of a fever cannot be understood. In such cases, it is known as PUO or pyrexia of unknown origin.
Loss of appetite along with other symptoms such as lethargy, lassitude and tummy derangements are common aspects of a fever because of the various changes happening in the body due to the fever.
Treatment Options To Bring Down Fever
You need to confer with your health care provider to ascertain the cause and to start prompt and appropriate treatment; fevers should not be neglected. Your doctor will ask you to carry out a couple of tests and investigations to understand the etiology of the fever.
For low grade fever, your health care provider may not advise any kind of treatment to bring down the body temperature.
For high grade fever, he will prescribe anti-pyretic to manage the condition well. Never give aspirin to children, since it can set off an uncommon and fatal, disorder known as Reye’s syndrome.
Depending upon the cause of the fever, your health care provider may prescribe an antibiotic, in case of bacterial infection. This will get rid of the bacterial infection, thus reduce inflammation in the body and consequently normalize the body temperature. In case of a viral infection, anti-viral drugs will be prescribed to you. For infants and in some cases children, hospital admission is necessary for testing, treatment and careful monitoring.
Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Fever
Drink plenty of fluids when you have a fever. Fever results in loss of fluids from the body and dehydration, so drink ample water, juices, soups and broth. For children under age of 1 year, you need to give an oral rehydration solution to combat dehydration. This contains water and salts proportioned to reinstate the lost fluids and electrolytes. Electrolyte ice pops also are obtainable.
Most importantly, you need adequate rest to recover quickly from the illness, and activity is known to increase body temperature; hence get sufficient rest.
Have ginger herbal tea, 3 to 4 times a day; this will allay inflammatory conditions in your body and bring down the body temperature quickly.