Fever, Harmful or Helpful
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Fever, Harmful or Helpful

     The first thing that many people do is grab the fever reducers when one of the kids start running a fever. Back in the day it was understood that the fever was something that should be allowed to happen.  Hippocrates stated “Give me the power to create a fever, and I shall cure any disease”. According to Cornell University, a mild fever leads to a faster recovery; they say that a mild fever is 99 to 102. During the course of advertising the many fever reducers on the market, they have failed to tell people that a fever is the body’s way of fighting off infection, viruses, and bacteria. In an article that I read in 2007, Net Wellness stated “Most bacteria and viruses that cause infections in people thrive best at 98.6 degrees. Raising the temperature a few degrees can give your body the winning edge.” This website was endorsed by the University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University, and Case Western Reserve University.
     Not only does the fever give an environment that the illness cannot live in but it also stimulates immune response by activating the production of more white blood cells and anti-bodies. The fever not only stimulates the production of white blood cells but it also stimulates the thymus, to produce T cells both of which result in the improvement of the immune system.  The fever speeds up the generation of antibodies and it stimulates the production of interferon, which is anti-viral, therefor if the first thing we do is reduce the fever then we are hindering our body’s natural response to fight off the illness. In an article published by the Oxford University Press they Say “Fever is one of the body’s most powerful defenses against disease”.  This statement was in an article where they are discussing artificially inducing hyperthermia for the purpose of riding the body of illness.
     According to the Children’s Hospital at Westmead “Since a fever is the body’s natural response to infection it is not always necessary to reduce a fever.” The main words here are, NOT ALWAYS. If the fever goes higher than 102 it may be important to lower the fever a little. Most of the time fever reducers will take the fever down to normal until it is almost time for the next dose. There are many ways of lowering fever that will not rid the fever completely.  
1.      Remove clothing, take babies out of their sleepers and onesy. If you feel the need to have something on them make it a light T-shirt that is too big for them. Do not cover in heavy blankets or heavy coats
2.      A cool wet cloth on the head, and neck, a cool towel on the stomach and back
3.      A luke-warm bath, not cold and not hot. The warm bath will still feel ice cold to someone with a real high fever. A Note to Moms and Dads: Please understand that the children will cry like crazy, but please know that this is not hurting them in fact it is helping them. You do not need to leave them in very long remember you only need to lower it not take it away.
4.      Lots of cool stuff to drink. You want to keep the fluids going, if not, the fever could cause dehydration. Often times with fever you will have vomiting and diarrhea, both of which are also our bodies normal response to riding the body of illness. However this can become dangerous when more fluids are leaving than are being taken in. Small doses of fluids more often will sometimes work better than drinking large amounts all at once. Cool fluids will also help to lower the body temperature.
     One time my Granddaughter was taken to the hospital with a fever of 108.2. With her fever being that high it is dangerous, and a fever reducer at this point was necessary, along with a tepid bath and anything else to get her fever below 102. There are some misconceptions about how high a fever can get before there could be damage to the body. Most people believe that it is 104, 105. According to the University web sites that I used to do my research this is not true. Though on occasion there will be chills, hallucinations, and listlessness, no concerns where mentioned of permanent damage at these temperatures. However, the risks become greater the higher the temperature goes and the longer the person stays at these higher temperatures. The biggest risk at these temperatures is that of dehydration, lots of fluids are a must. Now do not misunderstand me it is important to do what can be done for fevers over 102, however the reason that I am writing this in the first place is because of the amount of people that freak when a fever gets 102 to 103. The best thing to do is stay calm and do what needs to be done to bring the fever down without taking it completely away.  On many occasions with my family and friends I have seen both, illness where the fever has been allowed do what it is intended to do and fevers that have been taken away completely. The Results to me are proof positive that it is important to aid the body in its natural processes instead of working against them.
Many Blessings
This article is meant for informational purposes only, it is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any illness. If you have medical concerns seek the advice of a health care professional.

16 Comments to Fever, Harmful or Helpful:

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Nicole on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 1:06 PM
I know how bad I feel when I have a fever, but I also know that my body is doing what is designed to do, heal itself. So when I have a fever, I just get lots of sleep and help my body along. We tend to live such fast pace lives, we forget to slow down when we need to.
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