A normal body temperature ranges between 97 degree Fahrenheit to 99 degree Fahrenheit, depending upon the gender, BMR, body functions, cholesterol levels etc. A fever is a sudden hike in the temperature of the body. Its major symptoms are as follows:
· Body aches
· Head aches
· Loss of appetite
· Fits – In some children
The cause of fever can be different. For example:
· infection of virus,
· infection of bacteria,
· action of some chemicals – pyrogens
· stress and over work can also cause a rise in temperature
But why does the body temperature rise during fever?
There are several reasons for this, the most important being that a rise in temperature is a positive response of our body’s immune system. During infections, foreign substances might invade our body, for example- a bacteria or a virus, and to fight against them our body’s immune system starts to work by the production of antibodies against these foreign substances (pathogens). Due to this immunological response, the brain signals the hypothalamus to increase the temperature of the body – where increase in temperature makes it difficult for the survival of the pathogen. Thus an increase in temperature is a positive response of the body.
A fever can last from three to five days, but in severe cases it can lead to major complications.
Treatment of fever involves:
· medications such as antipyretics. The most common antipyretics used are ibuprofen and aspirin. These are non steroidal. However antibiotics will not work if the fever is caused by a virus. An antibiotic treats a bacterial infection and is inefficient in the treatment of viral fevers. For such cases steroidal medications are prescribed.
· The patient should take adequate amount of rest and proper care of the diet should be taken
· Home remedies such as cold compress can be given to the patient
· To maintain the body fluids and mineral balance, Oral rehydration solution should be given in some intervals of time
Fever is not a disease, it is a sign or symptom of an infection or disease.