They say it’s what on the inside that matters. Such is truly the case for fever. After all, it’s not just when your skin is warm to the touch – it’s so much more than that. This is because the fever is the body’s way of telling you that something’s wrong with your body. Most of the time, it’s an infection, but there are also other known causes such as cancer and blood disorders. Ironically, this signaling also does something to your body as well.
If you want to know more what this seemingly simple and commonplace yet interesting phenomenon does, take some medicine for fever and check this out.
When you have a fever…
It may not seem so, but because of increased body heat, you sweat in greater amounts when you have a fever. Because of this, you lose more water. In an attempt to save the remaining water in your system, the body reduces the amount of urine you excrete. Also, because of increased heat, proteins in the body break down, causing an increased excretion of nitrogenous products in the urine. And because your body is losing a lot of water and protein, it is very important to replace them.
Ever wondered why some pop songs compare falling in love to having a fever? That is because your heart beats faster whenever you have one. While there is no established correlation between temperature and heart rate, some scientists have theorized that this is because a faster heartbeat means a faster circulation of the blood, and a faster circulation means a faster transport of white blood cells and other vitamins and nutrients that will help combat what is causing the fever.
Nobody, not even bacteria, likes hot places. To them, high temperatures aren’t hospitable, which is why they stop multiplying. So when the body raises its own temperature by around 1 or 2 degrees, what it’s actually doing is that it’s making the bacteria unwelcome.
If there’s something in our body we owe many of our functions to, it’s the enzymes. Enzymes are protein-based catalysts that allow metabolic processes that happen in our body, thereby keeping us alive. However, when one has a fever, some of these enzymes become denatured because of their protein makeup, making them either less effective or fully non-functional.
Although it’s rare, it’s possible for fevers to reach up beyond 40°C. High fevers of this kind are usually caused by serious infections such as pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and meningitis. When children experience high fevers, there is a chance that they might have a febrile seizure, also known as febrile convulsion. This is the way children’s bodies cope with high fever. Contrary to popular belief, febrile seizures are not the result of brain damage caused fever, as it would take a fever of 42°C to actually cause one. However, when a child has a febrile seizure, one must make sure that his or her head will not hit something hard and that they can breathe easily.
Since you already know what happens when your temperature rises, you can now chill out, calm down, and act accordingly. After all, it’s just a fever – I’m sure you’ve been through worse.