Commonly understood as a rise in body temperature when one isn’t feeling well, a fever (pyrexia) is much more than that. In this piece, we’ll closely examine a fever’s causes, symptoms, and treatments.
The most common source of a fever is during a bacterial or viral infection. It could be that this certain strain of bacteria or virus is too strong for your body to handle normally. Coupled with the fatigue or stress of physical activity, your immune system is weakened. Ergo, some bodily functions are hampered to prevent excess movement. This temporary cessation of activity is necessary in order for the body to concentrate on fighting off the infection (we’ll take a look at the symptoms in a bit).
Other causes of fever are heart conditions such as a stroke, or a heart attack, and overexposure to the sun such as heatstroke, sunburn, and heat fatigue.
During a fever, one may experience a reversal of temperature in the body. He/she may be warm/hot to someone’s touch, but experience chills/coldness internally.
Fatigue is also a common effect, as the body is focused on powering internal functions to combat the infection. That’s why during a fever, one may be confined to a bed (for rest purposes) and feel lazy or sleepy. Or both.
One may also encounter muscle stiffness. As with fatigue, this is a signal for the body to stop moving in order to for the body to flush out the bacteria or virus present.
Having no appetite to eat is also a very common indication of pyrexia. One’s mouth may feel extra acidic or have a metallic taste in the mouth, which is probably a cause for the appetite loss. This can be remedied by going on a soft diet, like drinking warm soup to keep you warm.
Though medicine for fever comes to mind, there is a natural method to treat the fever. Rest. Let the body ward off the infection on it’s own, in order to build resistance. Don’t forget to drink more fluids, preferably water.
In some cases, medicine comes in handy. For more mature children and adults, a tablet of paracetamol every 8 hours will regulate your body temperature.
However, there is also what we call a fever with unknown origin (FUO), of which the criteria are:
- If you’ve had a temperature of 38.3 on several occasions
- If the fever has lingered for 3 weeks
- If a diagnosis has not been reached after 1 week of in-patient investigation.
In any case, it is always important to reach your doctor and get professional opinion of any ailment that you are experiencing. This ensures that you get the proper treatment, and therefore recover faster.