What is Fever ?
Fever is a common disease. Often people have fever for one reason or the other. The normal human body temperature is 98.6o Fahrenheit. This condition is medically known as pyrexia or hyperthermia. When the temperature of the body starts increasing more than the normal condition, then that condition is called fever. Howevere , sometimes it may happen that your temperature may increase and this fever can become a serious problem.
Fever occurs in both children and adults. Fever usually occurs when the immune system detects the presence of an infection-causing pathogen in the body. The immune response involves increasing the body temperature to eliminate the pathogen. Many micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and other types of microbes enter the human body, almost every day. The immune system usually fights off these micro-organisms, which keeps them from causing any major problems within the body. However, there may be times when the immune system cannot fight them all and eliminate them from the body. When a person’s immune system fails to stop these harmful viruses, they usually cause infections in the body. Later it presents in the body as a fever. Therefore the term viral fever can be used for a variety of infections caused by viruses.
Many other factors can also affect body temperature. Eating, exercising, sleeping, time of day, etc. can cause slight changes in body temperature. A slight increase in body temperature or sometimes a fever usually goes away on its own without any medication. However, a very high rise in body temperature can be a symptom of a serious medical condition. A person with high or recurring fever should consult a physician immediately. Let us know in this article the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of fever.
Diagnosis of Fever
Diagnosis of fever is generally a simple process. In which the patient’s temperature is taken, and if the temperature is above a level, then it is called fever. While measuring the temperature, keep in mind that the affected person is in a state of rest. Because any type of physical activity can increase our body temperature. A person is said to be suffering from fever when :
- The temperature in the mouth exceeds 37.7 °C (99.9 °F).
- The temperature in the rectum (anus) is greater than 37.5-38.3 degrees centigrade (100-101 Fahrenheit).
- The temperature under the arm or inside the ear is greater than 37.2 °C (99 Fahrenheit).
We should remember that fever is a symptom and not a disease. So when the doctor has confirmed the fever, then he sends the patient to get tested. And according to that test, the doctor further diagnoses the disease or fever.
Types of Fever
As strange as it sounds, there are many types of fever too. Based on the root cause and its nature, here are four types of fever that are commonly found in humans :
1) Intermittent Fever :
This form of fever is caused due to parasitic or bacterial infection like malaria, septicemia etc. The nature of fever is normal during the day, but by night a significant increase in body temperature is visible.
2) Sudden High Fever :
One of the most common reasons behind sudden fever is dengue. As the name suggests, this form of fever causes a sudden increase in the temperature of the human body. It is accompanied by other things like tiredness, fatigue, body aches and headaches.
3) Remittant or Persistent Fever :
Both types of fever are caused by bacterial infection, although in the case of remittant it is brucellosis and in the case of persistent fever, it is pneumonia, urinary tract infection (UTI) and typhoid fever. Its main nature does not cause much trouble, however, it maintains the body temperature by 1 degree higher throughout the day and night.
4) Rheumatic Fever :
Usually caused by streptococcal bacteria, this form of fever is not limited to just high body temperature. It also developed other forms of symptoms like throat infection, white patches on tonsils and tongue, swelling with headache etc.
Causes of Fever
Fever is the body’s way of fighting illness. That’s why fever is said to be a symptom of infection. During infection, our body’s blood and lymphatic system produce WBCs, which fight the infection. In this situation our body temperature rises. A part from this, there are many other reasons due to which fever can be cause such as :
- Viral, bacterial and parasitic infections etc.
- Any injury or scratching.
- Certain vaccinations like diphtheria, tetanus etc.
- Due to long standing illness.
- side effects of any kind of medicine.
- Due to change of weather.
- Malignant tumors.
- Extreme tiredness due to heat.
- cold and flu
- sore throat and ear infection
- Mononucleosis (abnormality of white cells in the blood)
- Bronchitis, Pneumonia
- urinary track infection
- From ulcers and inflammation in the intestines
- Swelling of blood vessels and arteries
- Heat stroke, either caused by exposure to high temperatures or prolonged strenuous exercise.
- Food poisoning
- Hyperthyroidism and other hormonal disorders
Symptoms of Fever
These can be symptoms of fever :
- Patient takes rapid and hot breaths.
- There may be fatigue in the body.
- There is pain all over the body.
- Having a cold or cough.
- Pain in joints.
- Red rash on the skin.
- Shivering and cold.
- Sore throat and pain.
- Redness of eyes
- There is always bitterness in the patient’s mouth.
- Very hot forehead.
- Loss of appetite and thirst.
- To sweat
Diet for Fever
It is often seen that a person suffering from fever takes suitable home remedies, but even after this the fever is not cure. Actually, when your diet chart is not correct during it, then fever is not cure. Along with taking medicine for fever, you can reduce body temperature by adopting fever diet chart. During this, the situation can be improve a little by avoiding some things and consuming some things. That is why we are telling below what to eat and what not to eat in fever.
What should Eat :
- In the morning breakfast in fever, juice made from fresh fruits or soup made from green leafy vegetables should be taken.
- Banana should be consumed in fever to get relief from diarrhea, vomiting, sweating etc.
- Eat green vegetables.
- Reduce caffeine intake.
- Boiled vegetables should be consume more.
- Include soup in your diet.
- Include protein in your diet during fever.
- Eat eggs as they contain a good amount of protein.
- You can make salted porridge and eat it like khichdi.
- Moong dal khichdi can be eaten in the afternoon or at night. With this you will not have problems with indigestion.
- Due to lack of water in the body, bacteria grow more and drink more and more water when there is fever because during fever there is a lack of water in our body.
- Those who are suffering from fever should consume fluids. Chicken contains protein and nutrients. By drinking chicken soup, the fever bacteria are destroyed quickly.
- Drinking coconut water is very beneficial in fever.
- In fever, light food should be taken at night. Eat vegetable salad with the meal. Apart from this, soups like chicken soup, vegetable soup, etc. are very beneficial in fever in dinner. In case of fever, eat brown bread and sprouted grains.
- Bananas and apples should be consumed in more quantity. Potassium is found in both of them, which is such an electrolyte that diarrhea ends.
What Not To Eat :
1) Sour things :
Rice, sour things or cold things should not be consume in case of fever because whenever we have fever then our body temperature rises. Roti should be eaten instead of rice in fever because it is easier to digest roti than rice during fever.
2) Avoid spicy food :
Spicy food should not be consume in case of fever. Do not consume fast food, fried foods in fever. Eating more spices in fever causes nausea and by consuming such substances, your stomach feels full for a longer time during fever, due to which you are unable to drink water and the problem of dehydration increases. Try more and more to eat boiled in fever. Drink hot soup of green leafy vegetables or eat light moong dal khichdi. Garlic should not be use for fever in pregnant women and young children. A patient suffering from fever should not drink milk.
Prevention Tips for Fever
You have to keep these things in mind in fever :
- If you have fever in the winter season, then cold should be avoid.
- Cover yourself with woolen clothes.
- In the summer season, full-covered clothes should be worn to protect against insects like mosquitoes.
- Squeeze the strips of a clean cloth soaked in cold water and then place them on the forehead and neck of the fever victim. By doing this, there is a benefit in controlling the temperature of the body.
- Eat carrots in viral. It boosts immunity and helps fight germs.
- Fever cause by infection can be prevented by limiting exposure to infection-causing pathogens. Good hygiene practices play an important role in avoiding contact with pathogens and their sources.
- Fever is usually cause by a bacterial or viral infection. Therefore, if you want to avoid fever, then always maintain cleanliness.
- Make sure you wash your hands before eating, after using the washroom, after caring for your pet, after coming into contact with a sick person or being in a crowd, and in public areas of traffic.
- Use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizers are helpful when soap and water are not accessible. However, remember to wash your hands when you have clean water and a soap/hand wash solution available.
- Viruses and bacteria that cause most infections enter our body through the nose, eyes or mouth. That is why it is important that you avoid touching these parts.
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing. Ask your children to do the same. If possible, try to maintain a distance and stay away from others when sneezing or coughing.
- Do not share utensils, cups, water bottles with your children.
- Drinking water is very good for health. Drink at least 7-9 glasses of water daily.
- Eat soup, coffee etc. in your diet plan.
- Take a warm bath in the winter season.
- Be sure to include garlic in your diet.
Home Remedies for Fever
Usually, to get relief from fever, people first try fever medicine. To cure fever, first of all the patient should fast till his fever symptoms go away. Let us know which are some such home remedies that help in removing fever:
1) Turmeric contains an element called curcumin which is an excellent remedy for reducing fever. Mix half a teaspoon of turmeric and a quarter teaspoon of black pepper powder in a cup of warm milk. Drink this mixture twice a day. Drinking this will reduce the fever.
2) You can eat cinnamon powder with a spoonful of honey every morning. Alternatively, drink a cup of warm water mixed with a spoonful of honey and cinnamon powder.
3) Mix one teaspoon of mint leaves in a cup of hot water. Let it boil for 6-8 minutes, now filter it and add some honey to the solution.
4) Boil 20-25 basil leaves and a teaspoon of grated ginger in a cup of water. Boil it till the solution reduces to half. Now add some honey to it and drink it twice or thrice a day regularly for three days. Ginger helps in removing excess heat from the body which is helpful in reducing fever.
5) Garlic reduces fever. Mix one clove of garlic in small pieces in a cup of hot water. Heat it for 10 minutes and then filter it and drink it.
6) Heat two spoons of mustard oil and put two or four cloves of garlic in it. After the oil is heat, take it down and then massage the oil on the body and the soles of the hands and feet. This will reduce your body pain and can lower your body temperature.
7) If a person has a high fever, it can be an effective remedy. That is why you boil 7-8 black peppercorns, 10 basil leaves and some ginger, cinnamon in water. Now let this water cool down a bit and keep consuming it after some time. This will give quick relief in fever.
8) Giloy is a well-known home remedy that is use for many health benefits. It can lead to flu and it can be difficult to fight infection. If a person has a weak immune system, then this risk increases. Therefore, Giloy can be your friend in preventing it as well as treating it easily at home.
9) Add green tea to one and a half cup of water and let it boil for some time. Now filter this water and pour it in a cup. After it cools down a bit, add a spoonful of honey and drink it. You can drink green tea twice a day. Alternatively, gargling can also be done by simply adding green tea to hot water.
10) Mix 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar in 1 glass of lukewarm water and drink it. Alternatively, mix apple cider vinegar and water. Now dip a clean towel in it and squeeze it lightly. Now keep this towel on the forehead and stomach for 1 to 2 minutes. You can also tie towels on the soles. Apart from this, you can also take a bath by adding a cup of apple cider vinegar in lukewarm water.
11) Fry a small spoon of white salt and a little celery together. After this, add a glass of water to it and squeeze a lemon. Give this to the patient two to three times a day.
12) Coriander is rich in health, so it eliminates many diseases like viral fever. Boil a tablespoon of coriander, a little milk and sugar in a glass of water and give it to the patient twice a day. Coriander tea works as a very effective medicine to eliminate viral fever.
13) Honey is use as a panacea in the treatment of many diseases. Taking clove powder mixed with honey helps in reducing fever.
14) Put cold water in a large pot. Soak the towel thoroughly in water. Now squeeze the towel and keep it on the victim’s head for half a minute. Keep repeating this process for about 10 minutes.
15) Mix one teaspoon of honey in a glass of tea-hot water. Then add half a teaspoon of lemon juice and drink it. According to scientific research, by consuming honey, fever i.e. body temperature can be reduce to some extent. According to another study, honey has antibacterial properties, which may also be beneficial in typhoid fever.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does the fever last ?
Fever stays in the body for a different time according to the health of everyone. If it does not get better after maximum 48 hours in children and maximum 72 hours in adults, then definitely contact the doctor.
How do you reduce fever ?
It can be reduced by adopting the above tips. If the condition becomes serious, a doctor should be contacted immediately.
Does bathing help in curing fever ?
Bathing does not help in curing fever. Yes, it can cool down the body a bit.
Is rest good for fever ?
Yes, we have mentioned above that rest is good for fever.
Why does fever increase at night ?
Any type of physical infection gets aggravated during the night for a specific reason. Most of our body’s work takes place during the night, in which our body’s defense system is involve. In case of fever, hormones like cortisol reduce their production resulting in more discomfort and higher body temperature during sleep.
How do I know if my fever is viral or bacterial ?
The symptoms of both bacterial and viral fever are similar. It is not possible for a person to know whether it is a bacterial or viral infection based on surface symptoms. Only your doctor can see the difference. The presence of bacteria or viruses in the patient’s body can be detect by examining fluids such as blood, saliva or urine.
How to take temperature to check fever ?
To check the temperature, you can choose from one of several types of thermometers. Oral, rectal, ear (tympanic) and forehead (temporal artery) thermometers are some of the commonly use thermometers. To use the oral thermometer:
- clean the tip of the thermometer
- place the tip of the thermometer under the tongue
- Make sure the tip points to the back of the mouth
- shut your mouth
- wait a minute
- read temperature
How is fever diagnosed ?
Fever is mostly a symptom of an underlying medical condition. While fever can be easily diagnose by measuring body temperature with a thermometer, it is often not easy to diagnose the cause of the underlying condition based only on the fever (as a symptom). To diagnose the condition, your doctor may:
- Asks you some questions related to symptoms, medical history, travel history etc.
- does a physical exam
- Asks you to have laboratory tests such as blood tests, urine tests, chest X-rays
- Babies 28 days old or younger may need to be hospitalized for testing and treatment.
Does sweating mean the fever is going down ?
Yes, in most cases the body starts producing sweat to cool down. If someone sweats during fever, it means that your body is slowly recovering. Although cold sweats do not indicate this. Cold sweats occur when the body is trying to cool down, although it is not a sign that the person is recovering.
What is the treatment for fever ?
Most fevers can be treat at home with a few simple steps. However, if your condition does not improve in 3-4 days or the temperature crosses 103 degrees Fahrenheit, you should consult a doctor. This can be a sign of a serious infection in your body. To find out the seriousness of your condition, the doctor first checks your temperature. He may then prescribe over the counter medicines like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, crocin and others. Do not take antibiotics on your own. If you are diagnose with serious diseases like typhoid, dengue, viral, jaundice and malaria, your treatment follows a different route
When to Contact a Doctor ?
There are many types of fever and in most cases, a fever is nothing to worry about, but if you experience any of the following problems or symptoms, be sure to see your doctor:
- If the body temperature of the person suffering from fever is more than 1030 Fahrenheit.
- Having a severe headache
- Redness or swelling or rash on any part of the skin.
- Chest pain.
- Stiff neck, abdominal pain etc.
- Frequent vomiting.
- Difficulty swallowing with sore throat.
- People who already have a disease, such as cancer or HIV, should go to the doctor immediately if they experience these symptoms, otherwise their symptoms may worsen.
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