When a Fever is Dangerous and When it’s Not

A fever itself is not an illness. It is actually a warning sign of an underlying illness that’s usually an infection. Find out more about it here.

Elevated temperature, pyrexia, and hyperthermia — all these are terms for fever. It occurs when the temperature of the body is higher than usual, and is actually helpful for fighting off various kinds of illnesses. It is typically associated with some physical discomfort that goes away once the fever has been treated. However, depending on what’s causing the fever, your physical condition, and age, you might or might not need to treat the fever. But, a severe fever, one that doesn’t seem to go down even after home treatment, could indicate a more serious underlying condition that needs prompt medical treatment.

Common Causes of Fever

Specifically, fever occurs when the hypothalamus, a part of your brain, switches the set point of the body’s normal temperature rising. Once this occurs, you’ll most likely pile on more layers of clothing because you feel chilly or shiver uncontrollably to warm up your body, which in turn leads to a rise in your body temperature. Depending on what’s causing your fever, you may likewise experience other symptoms such as chills, sweating, headache, fatigue, muscle pain and aches, dehydration, and loss of appetite.

Many different conditions could initiate a fever like the ones below: 

  • Viral and bacterial infections like the flu
  • Blood clots
  • Food poisoning
  • Certain medications such as antibiotics
  • Very severe sunburn
  • Certain inflammatory disease like Crohn’s disease and RA, rheumatoid arthritis

Normal body temperature usually is about 37 degrees Celsius or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but this will differ slightly from one individual to another. It may likewise fluctuate throughout the day, such that your body temperature is typically lower during the day and higher as the sun goes down. In addition, certain factors like rigorous exercise and being on your monthly period could also impact your body temperature.

When You Should Go to The Doctor

You can typically treat a mild fever at home. But, in select cases, it could be a warning sign of a more severe health condition that needs prompt medical treatment. It’s best to speak to your doctor if your body temperature exceeds 39.4 degrees Celsius or 103 degrees Fahrenheit, have a compromised immune system or serious health condition, have recently traveled to a developing country, or are experiencing fever for three days or more. You must likewise get to an urgent care facility in Pleasant View as soon as you can if you also have a swollen throat, severe headache, neck pain and stiff neck, sudden sensitivity to lights, a rash, stomach pain, persistent vomiting, irritability, lethargy, pain when urinating, or breathing difficulties. Expect your doctor to conduct certain medical tests and a thorough physical exam to help figure out what might be causing your symptoms and the most appropriate treatment plan.

It is crucial that you call 911 or seek emergency care as soon as possible if aside from fever you are also experiencing hallucinations, seizures, confusion, chest pain, breathing problems, and difficulty moving. Don’t wait and do not try to stick it out and treat your symptoms at home. Get emergency help right away.

This is a contributed/sponsored post.

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