If you have come here looking for some useful answers on what to do when you have a fever, then let me get straight to the point without wasting much time of yours.
Before, I tell you about it, first let me give you a quick introduction about it.
What Is A Fever?
Fever is otherwise called Pyrexia and is when the internal body rises its temperature into levels, which are above the normal. The average temperature of the body is 37°C or 98.6°F and a temperature over 38°C or 100.4°F is usually considered febrile. The temperature of the body is determined with body’s thermoregulatory point. A human body basically increases this point when there are viral or bacterial infections. When the point rises, fever occurs & body perceives as suffering with hypothermia. As body constantly works in meeting new temperature point, regular fever symptoms appears like feeling cold, increase in heart rate, increase in stiffness (muscle tone) & shivering.
How A Body Regulates Temperature?
The temperature of the body is regulated with the help of a brain part called hypothalamus. This sends signals onto the other body parts saying to either cool down or warm up. When the human body requires warming up after the thermoregulatory point is increased (the fever), hypothalamus instructs to increase shivering, muscle tone, hormone secretion like epinephrine & even tighten the blood vessels.
How Is The Temperature Of Body Measured?
The temperature of a body is usually measured with the help of a thermometer. The readings are typically taken through ear, mouth, arms and anus but readings might not be same. The temperature of the body will also alter after you eat, during periods, after smoking, kind of clothing and living in cold or warm room.
Symptoms Of Fever
Higher body temperature
Body pain, especially at the joints
Inability to concentrate
What Actually Causes Fever?
The exact reason why a fever occurs is not just one but many. However, some common causes have been listed below.
Infections & Infectious diseases like cold, influenza, malaria, HIV, gastroenteritis etc. These are the most common reasons of fever.
Certain medicines could also be the cause for fever. These include antibiotics, opiate withdrawal, barbiturates, narcotics, antihistamines etc.
Yet another major cause for fever is injury or trauma like heatstroke, heart attack, burns, heat exhaustion and stroke.
Tissue damage from hemolysis (opening of RBCs (Red Blood Corpuscles for releasing hemoglobin), heart attack, surgery, hemorrhage and crush syndrome.
Certain medical conditions can also cause fever. These include hyperthyroidism, cancers, skin inflammation, arthritis, gouts, embolisms, metabolic disorders and lupus.
Even though fever is a very common illness and there is nothing to be panicked about but if it happened to exceed the temperature of 104ºF (or 40ºC), it turns out to be extremely dangerous.
What To Do When You Have A Fever?
1. Check Your Temperature First
So, what to do if you have a fever? Well, the first move is to check your temperature. You can do this by using a thermometer and taking it rectally or orally. If your temperature is over 37.8°C (100°F) then you certainly have a fever. Yes, you can measure the temperature by placing it under your armpits but such readings aren’t accurate.
2. Treat It With Over-The-Counter Medications
There isn’t any treatment required unless the individual is uncomfortable. On the other hand, if fever goes above 102° then:
Give over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) or as advised on label. Just remember not to give aspirin unless he or she is above 18 years or at least it has to be prescribed by a physician.
Consider bathing in lukewarm water. If it doesn’t suit you then do sponging, as this might bring your temperature down. But never use normal or cold water for bathing.
During fever, patient or sufferer has to wear very light clothing because overdressing can easily make the body temperature to go up. In case, the individual feels cold, make use of a blanket.
3. Drink Lot Of Fluids
If you are still wondering, what do when you have a fever then fluids is something a patient needs to focus upon. Have the patient drink lots of fluids so that he or she stays hydrated.
4. Contact The Doctor
It is usual for the person to have high temperature, body aches, cold, cough and head ache during fever. With certain medications, it can be overcome. However, if the case worsens, seek medical advice immediately. This is when:
- The person already has history of severe illness like AIDS, cancer, diabetes, heart diseases or if he or she is consuming immunosuppressant drugs
- The person suffers high fever and that does not respond to usual fever-reducing medicines
- The person is exposed to extreme hot weather & feels hot and isn’t sweating
- The person finds it hard to stay awake and is confused
- The person suffers a severe pain at his or her lower abdomen
- The person gets extreme stomach pain, suffers severe diarrhea or vomits repeatedly
- The person has some blisters, rashes, red streaks on his or her leg or arm
- The person has sore throat, extreme throat swelling or persistent earache
- The person finds it painful while urinating or there is back pain
- The person has cough, finds it hard to breathe or coughs blood
If you happen to find the above signs during a fever, then meet a doctor immediately rather than trying over-the-counter medications.
5. Follow Up
Contact a physician in case the body temperature is very high or lasts for over 3 days.
What To Eat When You Have A Fever?
Diet plays a very vital role in treating fever. This often makes you wonder as to what to eat when you have a fever right? Read to know
1. Keep It Light But Healthy
Though sponging and hot water bath helps in cooling the body externally, it is very important to do it from inside as well. This can be achieved with the help of foods you eat. Consuming cold healthy foods can help reduce temperature of the body from inside out.
2. Drink Hot Herbal Tea
Green tea, ginger tea and other herbal tea can greatly help you overcome fever. You feel soothed from within. The herbs inside your kitchen cupboards are not just great for cooking but also help in reducing fever. Certain fever reduction herbs include peppermint, pleuisy root, lemon verbena, lemon peel, eyebright, lemon balm, purpurea leaf, Echinacea, stevia leaf, feverfew, yarrow, elderflower, honey, apple cider vinegar and catnip, sage.
3. Make Fresh Apple Water
For this, just boil 1 medium sized apple into 1.5 cups water. Boil it until apple turns soft. Pour this mixture through the strainer for removing the pulp. Finally, add honey and cool.
4. Raisin Juice
Raisin juice can be made just by cutting ¾-cup raisins & then adding onto 7½ cups water. Boil them together for few minutes and then allow it to cool it down. Strain it and drink if for 4 to 5 times in a day.
5. Drink Garlic Water
Well, if you can stand the pungent smell and taste of garlic, consider drinking garlic water. It is great for reducing fever. Just mix 1 clove garlic in 225ml cup containing water and let the mixture steep. Now, strain it and sip it slowly.