Raised body temperature usually with other symptoms. Body temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or above is classified as fever. Normal body temperature varies amongst people, but the average is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Centigrade). If the temperature is 99 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, this may represent a low-grade fever.
Elevated temperature; Hyperthermia; Pyrexia
* An oral temperature over 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.5 degrees Celsius constitutes a fever in most individuals.
* Rectal temperatures over 100.4 F. or 38.0 degrees Celsius also indicate a fever, particularly in infants less than 3 months of age.
* A low-grade fever is usually thought of as an oral temperature that is less than 101 degrees Fahrenheit, or 38.3 degrees Celsius.
* A moderate-grade fever is an oral temperature in the 102 to 103 degree Fahrenheit range (38.8 to 39.4 degrees Celsius).
* Temperatures over 104 F. or 40 Celsius are considered high grade, but alone (no other symptoms) are not harmful.
* Temperatures over 106 F. can be harmful to an individual, particularly if prolonged.
Thus, there may be four groups of fever:
* Normal temperature – 97 to 99 degrees (36 to 37.2 Celsius).
* Low-grade fever – 99 to 100.9 degrees (37.3 to 38.3 Celsius).
* Common fever – 101 to 103.5 degrees (38.4 to 39.7 Celsius).
* High fever – any fever over 103.6 degrees (39.8 Celsius).
TOP THREE CAUSES
* Viral infection – this is the most common cause of fever in children. Examples are: Roseola, Colds, Flu, Coxsackie (hand, foot and mouth disease), Chicken Pox, Fifth Disease, and many others. Most viruses are not dangerous. They simply need to run their course over several days. They are not treatable with antibiotics.
* Bacterial infection – Some examples include ear infection, sinus infection, pneumonia, bladder infection, and strep throat. These are treatable with antibiotics, although treatment can usually wait 12 hours until you can contact you doctor in the morning.
* Teething – this can cause fevers, though usually not higher than 101.
Fever is commonly associated with:
* Viral and bacterial infections
* Colds or flu-like illnesses
* Sore throats and strep throat
* Earaches (otitis media)
* Viral gastroenteritis or bacterial gastroenteritis
* Acute bronchitis
* Infectious mononucleosis
* Urinary tract infections
* Upper respiratory infections (such as tonsillitis, pharyngitis or laryngitis)
* Medications (such as antibiotics, antihistamines, barbiturates, and drugs for high blood pressure)
* Occasionally, more serious problems like pneumonia, appendicitis, tuberculosis(TB), and meningitis
* Fever can occur in infants who are overdressed in hot weather or a hot environment
* Collagen vascular disease, rheumatoid diseases, and autoimmune disorders
* Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
* Lupus erythematosus
* Periarteritis nodosa
* AIDS and acute HIV infection
* Inflammatory bowel disease
* Regional enteritis
* Ulcerative colitis
* Hodgkin?s disease
* Non-Hodgkin?s lymphoma
* Normal body temperature varies during the day. It is generally lowest upon awakening in the morning.
* Food, extra clothing, excitement, and anxiety can all raise the body temperature.
* Powerful exercise can also temporarily raise body temperature to as high as 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
* Extreme exercise, such as running a marathon, can raise body temperature as high as 107 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be dangerous (if sustained).
* A woman?s menstrual cycle can also elevate temperature by one degree or more. Certain medications also cause an increase in body temperature.
* Most children have higher body temperatures than adults and seem to have more daily variation.
* Many infants and children develop high fevers, even with minor viral illnesses. A high fever does not directly cause brain damage. However, febrile seizures can occur in some children.
Fevers are described as
* low grade (102 degrees Fahrenheit or lower) or
* high grade (above 103 degrees Fahrenheit).
They are also described as either
* spiking (the fever suddenly jumps high, then drops) or
* cyclic (the fever increases and decreases in a regular manner).
Bacteria, viruses, or their toxins may be released into the bloodstream and can cause chills and shivering in the patient with a fever. Chills can also occur during a temperature spike within a fever.
Heatstroke can result from too much exercise without water or enough salt, and temperature can rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be dangerous (if sustained).
Unexplained fevers that continue for days or weeks are referred to as fevers of undetermined origin (FUO). Most are eventually found to be caused by a hidden infection.
How to take the temperature
Regular glass underarm thermometer – this seemingly “old fashioned” method is still probably the most accurate, although difficult to do with a crying, squirming child. It is tried to hold in place for 3 minutes, making sure the tip is deep in the soft underarm skin.
Ear thermometer – this quick and easy method has become more popular. The accuracy of these thermometers varies, however. One ear may read 98, the other 103. Which to believe? If it reads close to normal, then it?s probably true. If it reads 103 (39.5 Celsius) or greater, you may want to confirm this with a glass under thermometer! Readings between 99 and 102 (37.2 to 38.9 Celsius) are more reliable.
Rectal glass thermometer – this method should only be used for newborns through age 3 months since accuracy is crucial for this age. Gently insert the thermometer approximately ? inch into the anus and hold in place for 3 minutes.
Digital thermometer – these are oral, underarm or rectal. They are much faster than a glass thermometer, although you do lose some accuracy as with the ear thermometer.
It is a misconception that fevers are a bad thing and a sign that there is some serious underlying illness. This simply is not true. Fever is a normal and healthy response of the body to an illness. The body?s immune system releases chemicals that raise the body temperature. This is part of the normal infection-fighting process.
Low-grade fevers are helpful in fighting off infection. One should only treat a fever when it is making the sick miserable. Treat the sick, not the fever.
Lukewarm bath and cool washcloth – this can help get a fever down fast, especially if it is high, but only use along with, not instead of fever lowing medication.
Cool liquids to drink can help cool down a fever and keep your child well hydrated.
Fevers are your body?s natural response to infection, and not necessarily a sign that something serious is taking place.
Low-grade fevers are generally not serious, are easily treated, and can wait until to be evaluated.
Fevers of 101 to 103 (38.4 to 39.5 Celsius) are also generally not serious and can wait until be evaluated, except as indicated below.
High fevers of 104 (40 Celsius) or higher that quickly come down to 100 or 101 (37.8 to 38.3 Celsius) with the above measures are also generally not serious and can wait until evaluated, except as indicated below.
Fever is the body?s natural response to a variety of conditions, such as infection. If the fever is mild and no other problems are present, no medical treatment is required. To drink fluids and rest should be allowed.
Evaporation cools the skin, and thereby reduces body temperature. Sponging or bathing in a tub of tepid water (about 98 degrees Fahrenheit) may help reduce the fever. Use of cold water should be avoided — it is uncomfortable and is no more effective than tepid water. Rubbing alcohol should be avoided, as it gets absorbed easily through the skin.
If the victim is suffering from environmental heat-induced illness (heat exhaustion, heat stroke), the victim should be remove from the heat source. In addition to sponging with tepid water, ice packs should be placed in the armpits, behind the neck, and in the groin. Beginning of administering fluids if victim is alert is very good.
It is not advisable to bundle up in blankets if the person shivers or becomes chilled. This will only cause a fever to rise.
The medical history should be obtained and a physical examination is performed.
Medical history questions documenting your fever in detail may include:
* Is it low grade
* Is it high grade
* Time pattern
* Is it increasing?
* Is it increasing rapidly?
* Has the fever gone away (resolved)?
* How long did it take for the fever to go away (how many days)?
* Does the patient has alternating chills and fever (relapsing)?
* How frequently does it alternate (at what sort of an interval – days, hours)?
* Did it occur within four to six hours after exposure to something that he might be allergic to?
* Does the fever occur in an undulating up and down pattern (is it high, then lower, then high)?
* Did it develop suddenly?
* Does the temperature go up and down suddenly (spike) or does it change slowly (cyclic)?
* Does it go away and then come back again daily (recurrent)?
The physical examination may include detailed examination of the skin, eyes, ears, nose, throat, neck, chest and abdomen to look for the cause of the fever.
Diagnostic tests that may be performed are:
* Blood studies, such as a CBC or blood differential.
* Sputum culture.
* Spinal tap.
* X-ray of the chest.
It is not possible to make a therapeutic of homoeopathic management due to such a vastness of the signs and symptoms associated with fever.
When the above stated questionnaire is completely answered, the similimum remedy can easily be ascertained and applied with miraculous result.
? Dr. Rajneesh Kumar Sharma
Homoeo Cure & Research Centre P. Ltd.
N.H. 74, Moradabad Road, Kashipur – 244713, Uttaranchal, INDIA
Ph. +91 05947- 274338, 277418, 279740, 275535, 270822
Cell. 98370-48594, 9837147000 Fax +91 05947 274338
Sub-editorFever :: Homeopathy and Fever
by Sub-editor ( Author at Spirit India )
Posted on November 25th, 2003 at 10:59 pm.
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