You're familiar with chills, fatigue, muscle aches and other symptoms, which usually accompany increase of the body temperature, aren't you?
There is no such a person, who didn't experience fever at least once in life.
In normal cases, human's body keeps temperature between 36-37 C (96.8-98.6 F).
If something goes wrong with your health, your immune system can activate its defense mechanisms. Elevation of the body temperature is a normal protection, which helps you fight off infection.
Though even slight raise of the temperature may be uncomfortable, specialists recommend against lowering of the mild fever, which lasts only a few days, because it is involved in immune processes.
Regulation of the body temperature is controlled by the brain part, called hypothalamus.
Infection, inflammation, tumor and some medications can trigger production of pyrogens and cytokines - substances, that generate fever.
Besides well-known flu and bacterial bronchitis, there is a high number of conditions, which can cause elevation of the body temperature.
It may be a sign of pneumonia, pelvic inflammatory disease, appendicitis, heat stroke, cancer, gastroenteritis, trauma etc. Fever may even occur as a result of routine vaccination.
Nowadays doctors advise to substitute mercury thermometer with digital one, as they're much safer.
There are various types of modern thermometers, which can be used in adult and infants. The most popular are armpit, rectal and oral thermometers. It's really important to read instructions before use and avoid putting rectal thermometer into the mouth, or vice versa.
Did you know that medical professionals have their own classification of fever, depending on its severity and duration?
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Pyrexia (another term for fever) is defined as low-grade, if it ranges from 38.1 C to 39 C (100.5-102.1F). Gradation between 39.1 C and 40 C (102.2-104 F) is recognized as moderate fever.
High-grade fever (40.1-41.1 C or 104.1-106.0 F) and hyperpyrexia (extremely increased temperature above 41.1 C or 106.0 F) can be really harmful for your organism. It's worth knowing that children and older adults are more sensitive to changes in the body temperature.
In children between 6 months to 5 years fever may contribute to febrile seizures, accompanied by fainting. In the majority of cases, these convulsions stop without any treatment within several minutes. However if they last five minutes or longer, you need to seek for medical help immediately.
Most of diseases cause acute fever, which starts suddenly and lasts no more than seven days.
Persistent (sub-acute or prolonged) pyrexia doesn't leave person's body within 10-14 days. It usually doesn't go higher than 39 C (102.1 F).
Constant fever is commonly a mild increase of the body temperature, which doesn’t shift significantly.
Sometimes fever may go away and return at regular time intervals. It is called remittent fever.
While not all fevers require emergency care, you should know, when to seek medical attention promptly. Don't delay to call the doctor and visit emergency center as soon as possible, if:
#1. Your fever is too high (39.4 C or greater)
#2. It doesn't go away after a week
#3. Symptoms become worse
#4. Increased body temperature comes together with unbearable headache or confusion
#5. You have noticed new rash anywhere on the skin
#6. It becomes difficult to breath
#7. You feel sick and have had vomiting
#8. Your abdomen is extremely painful
#9. It's difficult to swallow
#10. Your neck is stiff
#11. You suffer from back pain and uncomfortable urination
The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!
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