Fever: Description, Causes and Risk Factors:
A healthy person's body temperature fluctuates between 97°F (36.1°C) and 100°F (37.8°C), with the average being 98.6°F (37°C). A person is said to be having a fever if his/her temperature elevation over 100°F (37.8°C). This condition can indeed be scary, and any fever in an infant younger than 3 months is cause for major concern because of the risk of serious bacterial infections. But in general, in older children who do not look very distressed, fever is positive evidence of an active immune system, revved up and helping an array of immunological processes work more effectively.Fevers are primarily caused by viral or bacterial infections, such as pneumonia or influenza.
Risk factors may include:
- Allergic reactions.
- Autoimmune diseases.
- Trauma, such as breaking a bone.
- Excessive exposure to the sun.
- Intense exercise.
- Hormonal imbalances.
- Certain drugs.
- Damage to the hypothalamus.
How long this condition lasts and how high it may go depends on its cause, the age of the patient, and his or her overall health. Most fevers caused by infections appear suddenly and then go away as the immune system defeats the infectious agent. An infectious fever may also rise and fall throughout the day, reaching its peak in the late afternoon or early evening. A low-grade fever that lasts for several weeks is associated with autoimmune diseases such as lupus or with some cancers, particularly leukemia and lymphoma.
Symptoms of fever:The symptoms of fever mainly depend on what is causing it. Some common symptoms may include:
It is usually diagnosed using a thermometer. A patient's complete medical history and information about what he or she may have ingested, any recent trips taken, or possible exposures to illness help the physician make a diagnosis.
Blood tests can help to identify an infectious agent by detecting the presence of antibodies against it or providing samples for the growth of the organism in a culture. Blood tests can also provide the doctor with white blood cell counts.
Ultrasound tests, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests, or computed tomography (CT) scans may be ordered if the doctor cannot determine the cause of it.
Treatment is usually directed at whatever is causing the fever. Some steps that can help bring it down or comfort a person include the following:
- Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help reduce a fever. Medicines should be taken under doctor supervision.
- It is important to drink fluids when you have a fever. It is important because fever causes considerable fluid loss through the skin and perspiration. Because it is difficult to measure fluid loss, it is good to drink 1 to 2 quarts of extra fluid each day that you have a fever.
- Wash your hands before eating.
- Wash your hands and face after coming from a crowd place, after visiting any patient.
- Wash fruits and vegetables before eating them.
- Avoid food products containing toxins.
- Avoid extra salt consumptions.
- Understand what your body can tolerate. Some people are sensitive to some elements and chemicals in the diet.
- Avoid food which your body can not tolerate.
- Drinking lot of water, green vegetable, and juice helps in cleaning of intestine.
- Regular dental cleaning will avoid entry of pathogens through mouth.
- Physical activity is important for balancing the body.
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