Fever is characterized by ‘higher-than-normal’ body temperature. But, a rise in body temperature can be due to a variety of causes. Those chilling waves of exhaustion that often accompany fever is something that almost all of us might have experienced. Fever is mostly, the body’s reaction to an infection. However, factors such as poisons, cancer, heat exposure, injuries or abnormalities to the brain etc can also lead to a rise in body temperature. In most cases it is the symptoms that follow the fever that help in making a correct diagnosis of the kind of fever.
The body temperature of a person exceeds 98.6°F usually when the pyrogens interfere with the normal functioning of his immune system. Viral and bacterial infections such as colds, tonsillitis, flu, bronchitis, tetanus, measles, mumps, chicken pox, AIDS, pneumonia etc all make negative impacts on the body’s functioning rhythm. Fever is our body’s natural response to fighting against these germs. Symptoms of a fever include chills, body ache, restlessness, red cheeks etc.
A temperature of 100 to 101 degree Fahrenheit is considered to be good for the body as it shows that the body is fighting the infection well. However, if the body temperature goes too high, it is important that necessary medical aid is provided to bring it down. Body temperature above 105 degree is capable of causing severe damage to our nervous system. It is advisable that you supply the feverish body with enough fluids and water, as dehydration is likely to become fatal.
If the person who is suffering from fever has also developed diarrhea or vomiting, it is advisable to consult a doctor immediately. It is always better to check the possibility of dehydration well in advance. Signs of dehydration such as dry skin, decreased urination, flaccid skin and uneasiness should be brought under a doctor’s notice at the earliest.
Over exposure to the sun also results in increased body temperature. In case of heat stroke, the rise of temperature is due to the body’s inefficiency in regulating the heat effectively.