A short-term increase in the body temperature is referred in medical terms as pyrexia. Commonly known as fever, it is a common occurrence in both adults and children. As the temperature of your body becomes higher than the normal temperature, it becomes indicative of an underlying illness which may be an infection in some part of the body such as the throat or stomach.
Having high fever is an important sign that some changes are occurring in the body. The temperature of our body is regulated by the hypothalamus which is present at the base of the brain. The state of fever is experienced by almost every human being at some point of time irrespective of sex or age. Many medical experts are of the opinion that fever is a natural defense of the body against infection. Relevant treatment for fever is recommended by medical experts after assessing the symptoms carefully and conducting certain diagnostic tests.
Causes of high fever in adults
- Diseases such as malaria, upper and lower respiratory tract infections or flu, cold, bacterial infections, gastrointestinal infections, urinary tract infections or skin infections etc
- Excessive heat exposure
- Abnormalities in the brain or malignant tumors
- Disease of the endocrine which is associated with a hormonal or glandular system of the body
- Inflammation caused by tissue injury
- Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis which is the inflammation of the lining of joints
- Side effects of certain medicines
High fever comes with a lot of physical discomforts. It is only after adequate treatment for the fever that you can feel better. High fever is typically characterized by a rise in oral temperature as it soars above 100°F (37.8°C) to touch 103°F. Temperature in adults can be measured with a thermometer placed under the tongue.
General symptoms that accompany high fever include: body aches, waves of chills, muscle aches, loss of appetite, sweating, irritability, dehydration, headache, and general exhaustion.
However, specific symptoms accompanied by high fever can be taken as warning signs of a deep rooted illness. These include: unusual skin rash, persistent vomiting, abdominal pain while urinating, mental haziness, convulsions or seizures, severe headache, pain in the ears, neck, teeth, chest, abdomen, flank, rectum, or joints.
Diagnosis of fever
In order to diagnose high fever, the doctor will analyze your physical symptoms and medical history. Following that, in most cases, he will conduct a physical examination along with the necessary blood tests.
Treatment for fever
Medical treatment is necessary if the fever is 102 degree or higher. Depending on the cause of high fever, medical experts will suggest the appropriate treatment for fever. Antibiotics are generally prescribed in case of bacterial infection, such as pneumonia or strep throat. However, for viral infections, taking antipyretics helps to alleviate high fever and reduce discomfort. Cooling measures with a tepid water mist and cooling blankets is required only if the temperature is about 105° F or higher.
Prevention of fever
Some preventive tips:
- Wash your hands especially before eating, after using the toilet, after spending time with someone who is sick, petting animals, and during travel on public transportation.
- Carry a good hand sanitizer when you do not have access to soap and water.
- Avoid touching the nose, or mouth or eyes, since these are some of the main channels through which the viruses and bacteria can enter the body, causing infection and thus high fever.Diet and home remedies
- Include more grains, beans and starchy foods in your diet.
- Drink adequate amount of water. It is best to consume at least 3 to 4 liters of water per day so that the heat and other toxins in the body are eliminated in the form of urine and sweat. This will help to reduce the body heat and bring the temperature down to the normal level.
- Eat green leafy vegetables, cucumber etc. in order to control the body temperature.
- Increase the intake of fruits which have a significant amount of water present in them.
- Drink coconut water since it helps to bring down the body heat easily and quickly.
- Take adequate rest in order to recover since activity can raise the body temperatureAs the body responds to a bacterial or viral infection, high fever manifests accompanied by physical discomfort and gamut of other symptoms. High fever can be indicative of a serious illness and thus it is important to seek medical advice instantly. The symptoms can help the medical experts establish the cause and the necessary treatment of fever. People with a high fever generally feel much better when the fever is treated with antipyretics such as acetaminophen and other non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.