Major Causes of Fevers: Symptoms & Home Remedies
Fever is not actually the disease but its symptom - this phrase is commonly said by the doctors but perhaps not quite understood by many. A deeper insight into it will reveal the beautiful self-protective action of our body.
A fever is a condition that raises the body temperature above normal. Although it varies slightly from person to person, our normal body temperature is more or less 98.6 degree F. It is the battle fought by our body against the foreign invasion that gives rise to temperature higher than normal.
The invasions are made by the bacterial or viral infections. Our body has an excellent immune system which is made up of multicellular organism. When the infections attack our body the immune system immediately comes up to defeat them and increases the body temperature. Because the foreign bacteria and viruses that go strong at the normal body temperature can’t defend themselves at the higher temperature. The stronger the infection the higher will be the temperature.
Fevers in adults
Viral fevers from virus infections are the major causes of fevers happen to adults. Other symptoms may include runny nose, sore throat, cough, hoarseness, and body pain. Diarrhea , vomiting, and other stomach related problems may also feature in the viral fevers.
In general, viral fevers remain for 2-3 days and are treated at home using decongestants and anti-fever medications bought over the counter. However, in worse cases viral illnesses may need doctor’s attention and can take one to two weeks.
Drinking sufficient water and other fluids (more of electrolytes) are necessary to deal with the dehydration caused by diarrhea and vomiting.
However, home treatment for viral fever is recommended only up to a certain extent, beyond which the patient must be put under doctor’s care. Here are some of the conditions of fever that need immediate medical attention -
- Temperature 103 degree F or higher with severe headache
- Fever keeps coming back
- Sore throat with difficulty in swallowing
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Chest pain
- Abdominal pain
Apart from infections one may get afflicted with fever due to other reasons as well, such as -
- Due to consumption of some medicines, including some antibiotics, blood pressure medicines, and anti-seizure medicines.
- Due to severe burn injuries.
- Heat related illness such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and heat cramps can raise body temperature to inordinate level.
- Cancer- fever is a common symptom in cancer, usually after the disease has spread from its origin. Fever at the initial stage may occur in case of blood cancer.
- Autoimmune diseases - Low fever is one of the symptoms of autoimmune diseases.
- Some childhood immunizations