A fever is the elevation of body temperature above a normal range. Fevers can indicate that there is a more serious medical problem, and it’s the body’s attempt to fight any virus or bacteria that are posing that problem. You can safely treat a mild fever at home. Breaking a fever typically requires the intake of fluids, rest, and over-the-counter medications.
A fever is an important part of the body’s defense mechanism against disease. By increasing the temperature, molecular processes in attacking organisms such as, bacteria or viruses, become less efficient, giving the body a chance to deal with them.
When a fever develops, what should you do? Here’s some advice:
Don’t force yourself under cover
Shivers are your body’s way of creating heat to boost your temperature, so if your teeth are chattering or you feel chilled, by all means, cover up to make yourself more comfortable. However, once your fever is established and you start feeling hot, bundling yourself in bed under a pile of blankets will only hold the heat in and likely make you feel worse. You can’t sweat out a fever, or get a fever to break by forcing your body temperature up even higher. So if you feel as though you’re burning up, toss off those covers.
With your body exposed as much as possible, your sweat glands will be better able to release moisture, which will make you feel more comfortable.
Sponge yourself with lukewarm water or, better yet, sit in a tub of lukewarm water for half an hour.
Fever, especially if it is accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea, can lead to fluid loss and an electrolyte imbalance, so it’s important to keep drinking. Cool water is best, but unsweetened juices are okay if that’s what tastes good. Getting a child to drink plenty of water is sometimes difficult, so try Popsicles or flavored ices that are made primarily of water.
Starve a fever
The old folk advice to feed a cold, starve a fever may not have been off the mark. During periods of fever caused by infection, the body may do better without outside nutrition. During infection, your body actually sends certain nutrients such as iron and zinc into hiding; it turns out that these nutrients are essential for the growth of many infectious organisms. So by stoking up with foods and nutritional supplements during an infection, you may be helping disease-causing organisms to flourish.
Natural Home Remedies for Fever:
Fever is a symptom, not an illness, and so there’s no specific cure. But there are some useful home remedies to be found right in your kitchen. These fever-relievers may make you feel better for the duration.
Cream of tartar
Try this fever tea. Combine 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, 2 1/2 cups warm water, and 1/2 teaspoon honey.
Fresh is best. It’s one of nature’s anti-inflammatory agents that can fight fever. Pineapple is also packed with juice that can prevent dehydration.
Put 3/4 cup chopped raisins in 7 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, and then simmer until the water has been reduced by one-third. Drink a little of this several times a day to keep yourself hydrated during a fever.
These can reduce the risk of dehydration. Fruit juice bars are good, too. This can be an especially handy way to keep fluids in small children.
Drink lots of it to prevent dehydration. Sponging the body with lukewarm water can relieve fever symptoms, but it’s recommended that you use fever-reducing medication first to reduce the possibility of chills and shivering. Do not use cold water or ice on the body.
Mix 1 teaspoon basil with 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Steep in 1 cup hot water to make a tea. Add 1 teaspoon honey. Drink two to three times a day.
Now you’ve got some great ideas to help you fight a fever the next time you or your children come down with something.