For healthy human beings, the body temperature should be around 98.4°F (37°C). Any rise in temperature above one degree more than the normal is considered as fever. However, fever by itself may not be something to worry about until the temperature reaches very high levels and fever episodes occur often, but it always requires medical attention to find and treat the cause. Infections are one of the main causes of fever, but fever is mostly a body response to fight off these infections.
However, you can manage it with some self care treatment tips for fever at home before consulting the doctor.
Body temperature ranging from 100 to 102°F (37.8 to 39°C) is considered as low-grade fever, whereas body temperature of more than that is considered as high-grade fever. In either condition, some major associated symptoms are:
- Muscle ache
- Appetite loss
Sometimes, a very high fever can cause seizures. Doctors term it as ‘febrile seizures’’.
The immune system increases the temperature of the body to eliminate various infections because of external microorganisms. Though a natural process, fever can be highly uncomfortable. There are a lot of causes that lead to fever. Some of them are:
- Severe physical exertion
- Infection (bacteria, virus, parasites, and fungi)
- Heat exhaustion
- Autoimmune disorders
- Inflammatory disorders
- A malignant tumor
- Blood pressure and seizure medications
- Some immunization vaccines, like diphtheria, tetanus, and pneumococcal vaccine
- Drug abuse or side-effect of medications
- Hormone disorders
When to See a Doctor?
If you feel feverish and do not subside even after following the home remedies mentioned below or any other concerns, consult your doctor for further diagnosis and treatment.
Home Remedies for Fever
Fever causes continuous unease, but some self-help remedies can quickly give you relief. Follow the following home remedies and tips:
- Drink a lot of water/hydrate well: With a fever, our body needs more water to compensate for the high temperature because there is more water loss in the body. It is called dehydration. Drinking lots of water can help in rehydrating the body. Along with water, have coconut water, orange juice, lime juice, and oral rehydration solution(ORS).
- Rest: Our body requires a lot of energy to fight off fever. A person having a fever should take an adequate amount of rest until the fever is gone. Any physical stress can have ill effects.
- Have a warm bath: Have a bath with lukewarm water as it is soothing and relieves the pain in the muscles and joints.
- Use OTC medicines: Over-The-Counter (OTC) medicines are available to relieve fever. Some of them are ibuprofen and paracetamol. However, for infants or children, give medicines according to a doctor’s prescription.
Food Items to Eat During Fever
Loss of appetite is common during fever, but one should have nutritious food to give the body the required nutrients and minerals. Food items that are easy to digest can speed up the healing process. Some of the food items are:
- Vegetables: Vegetables are one of the best sources of nutrients needed by the body. A thoroughly cooked vegetable dish helps in providing the required vitamins and minerals to the body. You should eat vegetables like carrots, spinach, and pumpkin.
- Fruits: Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and grapes have vitamin C and flavonoids, which help boost immunity and fight a fever. Also, fruits like berries, kiwi, and apples help.
- Yogurt. Consumption of yogurt increases the immunity of the person by the good bacteria (Lactobacillus) in it.
- Coconut water: Hydration plays a vital role during fever. Coconut water is full of essential fluids and electrolytes which the body requires. It is an excellent source of hydration.
- Herbal tea: Tea leaves boost immunity as they are rich in polyphenol, flavonoid, and catechin. These plant compounds found in tea helps to protect against viruses and bacteria.
- Chicken soup: Having a hot bowl of chicken soup during fever is very beneficial. It not only increases the fluid intake in the body but also regulates the body temperature. Also, chicken being a rich protein source, provides the vital nutrients to fight off fever easily.
Although fever by itself is usually not harmful, children can experience fever-induced convulsions until the age of 5 years (febrile seizures).
Some health tips to prevent fever due to infections are:
- Inculcate a habit of washing hands often.
- Carry your hand sanitizer.
- Reduce touching the nose, mouth, and eyes often.
- Cover your mouth and nose during coughing and sneezing.
- Avoid sharing utensils and water bottles without washing.
- Maintain distance from a person with a contagious disease like nausea, cough, etc.
It has to be understood that fever is not a disease but a symptom or a sign of imbalance in the body. Moreover, it has to be discussed with a doctor because it can occur due to some underlying disease or complication.
However, follow good hygiene habits and take preventive measures to prevent any infection leading to fever. The home remedies for fever given above can help relieve. If it does not, consult your doctor for further diagnosis and treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
I often feel feverish, but there is no fever. Why is it so?
Well, there could be many reasons behind why you feel hot without fever. It includes – lifestyle and environmental factors, hormones, age, blood pressure, among others. In many cases, regularly feeling feverish might be a sign of any underlying health issue.
Can stress make you feel feverish?
Exposure to emotional issues and episodes of chronic anxiety and stress can lead to psychogenic fever. Such fevers are not viral or bacterial but due to your body’s response to that event.
I feel feverish during my menstrual periods? Is it normal?
Prostaglandins (chemical compounds) can lead to intestinal contractions, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, pain, and exhaustion. As prostaglandins are most likely to affect your body temperature, you might feel feverish during your periods.