Fever (also known as pyrexia, high temperature or high fever) is a normal body response to a variety of conditions, the most common being infection, and is a very common medical sign. A fever occurs when the body’s temperature is elevated as a result of the body’s thermostat being reset to a higher than usual temperature. Fever is one of the body’s natural defenses against bacteria and viruses that cannot live at higher temperatures. Therefore, low-grade fevers should normally go untreated unless there are other troubling symptoms. Fever is just one part of an illness and normally is no more important than other symptoms which may also occur such as cough, sore throat or fatigue.
The following temperatures are generally accepted as a fever, depending on how and where the temperature is measured:
- Rectal temperature above 100.4°F (38°C)
- Oral temperature above 100°F (37.8°C)
- Axillary (armpit) temperature above 99°F (37.2°C)
- Ear (tympanic membrane) temperature above 100.4°F (38°C) in rectal mode or 99.5°F (37.5°) in oral mode
- Forehead (temporal artery) temperature above 100.4°F (38°C)
Causes of fever
Fever occurs as a result of body’s natural defense mechanism against foreign bodies like bacteria, fungi, viruses, toxins and drugs. The infectious agents, also called Pyrogens, signal the hypothalamus in the brain to increase the body temperature set point in order to help the body fight off the infection.
Some common infections that cause fever:
- Chicken pox
- Flu/Influenza/Common cold
- Streptococcal sore throat
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Otitis media (ear infection)
Symptoms of fever
- High rise temperature
- Sensation of dullness in the body
- Lumbago pain
- Feeling cold and stiffness
- Inability to concentrate
- Burning in eyes
- Heavy eyes
- Muscular weakness
- Lack of energy
- Lack of interest
- Shivering or chilliness
- Confusion and hallucinations (with high fever)
Types of fever
Continuous fever: Where the temperature remains above normal throughout a 24-hour period and does not fluctuate more than 1° Celsius in 24 hours. This type of fever occurs in lobar pneumonia, typhoid, urinary tract infection, infective endocarditis, brucellosis and typhus.
Low grade fever: Temperature is present daily especially in the evening for several days but does not exceed 37.8°C at any time. Usually it does not indicate disease, but it is commonly present with tuberculosis.
Remittent fever: The temperature remains above normal throughout the day and fluctuates more than 2° Celsius in 24 hours. This type is seen in patients with typhoid fever and infective endocarditis.
Pel Ebstein fever: There is regular alternation of recurrent bouts of fever and afebrile periods. The temperature may take 3 days to rise, remain high for 3 days and then remits over 3 days. The patient could then be apyrexial for 9 days.
Intermittent fever: In a 24-hour period the temperature is only present for some hours of the day and the rest of the time is normal. The spike can occur same time each day, every other day or every few days but is normally in a repetitive pattern. Examples of some diseases which have intermittent fever are malaria, pyemia and septicaemia.
Septic fever: The temperature variation between peak and nadir is very large and exceeds 5°C e.g. septicaemia.
Cyclical recurrent fevers or periodic fevers: These are recurrences of fever which last from a few days to a few weeks and are separated by symptom free intervals. This pattern of fever can be caused by recurrent infection, malignancy or non-infectious inflammatory diseases. Attacks of fever which follow the same course normally have a non-infectious cause like Still’s disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and Bechet’s syndrome. A family history of periodic fever could indicate Familial Mediterranean Fever or Hyper-IgD syndrome.
Homeopathic treatment for fever
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of homeopathic medicine for fever is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering.
The aim of homeopathic medicine for fever is not only to treat fever symptoms but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several well-proved medicines are available for fever symptoms treatment that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensation and modalities of the complaints.
Some important remedies are given below for fever symptoms treatment:
It is a natural remedy of great help when the fever is accompanied by extreme restlessness and anxiety. The patient feels an increased thirst for cold water and the body aches are intolerable. The use of medicine Aconite should always be considered when the fever has risen after sudden exposure to cold winds.
It is a natural medicine for patients in whom body aches predominate during fever. Such a person wants to lie down still to get relief and slight motion worsens his or her condition. There is also an increased thirst for water.
It is a holistic medicine for fever. As it is made of natural substances, therefore it is of great help in cases of fever with extreme chilliness and shivering. The person wants to remain covered in all stages of fever.
It is very beneficial in fever cases where the patients suffer from weakness, dizziness and even the tendency to faint. There is an absence of thirst in most cases.
It is one of the top natural medicines for persons who have fever with extreme body aches, leading to restlessness. Such a person wants to remain in motion to get relief. Rhus Tox is also the natural medicine for fever as a result of getting wet in rain.
It is the best natural remedy to deal with cases of fever with pain in throat. The person feels excessive heat with high fever, red eyes, pain in throat.
A person who needs this remedy when chilly and exhausted, along with an anxious restlessness. The person may be thirsty, but often only takes small sips. The person’s head usually feels hot, while the rest of the body is chilly. Worse after midnight.
Chill between 9 and 11 am heat; violent thirst, increases with fever. Fever blisters. Coldness of the body, and continued chillness very marked. Hydremia in chronic malarial state with weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, etc. sweats on exertion.
Fever has chilliness, even in warm room, without thirst. Chilly with pains, in spots, worse evening; Chill about 4 p.m. intolerable burning heat at night, with distended veins; heat in parts of body; coldness in other. One sided sweat; pains during sweat. External heat is intolerable; veins are distended, during apyrexia, headache, diarrhea. Loss of appetite, nausea.