Why Does a Fever Happen? (And Why Getting One Can Be a Good Sign)

Why fever is GOOD

Have you met the people that tell you, quite proudly, they never, ever, ever get sick? Do you find yourself feeling just a wee bit jealous? Stop feeling jealous.

Well, quite frankly, not getting sick ever, not spiking a fever ever, is a red flag. From an ND perspective, this means your immune system has taken a very long vacation. Which leave these “never sick” people ripe for big disease down the road. This is not a complete cause and effect, but there is a correlation.

Getting sick and having a response to it is a very good thing. The signs you have a cold, sneezing, runny nose etc. are ways your body rids itself of a virus. FEVER is also part of the process. And it’s an important part.

 Here is why:

  • A fever initiates a cascade of events in the body. It increases your white blood cells and antibody production (the good guys that fight bacteria and viruses).
  • Most bacteria and viruses can’t live past a certain temperature. Raising your core body temperature makes it harder for the invaders to survive.
  • Fever initiates iron storage in the Liver so bacteria can’t use it to survive.

Yep. Fever does all of that, and more:

  • Fever also plays role in the development of an active and healthy brain. Microglia cells are responsible for myelination and pruning synapses in the brain. They are activated by the immune system and are present during fever.  Microglia remove pathogens and damaged areas of the brain. They also strengthen the remaining healthy connections within the brain. This means more ability to focus and make connections about the world around you.

Set aside your fears!

A fever cannot cause brain damage unless it reaches 42 C for a long period of time. Your brain has a great way of keeping this in check during an infection. Usually you will not see temperatures rise about 41C. Seizures can sometimes happen in children with high fevers, and this is totally scary, but typically don’t cause permanent damage to the nervous system- it is still prudent to refer to ER or MD if seizure occurs however.

When to be concerned and when to refer to MD or ER:

  • If the fever continues to rise past 41C- 42C – this can indicate a more serious condition (meningitis can trigger higher fever accompanied by stiff neck, aversion to light)
  • Fever that lasts more than 5 days
  • If your child is un responsive, very lethargic, or will not stop crying for extended periods of time
  • When you are unsure… play it safe and call your doc!

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