Fever (medically called pyrexia) is a term used to describe increased body temperature. The normal human body temperature ranges between 36°C - 37°C (98 - 100 F). This temperature may vary depending on several factors like the food we consume, our sleeping pattern and physical activity we perform. However, the body temperature increases above the normal range in case the immune system of the body encounters a foreign body or organism. Fever is an indication that your immune system is working hard to eliminate the disease causing bacteria or virus from the body.
Fever is characterized by rise in body temperature above the normal range (98 – 100 F). However, in most cases it may be associated with other symptoms such as headache, chills, joint pain, vomiting, skin rash, loose motion, weakness, cough and cold. Here are some of common diseases that show some of the above listed symptoms along with fever.
High fever with chills: It is commonly seen in people suffering from viral fever, malaria, bronchitis, pneumonia, swine flu, tonsillitis, typhoid, enlarged lymph nodes, tuberculosis and pyelonephritis (infection of the kidney).
High-grade fever and headache: The clinical conditions that cause high fever and headache are dengue, malaria, summer (due to extreme heat), food poisoning and HIV.
Fever with joint pain: If you are suffering from viral fever, arthritis or dengue, if might experience fever with joint pain.
Fever and vomiting: You might show symptoms of fever and vomiting, if you are suffering from food poisoning, dengue, viral fever, malaria, typhoid, kidney infections and haemorrhagic fever.
Fever with skin rash: These symptoms are quite common in case of clinical conditions such as dengue, HIV/AIDS, kidney disease, allergy and toxic shock syndrome.
Usually, the treatment for fever is dependent on the cause of the condition. In case the condition is caused due to seasonal change in the temperature or due to stress, few home-care measures might do the needful. Apart from this, use of OTC drugs also help in lowering your body temperature and provide relief.
Home-care: There are few home-care tips you need to follow to lower your temperature such as –
Apply a cloth soaked in lukewarm water and salt on the forehead to lower your body temperature. It is one of the most common homecare techniques that provide effective results for low-grade fever.
Drink plenty of fluids such as warm soup and water but avoid fruit juices or sports drink.
Do not do forceful eating and avoid consuming spicy and oily food for few days.
It is better to bath with lukewarm water and stay away from cold baths or ice rubs.
If you are suffering from chills along with fever, do not bundle up.