Are fevers good or bad?

Having a fever shows that your nervous system is functioning properly. When our immune cells can’t fight off the bacteria or virus, our body’s innate intelligence raises our body temperature to the exact temperature it needs to kill off the foreign invader. That same intelligence won’t allow the temperature to get too high to a point of causing harm. A fever isn’t considered dangerous or harmful until it gets >108F, however you should call your healthcare provider when: 

  • 3 months or less: >100.4F
  • 3-6 months: >102.5
  • 6 months: >104F
  • 2 years or less: Fever lasts >24hours
  • Any age: Fever lasts >3 days or temperature >104.5F.

Most people look at a fever as a bad thing because it causes us to be achy, chilled, lethargic, and in pain. While we may be uncomfortable, this is our body doing what it is designed to do. And what are we taught to do? We run to the medicine cabinet to lower the fever. Then our bodies naturally want to raise the temperature back up because the virus is still alive and well in our bodies. Instead of prolonging the illness for a week by constantly lowering the fever, be uncomfortable for 24-72 hours, and let the body do what it is designed to do and kick the fever during that time. Medicine isn’t and will never be smarter than our bodies! Medicine is great in certain situations and saves many lives, but in instances like having a fever, rest and fluids are the best medicine you can get!

The American Academy of Pediatrics states, “It should be emphasized that fever is not an illness but is, in fact, a physiologic mechanism that has beneficial effects in fighting infection. Fever retards the growth and reproduction of bacteria and viruses, enhances neutrophil production and T-lymphocyte proliferation, and aids in the body’s acute-phase reaction. The degree of fever does not always correlate with the severity of illness. Most fevers are of short duration, are benign, and may actually protect the host.”

If you aren’t ever getting a fever, or if you get them too frequently, it may be time to give us a call to get your nervous system checked and make sure it is functioning properly!

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