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Understanding Fever And Its Possible Causes

Updated on March 4, 2012

Our body is unique that it has a built-in thermoregulator that controls the body’s temperature, not to cold or not to hot. I could assume that all people living in our planet have experienced having a high temperature or medically termed as having a fever. In some studies, normal temperature is defined as a morning temperature of 37.2 degrees C or 98.9 degrees F, and a PM temperature of 37.7 degrees C or 99.9 degrees F. Fever is defined as an elevation of body temperature from the normal values mentioned above. Once our body sensed a change in body temperature, it has its own mechanism of decreasing body temperature back to normal. What is more important is to know thepossible causes of fever to be able to apply proper remedy and halt the increasing body temperature.

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Infections – infections can caused an increase body temperature due to its inflammatory nature. May it be a viral, bacterial or a fungal infection, these invaders can trigger an inflammatory cascade in the body causing the body temperature to increase. Aside from fever, chills and cold sweats could also manifest when having an infection. When having an infection, it is important to know the source, as to be able to target it and cure the disease. So when you have a fever, think of infection as a possible cause.

Inflammatory disease – inflammatory disease like your rheumatoid arthritis or your systemic lupus erythromatosus (SLE) could manifest with fever as a presenting sign. Usually fever is part of a constellation of symptoms associated with inflammatory diseases. Inflammatory cells like your TNF, IL1, usually cause fever in this type of diseases. Consider inflammatory disease as a differential when faced w/ a vague fever.

Malignancy -The number of malignant cases worldwide are growing with Lung cancer as the leading form causing death. Cancer like the first two disease entities also has an inflammatory nature therefore could also cause fever. Fever may be the initial symptom or it could be a part of several systemic manifestations like body malaise, weight loss, etc leading to malignancy. Cancer should be caught early to be able to aim for cure and just pallation.

Damage to the Brain – insults to the brain could increase the thermoregulation point hence producing fever. Body temperature is being controlled by our hypothalamus. Hence an insult to this part usually could elevate the normal temperature threshold in the body. Brain haemorrhage, a brain infarction or uncontrolled epilepsy, these could all produce fever by meddling with the set point made by our hypothalamus.

There are still a lot of possible causes of fever, some are usually benign but some could be life threatening. It could be easily cured by your over the counter paracetamol but sometimes your fever could just be a start of something big. Others could be simply relieved with sleep while some would need some medical attention. So when face with fever, don’t underestimate it, as it could be just the tail of a life changing disease.

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    • jhunpaler profile image

      jhunpaler 6 years ago from Philippines

      If the fever would last a couple days even though its on and off, I suggest you seek consult with a physician. :) Thanks for the comment.

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      Ewwww, so fever can be a symptom of something worse or much, much worse? Oh no, I had always thought it's something I can cure with OTC drugs :(

    • jhunpaler profile image

      jhunpaler 6 years ago from Philippines

      I agree, fever can range from something benign to something scary. thanks for the comment

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Useful hub with good points. Fevers are never fun and often scary if you don't know the reason behind them.