What Causes a Fever? This Is What You Need to Know
You wake up feeling terrible, your head is hot and your body aches. You'll be calling out of work today. The cause? A fever.
It's no fun to be confined to your bed but a fever certainly has the ability to knock you out. A fever would be considered any body temperature that is over or beyond the normal range. It often lasts only a few days.
What causes a fever? If you're sick in bed and vowing to never let this happen to you again, you might curious about what leads to a fever occurring in the body. Read on and we'll walk you through what you need to know.
What Causes a Fever?
Why does the body's temperature rise as it does when a person develops a fever? There are many potential causes, but often a fever is linked to some other illness or problem.
It all starts with a section of your brain known as the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the part of your brain that controls the temperature of the body. When the hypothalamus shifts your body temperature upwards past the normal body temperature, a fever occurs.
Your body temperature varies on its own throughout the day, often rising as the day goes on. The average body temperature is about 98.6 F, though it can vary by about a degree in either direction and still be considered normal and healthy.
However, once you start hitting 100 F or above, you're in serious fever territory.
Why might your body intentionally raise its temperature? Often its a kind of defensive mechanism. If a virus or some sort of bacterial infection has entered your body, the body might raise the heat to fight this infection. Higher temperatures can prevent a virus from spreading and may be able to kill it off.
So when you experience a fever, it might be actually a symptom of a different kind of virus that is entering the body. Often, it can be difficult to determine exactly what kind of virus or bacteria has entered the body and created fever conditions.
More often than not, this is the cause.
Rarer Causes of a Fever
There might be other situations that could lead to a fever occurring in the body. Staying out too long in the sun and suffering from heat exhaustion can produce a fever as well.
There are many inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, that could eventually lead to an overall fever in the body. Arthritis is the inflammation of the lining of certain joints, but this inflammation can eventually lead to the overall rise of the body's temperature.
If the body has a malignant tumor it is possible that a fever could result as well. This would be more similar to the standard cause of a fever, as the body would be attempting to fight off the tumor using higher temperatures.
There are even some medications and immunizations out there that can produce a fever as a side effect to their main usage. Antibiotics used to treat high blood pressure, for example, often produce fevers as a kind of side effect.
There are even some instances where the cause of a fever can't be determined. So many different things have the possibility of contributing to a fever that it can be impossible to say for sure what the cause could be.
If you've been sick with a fever for more than a week, it might be time to see a doctor. You can use a helpful aid like Fever Detector to keep an eye on your health as things progress.
How to Prevent Fevers
You might be curious about the causes of a fever so that you can avoid getting sick again in the future. Everyone wants to be in good health, after all, and getting hit with a fever is no fun.
The best way to avoid getting a fever is to reduce your overall exposure to infectious diseases. Fewer viruses and bacteria entering the body will mean less the body needs to fight off with high internal temperatures.
One of the best defenses against disease is frequent washing of the hands. You should wash your hands many times over the course of a day, especially before you eat and after you use the restroom. When you return home from the outside world, it's a good idea to wash your hands before you do anything.
You'll also want to practice proper handwashing methods, covering both the front and back of your hands.
You can work hard to avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes as this is the main area where viruses enter the body. Wearing a face mask is one way to increase the odds of avoiding bacterial transmission.
Its also a good idea to avoid sharing cups, water bottles, and other such things with other people. These items can easily transfer bacteria from one person to another.
Last but not least, working to get a full night's rest can help to prevent illness. Your body's immune system relies on a well-rested body. The more sleep you can get, the better you should be able to fight off illnesses without resorting to a fever.
Understand the Reasons for a Fever
What causes a fever? It turns out there are a wide variety of causes for this common human scenario. If you've been hit with a fever, reading the above information can help you to understand what is happening with your body and how to prevent it from occurring again in the future.
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