What does an increase in body temperature indicate and when should it be brought down – the doctor’s opinion

Health Tips

Temperature rise mechanism

In general, the mechanism for raising the temperature is simple: this is a typical immunological reaction, that is, the body reacts to the appearance of an enemy – a virus or bacteria. Cells receive a signal that they need to be activated. The temperature is traditionally measured with a mercury thermometer (still considered the most accurate), as well as using infrared scanners.

In one of the previous materials, we said that there are mechanical (the so-called folk remedies) and medicinal ways to reduce the temperature. I really want to ease my condition at this moment, because in most cases we continue to work (at the same distance), to take care of the housework. In the first case, to alleviate the condition, some apply cold compresses to the forehead, drink a lot and plentifully (boiled water, warm berry fruit drinks are used). Rubbing should be carried out so that droplets of liquid remain on the skin. It is their evaporation that causes the cooling of the body.

Now, together with our expert, we will figure out what temperature is considered acceptable, and when it is worth taking action.

Don’t be afraid of antipyretics

According to the World Health Organization, body temperature is considered normal from 35.8 to 37.3 ° C, and during the day fluctuations can reach 1 ° C. Body temperature up to 38 ° C is called subfebrile.

The reason for measuring body temperature is usually poor health: fatigue, general weakness, headache, runny nose and other catarrhal phenomena (symptoms that are usually found in viral and colds). It is important to remember that the temperature can be higher than usual after a hot drink or meal, taking a bath or shower, if you dressed too warmly, and also after physical exertion.

It is generally accepted that with relatively good health and the absence of chronic diseases, a temperature of up to 38.5 ° C does not need to be brought down, since this is a sign that the body is fighting infection. In fact, antipyretic drugs do not significantly affect the functioning of the immune system, so you should not stubbornly endure a headache or aching muscles and joints. At the same time, it is important to regularly measure body temperature in order to understand how serious the situation is.

What does an increase in temperature indicate?

As a rule, this is a sign of some infectious process, including a chronic one: for example, with a “normal” ARVI, the temperature can persist for 3-5 days, with infectious mononucleosis – up to 1 month, and with chronic tonsillitis – several months. Rarely, elevated body temperature may be the only symptom of autoimmune or autoinflammatory diseases (eg, systemic connective tissue diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, spondyloarthropathies) or be a sign of a neoplastic process (lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease).

All of these causes are classified as so-called diseases with inflammatory changes in the tests. There is also a group of non-inflammatory causes of low subfebrile condition: thyroid diseases with its hyperfunction, chronic iron deficiency anemia, some helminthic invasions and parasitic diseases, autonomic dysfunction cider, post-infectious thermoneurosis, hypothalamic syndrome with impaired thermoregulation and others.

There is also a physiological increase in body temperature in women before the onset of menstruation.

How long can a normal fever last?

Since there are a great many reasons for an increase in body temperature, the concept of the norm is not entirely appropriate here. If there are signs of any respiratory infection (not a new coronavirus), then most often by the fifth day the body temperature returns to normal. In other situations, it is still better to figure out what caused the increase in body temperature. The best place to start is with a visit to a therapist. After a conversation and examination, he will prescribe tests that will eliminate most of the serious causes of subfebrile temperature.

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