When to Treat a Fever and When Not to
First lets look at what a fever is and why we run fevers.
Fever in children is defined as: rectal temperature over 100.5° F, or oral temperature over 99.5° F. Simply put, fever is an elevation in body temperature that is controlled by the brain and spinal cord (the central nerve system – CNS). A fever occurs when the body’s innate intelligence detects an imbalance in the level of bacterial or viral organisms within the body. As a result, an effective means of dealing with this imbalance is to create an environment (fever) where it is difficult for these organisms to live.
Most fevers due to viral causes range from 101° to 104° F and last for 2-3 days. Symptoms usually occur only when the fever reaches 102° F. According to research by itself a fever in the range 100° to 104° F is not harmful and is most commonly due to the body responding to a viral or bacterial imbalance. A small percentage of children (4%) will develop febrile convulsions due to a rapid rise in body temperature. This type of fever is generally harmless.
Many parents incorrectly think that a temperature of 104° to 105° F will cause brain damage to occur, or that if a fever is untreated it will rise higher. As a result, inappropriate treatment is frequently employed, such as: medications, herbal remedies, tepid and alcohol baths to reduce the fever. It is thought that brain damage can occur in a fever of 107 degrees or higher. Studies have shown that it is not the high fever that causes brain damage, it is due to the blood/brain barrier being weakened or compromised due to the effects of drugs, vaccines and chemicals such as MSG and aspartame crossing the blood/brain barrier. Irregardless a close watch of a child’s temperature and the rate at which it rises is advisable in high fevers. Parents may opt for medical evaluation/diagnosis to determine the course of care for their child at any stage.
How does a fever work? Fever has a direct effect on the immune system. When one has a fever, the CNS increases the body’s metabolism while decreasing its ability to disperse heat. A fever reduces the amount of iron in the blood stream that is needed by invading bacteria, thus starving the invader of needed nutrients. A fever also increases the activity of white blood cells that kill bacteria in your body. When the virus or bacterial imbalance has returned to normal the fever breaks and body temperature returns to normal. So running a fever is not bad, it is our bodies natural response to keep an infection from growing. Think of it as “burning out” a bacterial or viral infection. When we are quick to treat a fever to bring it down to normal we are interfering with the body’s defense mechanism. This sabotages our innate healing response, both now and for the future. Our bodies were created to fight illness on their own. Eliminating fever can cause a secondary infection because it suppresses the immune system. Fever plays an important role in our overall wellbeing. Once the body has healed from an illness the immune system is stronger and better equipped for the next illness. We can also enhance our immunity in several ways. Eating a diet that is rich in clean foods. lots of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats (coconut and olive oils,avocado and nuts) and other good sources of protein eggs, poultry, red meat and fish. Sufficient hydration is important. Regular exercise, about 30 minutes most days is sufficient. Managing daily stress is also very important.
So what is the best way to treat a fever? We feel uncomfortable when we have a fever but that doesn’t mean we need to medicate to bring the fever down. Both over the counter and prescription medications contain toxins that add to the body’s stress load by depleting their glutathione stores. Gloota What? Found in every cell in the body, glutathione protects the cell’s engine, called the mitochondria from bacteria and viruses as well as toxins. It’s considered “the mother of all antioxidants,” because all other antioxidants, including vitamin C and vitamin E, rely on it to give them a second life. As the most powerful antioxidant in the body, glutathione works around the clock to fend off infections from bacteria and viruses.. And yet, few people recognize its importance. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the go to medications to treat a fever. Studies show that this drug has many adverse side effects. It increases toxicity and is a neurotoxin which depleats glutathione stores that are critical for the body for fighting infection. Studies have show that exposure to this drug both prenatally and postnatally is linked to autism, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity and asthma. Every medication carries warnings of dangerous side effects, so it’s much safer to utilize natural remedies to keep you and your children comfortable while recuperating.
So if there is fever it would be (1) advantageous to see your chiropractor to make sure there is no nerve interference from a spinal misalignment which would inhibit normal functioning of the nervous system. Gentle chiropractic adjustments can improve immune function and speed healing. (2) Rest in a quiet, calm, and peaceful atmosphere to facilitate healing. (3) Hydrate with plenty of fluids, water, herbal teas, broths. Try to avoid sugar including juices and dairy products as they may interfere with the healing process because our digestive systems slow down when we are sick.(4) several warm baths each day will help “sweat it out”. Add epsom salts, baking soda or essential oils in the bath can help you feel more comfortable.