Tuesday 18 February 2014

Temperatures & Fever in Illness

When it comes to illness A high temperature is very common to run alongside it making us feel lousy you know that feeling when it feels like someone has been hammering on your head, or every step makes your head hurt and the room feels like it is bouncing as we go.

After this week and the boys suffering with high temperatures I thought I would talk a little about them always helpful information to know and refresh yourself if you cant remember.

understanding temperatures and fever in illness

What is a High temperature? 

Most people think that 37' is a "normal" temperature to be but this isn't always the case normal temperatures can vary from person to person based on different factors such as,

  • The person
  • Their age
  • What they've been doing
  • The time of day
  • Which part of the body you take the temperature from
Having said all that  It is generally accepted that normal body temperature ranges between 36.1C (97F) to 37.2C (99F). Although most health care professionals wont usually think its a temperature until its starts to get above 37.5.

A high temperature or fever is not a separate illness, temperatures usually co-inside with an infection and its a good sign the body is fighting against it, although it still isn't pleasant to experience.
Part of the brain called the hypothalamus may decide to regulate the body's temperature to a higher level.

There are lots of reasons why we might get a temperature common causes are;
  • Colds and flu
  • Gastroenteritis stomach bugs
  • Infections of the ear, lung, skin, throat, bladder or kidney
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Side effects of drugs
  • Cancer
  • Routine vaccinations

Less Common causes,

  • Blood clot or pulmonary embolism
  • Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Hormone disorders such as hyperthyroidism
  • Illegal drugs that increase heat production such as amphetamines and cocaine
  • Infections abroad, such as malaria
Temperatures are usually easily managed, Fever or temperature like I said earlier can make us feel pretty lousy and uncomfortable, and steps may be taken to reduce the fever, by taking age-appropriate medicine, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Make sure you drink plenty the recommended amount to drink is eight glasses of water or other clear fluid a day. you could try Iced drinks or ice lollies as they may have a soothing effect. Make sure you wear lightweight clothing and don't use blankets and duvets in bed to avoid getting too warm. Make sure the temperature in the room is comfortable and let fresh air in where possible. As with any illness get plenty of rest and avoid heavy activity.

Temperatures and fever is a natural bodily defence against infection. There are also non-infectious causes of fever. These include the temperature related condition  hyperthermia and dangerous rises in body temperature. This may be due to a heat injury, such as heat stroke, or the side effects of some medications.

If you are unsure of anything you get other symptoms alongside this or you cant maintain your temperature with medication you should always seek medical advice from A GP, local Health care professional Or you ring NHS Direct.

understanding temperatures and fever in illness

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