We’ve all been there. The cough and sniffles start and sure enough, our body temperature rises and we’re faced with an uncomfortable fever. Most people think that the fever is the PROBLEM and needs to be suppressed as soon as possible to regain health. However, the fever is actually the body’s RESPONSE to an underlying problem, be it a virus or bacterial infection.
So why would our body raise our internal temperature and cause us even more pain in an already uncomfortable state? Because our body and brain are smarter than we are!
By raising our internal temperature from a normal 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit to 100-101 degrees, we have just created an environment where harmful bacteria cannot survive. When our body temperature increases to 102 degrees Fahrenheit, we have now created an environment where viruses are unable to reproduce and spread throughout the body.
However, if your body temperature does increase to around 103-104 degrees Fahrenheit, or if your fever has lasted up to 4 days, it is important to seek medical care to make sure no damage is done to any vital organs.
Now what happens when we take pain relievers such as Tylenol (Acetaminophen) or Advil (Ibuprofen)? Our fever goes down, giving us an illusion of health! Yes, the fever has reduced, but now the bacteria or virus is running rampant because we have just suppressed our natural defense mechanism! In an attempt to fix the problem, we only treated the symptoms, not the real cause of disease.
Here are some tips on how to handle your next fever and to ensure your body is fighting to its greatest potential:
- Drink lots of water and stay rested: Fighting an infection takes a lot of energy, so our body will need proper hydration and at least 7-10 hours of sleep per night.
- Eat a healthy, balanced, and natural diet: Sugar suppresses our immune system so try and avoid sweets when you’re not feeling well. It might make us feel better in the short term, but it’s also slowing our body’s ability to fight the infection.
- Pick up some natural supplements: A healthy dose of B12 (about 2.5mg) can go a long way to boost your immune system. Also, add a healthy, natural probiotic to your diet. This will increase the amount of healthy, good bacteria in your body that helps your immune system fight off the cold and infection as well!
I hope these strategies help you face your next fever with confidence and not fear! Let your body work naturally and fight infection the way it was designed to.