Fever, also known as pyrexia, is a condition in which there is an increase in the temperature of our body, in response to some illness or disease. Normal range of body temperature of human body is between 36-37˚Celsius (C) that is 98-100˚ Farenheit (F). whenever body temperature goes beyond this range due to any infection and illness it is termed as fever or pyrexia. Fever is considered significant when temperature rises above 100 degree F. Significantly high rise of temperature (extreme hyperpyrexia) is a medical emergency.
Causes of Fever
Fever occurs as a result of body’s natural defense mechanism against foreign bodies like bacteria, fungi, viruses, toxins and drugs. The infectious agents, also called Pyrogens, signal the hypothalamus in the brain to increase the body temperature set point in order to help the body fight off the infection.
It can also occour due to any serious underlying non-infectious condition or as a result of some side effects:
- Kawasaki syndrome
- Drug effect (Drug induced Fever): penicillins, cephalosporins, antituberculars, quinidine, procainamide, methyldopa, and phenytoin.
- Intracranial hemorrhage
- Autoimmune disorders: including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease
Some common infections that cause fever:
- Chicken pox
- Flu/Influenza/Common cold
- Streprococcal sore throat
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Ottitis media (ear infection)
Rise of body temperature which is often associated with
- General malaise
- Body pain
- Inability to concentrate
- Burning in eyes
- Heavy eyes
- Muscular weakness
- Lack of energy
- Lack of interest
- Shivering or chilliness
- Confusion and hallucinations (with high fever)
Elevated body temperature, apart from this lab investigations mainly depend upon cause of the fever.
The first point of diagnosis is a detail history. The exact symptoms are noted and a physical examination is done.
A complete hemogram is often the first test. Depending upon the case history and signs, a doctor may suggest other tests like
- Blood culture
- Stool examination and culture
- Urine examination and culture
- Throat swab
- Peripheral blood film
- Sputum for acid-fast bacillus
- Chest X-ray
- CSF tap and culture
- Special blood tests like Tb Gold, ANA, RA Factor, CRP, ASLO, Creatine kinase etc
- Liver Function Test (LFT)
Treatment of fever symptoms
Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen are often the most commonly used conventional allopathic drugs for reducing fever. Other drugs may be given to address the cause/infection.
Homeopathy treatment of fever symptoms
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat fever symptoms but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several well-proved medicines are available for fever symptoms treatment that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensation and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. Some important remedies are given below for fever symptoms treatment:
Belladonna, Aconite, Ferrum phos, Calcarea carb, Arsenic album, Gelsemium, Pulsatilla, Natrum mur, China, Baptisia, Muriatic acid, Nux vomica, Brynoia, Natrum mur, Rhus tox, Natrum sulph, Ignatia, Alstonia, Acid phos, Acetic acid, Abis can, Psorinum, Apis mel and many other medicines.
Cold stage most marked; cold sweat and icy coldness of face; coldness and heat alternate; evening chilliness soon after going to bed; cold waves pass through him. Thirst and restlessness always present. Chill if uncovered or touched; dry heat, red face. Most valuable fever remedy with mental anguish, restlessness etc. sweat drenching, on parts lain on; reliving all symptom.
High temperature; periodically marked with adynamic; septic fever; intermittent; paroxysms incomplete; with marked exhaustion; hay fever. Cold sweats. Typhoid, not too early; often after Rhus; complete exhaustion. Delirium; worse after midnight; great restlessness; great heat about 3. A.m. sordes.
chill, with rheumatic pains and soreness all over body. Heat all over, with occasional chill chills. Chill about 11 a.m adynamic fever. Typhus fever; Shipboard fever.
Pulse-ordinary quick, often full, hard and tense, but sometimes also small and soft; seldom slow, and then it is full. Throbbing carotid and temporal arteries. Violent beating of the arteries. Chill: in evening, especially on extremities, more on arms, with heat on head. Internal, with external burning heat. Alternating with heat. Evening shaking chill. Coldness of limbs, with a hot head. Shivering, running down back. Heat: constant dry burning with sweat on head and neck only. Internal, with anxiety and restlessness. Of forehead, with cold cheeks. Internal or external, or both at same time. Of head, with red face and delirium. Generally predominating. Sweat: exclusively on the covered parts. With, or immediately after the heat, most on face. Of an empyreumatic odor, and stains the linen. During sleep, by day as well as night. Entirely absent. Ascending from feet to head
Constant heat, with little thirst, or frequent paroxysms of flushes of heat, with anguish and palpitation of the heart, or constant shuddering, especially in the evening, with red cheeks; withering dry skin,; emaciation, debility with listlessness; loss of appetite; paroxysms of anguish, in the evening; dry and short cough; great desire to be magnetized; great prostration after talking; sweat breaking out easily; great apprehensions about one’s health; slow, weak digestion, night sweats, etc.
Fever accompanied by dry cough with pain all over the body. Wants to lie quit, does not want to talk to anybody. Thirst for large quantities of water at long intervals.
Chill between 9 and 11 a.m heat; violent thirst, increases with fever. Fever blisters. Coldness of the body, and continued chillness very marked. Hydremia in chronic malarial state with weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, etc. sweats on exertion.
chilliness, even in warm room, without thirst. Chilly with pains, in spots, worse evening; Chill about 4 p.m. intolerable burning heat at night, with distended veins; heat in parts of body; coldness in other. One sided sweat; pains during sweat. External heat is intolerable; veins are distended, during apyrexia, headache, diarrhea. Loss of appetite, nausea.
Rhus tox – chill stage: Chill starts in one leg, usually thigh, between the shoulders or over one scapula. Scapula. Chill starts at around 7 P.M. patient shivers with great chilliness and feels as though dashed with ice water. Least movement like eating and drinking aggravate his chill but he still moves about for movement eases his pain.
Heat stage: The blood that was so long running like ice water feels like boiling hot. Headache not attended by teasing cough. Urticaria breaks out instead of cough with violent itching and great thirst. Intense restlessness and the patient is continuously changes his position but finds rest nowhere.
Sweat: After the heat stage the patient breaks out in to profuse odourless perspiration. Urticaria passes off with advent of sweat.
Typhoid fever – Rhus Tox has characteristic broad and flabby tongue with imprint of teeth. It is covered with brownish tenacious mucus. At other times it is dry, cracked with red edges ad triangular red tip.
Scarlet fever: Patient becomes very restless and drowsy, fauces look dark red and oedematous. Cervical glands too are swollen. Swelling may even extend to the parotid glands. Glands of axilla are especially affected by Rhus Tox.
Wants to be held, because he shakes so. During fever pulse is slow, full, soft, compressible. Chilliness up and down back. Heat and sweat stages of fever, long and exhausting. Dumb-ague, with much muscular soreness, great prostration, and violent headache. Nervous chills. Bilious remittent fever. With stupor, dizziness, faintness; thirstless, prostrated. Chill, without thirst, along spine; wave like, extending upward from sacrum to occiput.
Fever with gastric symptoms; one important indication for the use of this remedy is that the patient feels chilly when uncovered and yet he does not allow to be covered.
Remittent type of fever with frequent flushes of heat throughout the body with much sweating and great thirst.
In all early stage of fever; face flushed; pulse soft; no indication of restlessness.
long lasting suppurative fevers; cheeks red; patient excessively nervous, not in proportion to his wasting strength, can scarely raise his head from pillow; diarrhea; night sweats. Suppuration of lungs; particularly in drunkards, with foeted breath; skin dry, flaccid, loss of appetite, with desire for dainties or bulimy in spite of weak digestion and flatulency after eating; sleeplessness or restless, unrefreshing sleep, with anxious dreams.
Apart from these homeopathy remedies, cold sponging with water at normal room temperature, loosing clothes and covers can help bring down fever. Due care should be taken to maintain hydration. Very high fever may need hospitalization.