Fever is also known as pyrexia or hyperthermia. It is an increase in the body’s temperature beyond the normal range. This isn’t an illness; it is usually a short-term symptom of an underlying health condition and can affect people of all ages.
The average body temperature is around 98.6°F (37°C), depending on your environment and the time; it tends to be low in the morning and higher in the afternoon and evening. But when the temperature rises too high, it will become a problem.
Fever occurs when the hypothalamus in the brain shifts from the set point of the body’s temperature. This usually results in chills, and you may start shivering and feel the need to add more layers of clothing to generate body heat. Eventually, your body’s temperature will become higher.
The body’s temperature can also be high due to exercise and menstrual cycle, and a person can get a fever when their immune system is activated to fight an infection. So, numerous things can trigger high temperatures, including:
- Food poisoning.
- Immunisations such as tetanus or diphtheria.
- Infections, including the flu and pneumonia.
- Blood clots.
- Teething (in infants).
- Some medications, including antibiotics.
- Some inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Crohn’s disease
- Extreme sunburn.
Symptoms of Fever
The symptoms of fever depend on its cause, but the first noticeable signs are chills and shivering; some additional symptoms may include:
- General weakness.
- Muscle aches.
- Loss of appetite.
Fever is a symptom of an illness, so when the underlying condition is treated or attended to, the fever will subside. However, taking the following steps towards returning the body’s temperature to normal can be helpful until the underlying condition is well taken care of.