A few weeks I was called by the daycare to pick up my 22 month old son, he was sick. When I got there they told me he had a fever cramp, which is a seizure brought on by a high fever.
Pretty scary stuff for a parent. We took him to the emergency room for an evaluation and everything was fine and was told to take him home and rest.
When his fever was not going down, it was around 40-41 C, we called the doctor.
And the Dr. essentially says "the fever is no big deal."
Fever is no big deal? How can I go through life up to this point with always trying to fight a fever?
"It's important to realize that fever is your body's backup defense mechanism when your primary ones – mainly your immune system -- fail. Your first line of defense is your macrophages, which gobble up any invading microbes." (source)
What the Dr. said is important are the vital signs of the child. Is the child breathing normally, alert, has life, eating, drinking ... the basic stuff. Of course they will be resting more because they are sick but they should still be responsive and my son was. If these things are not happening then the Dr. said to bring the child in irregardless of the fever.
It makes me think that this is another case of the pharmaceutical industry blinding us with bad information. Maybe we don't need to reach for the meds at first sign of a fever? Just let it run its course.
Below is from a ND.
The two functions of a fever are:1. To stimulate your immune system.2. To create an inhospitable environment for invading organisms. That is, to turn up the heat high enough that the invading microbes cannot live.
It would be far more helpful to think of a fever as a healing response rather than a symptom of disease. And, raising your body's temperature to between 102 to 103 degrees F is actually the ideal range of a fever because this is the temperature range in which microbes will be killed.
In addition to directly killing the microbes through heat, fever has a number of other benefits, including:
- Creating more antibodies -- cells trained to specifically attack the exact type of invader that your body is presently suffering from -- produced more specific to that bug than any pharmaceutical.
- Producing more white blood cells to fight off the invading microbes.
- Producing more interferon (which blocks spread of viruses to healthy cells).
- Walling off of iron, which bacteria feed on.
Please do not take this as medical advise, I am not a licenced medical doctor but it is something that I believe is misunderstood by many.
So, maybe next time you or your child has a fever, reaching for the meds may not be the best thing or certainly not the first thing to reach for.
Michael Reid, B.HE. CSCS, RKC