A fever (also called Pyrexia) is a natural response by your body to fight off viruses and bacteria that cause infections. Harmful bacteria and viruses can thrive at the regular body temperature (98.6ºF), but a fever can greatly weaken the germs and severely limit their ability to reproduce. A fever also helps burn away toxins and stimulates the immune system. Since a fever is the body’s preferred method for healing itself, it should only be “cured” when the body becomes too weak to handle the infection, when the fever is too high for the body to handle, or when it makes you extremely uncomfortable. While you can easily handle most fevers at home, you should call 911 immediately if you also have severe dehydration with blue lips, tongue, or nails; severe headache; hallucinations or difficulty walking; difficulty breathing; or seizures.
Making Adjustments to Your Home Environment
- 1Drink lots of water. Aim to drink at least eight ounces of water every two hours. Your body can quickly lose moisture and get dehydrated by sweating or sneezing caused by illnesses, such as colds and flu, that are often associated with a fever. Dehydration can cause your temperature to rise and often leads to headaches, dizziness, muscle cramps, low blood pressure, and seizures.2 liters of water is the daily recommendation for the average adult. Caffeinated beverages in moderation are generally fine, but make sure they are not your only source of fluids. Get most of your daily fluids from pure water.Sports drinks are acceptable liquids for re-hydration, but use carefully. While these drinks do provide electrolytes, it is usually far more concentrated than necessary. Try diluting one part water to one part sports drink, or one glass of water for every glass of sports drink.Rehydration solution. You do not need any commercial drinks to help re-hydrate–make your own.For young children, consider a commercial electrolyte rehydration solution, such as Pedialyte, for young children, since these proportions have been specifically designed for children’s bodies.To rehydrate children, offer at least 1 ounce per hour for infants, 2 ounces per hour for toddlers, and 3 ounces per hour for older children.
- 2Wear comfortable clothing. Wear loose, comfortable clothes when you have a fever to help your body relax and improve air circulation to help you stay cool. Remove excess clothing or blankets that can trap heat and make a fever last longer.Try one layer of lightweight clothing, and one lightweight blanket or sheet for sleep.Natural fibers, such as cotton, bamboo, or silk, often breathe better than manmade fibers like acrylic or polyester.
- 3Lower the room temperature. High temperatures can make a fever last longer and cause excessive sweating that can lead to dehydration. The room temperature should ideally be 73–77℉. If the room is hot or stuffy, a fan may help.
- 4Get plenty of rest. Getting enough rest helps your body heal faster by strengthening the immune system. Avoid moving around too much. Take some time off work to get even more sleep than you usually do if possible.Studies show that sleep deprivation can weaken the immune system, increase the production of stress hormones, put you at higher risk for chronic disease, and lower life expectancy.For more information on how to create a better sleep schedule, check out How to Sleep Better.
- 5Take a fever-reducing medication. If the fever is very high or causing you serious discomfort, you can take a fever-reducing medication. Several medicines target fevers: acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin, for instance. Take these over-the-counter medications as the label suggests to help bring down your fever.Check the dosing carefully. Take the smallest dose possible to relieve your fever.Children under 18 should not take aspirin unless specifically recommended by a doctor. It is associated with the development of Reye’s syndrome, a disease that causes the brain and liver to swell.
- 6Take a warm shower. A warm shower or bath that lasts for 5-10 minutes can help stimulate sweat that keeps your body cool, soothe sore muscles, and decongest sinuses that may be blocked due to a cold. Make sure the water is not too hot to avoid increasing your core temperature, which may cause the fever to last longer.Keeping your body clean can also help reduce the risk of further viral or bacterial infections.
- 7Sponge down. If bathing facilities are not available, or does not sound appealing, use a moist towel instead. Soak small towels in lukewarm water and dab them on your forehead or under your arms. This stimulates sweat that helps keep your body cool, improves blood circulation and can reduce nasal congestion caused by a cold or flu.Using cold water, an ice pack, or taking a cold shower can induce shivers, which can increase the core body temperature, making the fever last longer.Do not apply warm towels to an injury or inflamed skin, as it can cause bleeding and further inflammation.
- 8Keep your nose clear. If your fever is caused by a cold or flu, it’s important to keep your nose clear to breathe comfortably. Difficult breathing can increase your fever. Do not blow your nose too hard, as the pressure can give you an earache on top of the cold. Be sure to blow gently and only as often as necessary.Experts recommend that you blow by holding a finger over one nostril and gently blowing the other into a tissue. If your child or infant has a cold, help them blow their nose correctly.Wash your hands each time you blow your nose to avoid chances of other infections by bacteria or viruses.
- 9Stay indoors. Unless you’re already outdoors when your fever comes on, it is best to curl up and rest indoors where the air is dry and the temperature won’t change much. If you must be outdoors while suffering from your fever, stay in the shade and limit activity.
- 10Avoid smoking. In addition to the risks of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases, smoking also suppresses the body’s immune system. Smoking thus requires the body to fight harder against viruses and bacteria, which increases body temperature. It is best to avoid exposure to cigarette smoke, nicotine, and other tobacco products until your fever has reduced.Children (especially infants) should not be exposed to secondhand smoke, especially while they have a fever.
- 11Reduce caffeine intake. Too much caffeine can be bad for you when you have a fever. Caffeine overdose can cause fevers, headaches, insomnia, diarrhea, irritability, and dizziness. Caffeine also stimulates water excretion and excessive intake can lead to dehydration. When you have a fever, try to avoid caffeine or lower your intake to 100 mg.1 cup of brewed coffee contains 133 mg of caffeine, and 1 cup of black tea contains 53 mg of caffeine. Avoid sugary soda as well as energy and sports drinks as these can cause nausea and vomiting during a fever.Severe cases of caffeine overdose can cause nausea, vomiting, chest pain, hallucinations, difficulty breathing, and convulsions.Do not use caffeine supplements until you recover from the fever.Children and infants should generally avoid taking caffeine.
- 12Avoid alcohol. You should abstain from drinking alcohol, whether it is beer, wine, or another drink when you have a fever, regardless of severity. Alcohol weakens the immune system, making it harder for your body to recover quickly.
- 13Do not use rubbing alcohol. Applying rubbing alcohol on your skin makes your skin feel cooler. However, it is a very temporary sensation. This cooling effect does not help when you have a fever as it can cause shivering, which raises your core body temperature.In addition, the skin can soak up alcohol. For small children (and infants in particular), this approach can increase the risk of alcohol poisoning.
- 14Visit your doctor. Though you can treat many fevers at home, there are specific situations in which you should leave the care to the professionals.If you have a fever between 103-105℉ that doesn’t come down with an over-the-counter medication (such as ibuprofen and aspirin) or a fever of any temperature that lasts over seventy-two hours, then you should see your doctor immediately. Other reasons to see a doctor immediately when you have a fever include: Children under 3 months with any feverChildren under 2 with a high fever, or a fever that lasts more than 48 hoursYou’ve recently traveled, had a surgery or vaccine, or come into contact with known allergens or hazardous substancesYou have a disease such as diabetes, anemia, cystic fibrosis, or any heart or lung diseasesYou experience mild-to-moderate fevers frequentlyA new rash or bruises appear on your skin without any known causesYou experience painful urination
- 15Differentiate between a fever and other activities that raise body temperature. Physical activity, mood swings, hormonal changes, irregular or heavy eating, tight or heavy clothing, medications, and exposure to high temperatures can also increase your body temperature. If you suspect you have heat stroke, you should call 911 and seek medical care immediately, as it can lead to seizures and heart attack.A raised temperature can occur with heat stroke, but this condition must be treated differently. If you think heat stroke might be the actual problem, then you can find more information at: How to Treat Heatstroke
- 16Determine if your child should see his or her pediatrician. You may want to talk to your doctor for children with lower fevers than you would for an adult. Always consult a pediatrician before giving a child a medication for a fever. You should additionally seek medical care for your child if the child: Is younger than 3 months old and has a rectal temperature of 100.4 °F (38 °C) or higherIs 3-12 months old and has a fever of 102.2 °F (39 °C) or higherIs under age 2 and has a fever that lasts longer than 48 hoursIs not alert, cannot be awakened easily, has had fevers come and go for up to a week or more (even if they are not very high or if fever symptoms come back after they had gone away)Does not make tears when crying or cannot be calmed down when cryingDoes not have wet diapers or has not urinated in the past 8 hoursHas other symptoms that suggest an illness may need to be treated, such as a sore throat, earache, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, or a cough.
Making Changes to Your Diet
- 1Avoid inflammatory foods. A fever is a form of inflammation your body uses to protect itself against harmful substances. Foods that increase inflammation can cause your fever to worsen or last longer. They can also cause indigestion and bloating, making you even more uncomfortable. Try to avoid these foods as much as possible, especially when you have a fever: Refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pastries, and donutsFried foodsSugar-sweetened beverages such as soda or energy drinksRed meat such as veal, ham, or steak and processed meats such as hot dogsMargarine, shortening, and lard
- 2Eat anti-inflammatory foods. While some foods can cause inflammation, others can help reduce it. However, if you experience nausea, indigestion, or vomiting after eating something, you should try to avoid it until your fever decreases. Lighter, non-acidic foods such as salads with light dressing, nuts, and whole grains are more easily absorbed by the body when you have a fever. Foods that help reduce inflammation include: Fruits such as strawberries, cherries, and orangesNuts like almonds and walnutsGreen leafy vegetables such as spinach or kale, which are high in antioxidantsFatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardinesWhole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, oatmeal, and flax seedOlive or canola oil
- 3Take vitamin C. Vitamin C is an important natural antioxidant that helps promote immune function, manage blood sugar, stimulate cell growth and repair, and lowers risk of various chronic diseases. Although vitamin C deficiency is rare, it can greatly affect the immune system. Making sure you get enough Vitamin C when you have a fever can help your body recover faster. Vitamin C can be taken as a dietary supplement with a recommended dose of 500 mg split into two or three times daily. Since smoking depletes vitamin C, smokers may need an additional 35 mg per day. You can also add vitamin C-rich foods to your daily diet. Good natural sources of vitamin C include: Sweet red or green peppersCitrus fruit such as oranges, pomelo, grapefruit, limes, or non-concentrated citrus juicesSpinach, broccoli, and brussel sproutsStrawberries and raspberriesTomatoesMango, papaya, and cantaloupe
- 4Take magnesium. Magnesium is a necessary nutrient for many body functions, such as energy production. It also reduces anxiety, stress, chronic fatigue, chest pain, and helps maintain healthy blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. Magnesium deficiency can weaken the immune system and cause a number of health problems.Natural food sources of magnesium include salmon, mackerel, halibut, tuna, dark chocolate, dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, brown rice, lentils, soybeans, black beans, chickpeas, avocado, and bananas.Calcium can inhibit the absorption of magnesium supplements, so it is better to use more readily absorbed forms such as magnesium bicarbonate and magnesium oxide. 100mg of magnesium supplements is recommended to be taken 2–3 times daily. Adults should get at least 280–350 mg of magnesium daily.Excessive intake of magnesium can have adverse effects and reduce calcium absorption, so it is important not to overdose. Ask your doctor what dosage will be right for your individual needs.
- 5Try homemade soup. Drinking warm fluids such as soup can help reduce the internal temperature of the body, promote hydration, and stimulate sweating that helps keep your body cool to alleviate fever. The broth for the soup should be light and should contain no flour or grains.Place 1 lb. of sliced potatoes, ½ lb. of chopped carrots, ¼ lb. of chopped leeks, and other leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, or red cabbage in 2 liters of water.Cook for one hour on medium heat, then strain the soup into a mug or soup bowl. Salt should only be added for individuals with low blood pressure.
- 6Give a child a bland, healthy diet. A bland diet includes foods that are soft, not very spicy, and low in fiber to be digested easily. Some good choices for foods are: Breads, crackers, and pastas made with refined white flourRefined hot cereals, such as oatmeal or cream of wheatJuices are okay in moderation, but do not give your child too much fruit juice, as many fruits contain citric acid, which can cause stomach acid reflux and lead to vomiting. Dilute these drinks by making them one half water, one half juice. If you are making homemade juice, make sure the fruits or vegetables used are ripe. Make sure the juice is 100% juice with no added sugar. Do not give juice to a child who is vomiting.For children who are accustomed to drinking it regularly, milk is a good choice if they are not vomiting.Infants should only be given nutritious beverages, breastmilk, and commercial rehydration solutions like Pedialyte until the fever comes down. Solid foods may put too much strain on the infant’s digestive system.
Using Herbal Remedies
- 1Drink herbal tea. Herbal teas contain many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help promote relaxation, calm indigestion and gastric reflux, and reduce congestion associated with fever. Some teas can take up to 2–3 hours to take effect. Herbal teas that help reduce symptoms accompanied by fever are:Chamomile tea can help reduce symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, inflammation, heartburn, chest colds, and sore throat. To make chamomile tea, steep 2-3 grams of dried chamomile flower in 1 cup of warm water for 5 minutes, then strain and drink. Ask your doctor before giving chamomile tea to a child.Peppermint tea can help reduce congestion associated with a cold or flu and have a cooling effect on the body due to its active ingredient menthol. To make chamomile tea, steep ¼ teaspoon of peppermint leaves in 1 cup of warm water for 3–5 minutes, then strain and drink without any sweetener. This can be taken 1–2 times per day for reducing symptoms of a mild fever. Peppermint may cause nausea when taken during a moderate to severe fever (103-105ºF), and should not be given to children or infants.
- 2Drink rice water. When a fever is accompanied by severe diarrhea or indigestion, it is a good idea to reduce it with the help of rice water. You can prepare rice water by boiling 2 ½ tablespoons of rice in 1 liter of water for half an hour. Then strain and drinking the liquid.You can give rice water to children over 2 years of age who have a fever as well.
- 3Use cayenne pepper. If you like spicy meals, add a ½ chopped cayenne pepper or 1-2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper powder, especially to a soup broth. Cayenne peppers contain capsaicin, which has antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties to promote healing It will also stimulate sweating to keep your body cool.People who are allergic to latex, bananas, kiwi, chestnuts, and avocado may also have an allergy to cayenne.People with gastric reflux or low blood sugar (or people taking blood-thinning medications) should not take capsaicin.Children who are ill often prefer and tolerate bland foods better, so skip this step for children and infants.
- 4Use ginger. Ginger can help reduce symptoms of anxiety, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, and digestive problems that can accompany a fever, making the condition more manageable. Ginger extract is also available in dietary capsules or as oil at most nutrition food stores. Ginger can be a strong herb; therefore, the recommended daily intake is 4 grams, including dietary sources. Some precautions to remember are:Pregnant women should not take more than 1 gram of ginger per day.Ginger should not be given to infants or children under 2 years. Ask your doctor to help you find the right dose for your http://child.Do not take ginger if you have a bleeding disorder or if you are taking blood-thinning medications, including aspirin.
- 5Use lemon balm. Lemon balm contains antiviral, anti-inflammatory substances called tannins. Lemon balm can help reduce insomnia and anxiety, and it can promote digestion to help ease the fever. It is available as a dietary supplement, topical cream, tincture, and herbal tea at most nutrition and herbal medicine stores.The recommended dose for dietary supplements containing lemon balm extract is 300-500 mg, up to three times daily.to - This website is for sale! - daily Resources and Information. make lemon balm tea, steep ¼ teaspoon of dried lemon balm in 1 cup of water for 3-5 minutes. Strain and drink immediately without adding any sweetener.
- 6Use lemongrass oil. Studies show that lemongrass has many antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce fever. Lemongrass oil is used in aromatherapy to help reduce congestion caused by a cold or flu and to fight off infection.Make sure to dilute the oil by adding 5 drops of essential oil to 15 ml of carrier oil, then gently massage onto your forehead or the back of your neck for 3-5 minutes. Wipe the oil off using a moist, warm towel.Children or infants should not use lemongrass oil.
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