Fever means that the body temperature is higher than it usually is. You may have a fever associated with a viral infection, such as a cold. The fever may also be due to an infection caused by bacteria.

You may also have a fever for other reasons, such as food poisoning. The fever usually comes with one or more other symptoms depending on what is causing it.

Symptoms of fever

The normal body temperature in adults varies from person to person but is usually between 36 and 37.8 degrees. Temperatures of 38 degrees and above count as fever.

When you get a fever you may feel weak and a little dizzy. You usually freeze when the temperature rises and sweat when the fever goes down again.

What can I do for myself?

In most cases, the fever goes away by itself without you having to seek care or get any treatment.

Rest before temp is taken

If you want to measure your temperature, you should do so after resting for at least 30 minutes, for example in the morning before going up. You can measure in the rectum, mouth, armpit, forehead or ear.

The most reliable way to measure temperature is to measure in the ear or rectum. The thermometer should be read after different lengths of time depending on where you are measuring. Follow the instructions for the fever thermometer you are using.

Rest and extra drink

It is important that you drink plenty as you lose a lot of fluid when you sweat. If you have no appetite, you do not have to force yourself into food.

The bedroom may be cool, but not cold. It is common for people to feel chills, chills, and freezes when the fever rises. Then you can put on extra clothes until you get warm and then undress again.

When you have a fever, you should be home from work or school to allow your body to rest and recover. You should avoid exercising physically but you do not need to lie to bed. It’s good to be up and moving a little bit.

You should never exercise or exercise when you have a fever. In severe colds with fever, in rare cases, the viral infection can spread to the heart muscle and lead to cardiac muscle inflammation, called myocarditis. If you exercise at the same time, the strain of the heart can cause disruption to the heart rhythm.

Prescription-free drugs

If you are feeling very ill, you can take antipyretic medicines, but it is important not to overdose them. There are various prescription drugs that you can try. Examples of such drugs are:

  • Paracetamol, which is found in Clevedon and Panodil, among others.
  • Ibuprofen, which is found, for example, in Iran and Ibumetin.
  • Acetylsalicylic acid, for example, found in Bamyl and Aspirin. Children and adolescents under 18 years of age should not use acetylsalicylic acid for fever without first talking to a doctor.

If you are over 75, have any cardiovascular disease or have previously had a stomach ulcer, you should use paracetamol instead of ibuprofen, acetylsalicylic acid or similar drugs, so-called cox inhibitors.

When should I seek care?

Most people who get a fever do not need to seek care because the problems usually go by themselves. It is how you feel that determines when to seek care.

You should always seek care directly at a health care center or emergency room at the following:

  • Heavy fever.
  • Fever and difficult to swallow or breathe.
  • Fever and gets stiff in the neck.
  • If it feels like you are losing consciousness.
  • When a child gets a fever for the first time. 
  • When the fever comes fast, it is high and you feel very bad.
  • When the fever continues to be high for four, five days without any obvious cause.
  • When the fever first goes down and then starts rising again, which may be because you have a bacterial infection that should be treated with antibiotics.
  • When you get a stomach ache associated with the fever.
  • If you have difficulty urinating or if it is burning when you are kissing while having a fever.

Examination and treatment of fever

If you have a fever and seek care, your doctor will evaluate what caused the fever. Then you either have to go through treatment or do further examinations. The doctor can also write a referral to a specialist clinic.

In order to find out what causes the fever, the doctor needs to know if you have any other symptoms of fever at the same time. The doctor also usually asks when the fever started, how high it has been and whether it has varied greatly with high fever peaks and chills.

You may undergo a more extensive general body examination if it is not clear what caused the fever.

Different treatments of fever

If you have a fever, you usually take medicines that relieve the symptoms. First and foremost, non-prescription fever-reducing drugs are used, which also alleviates pain. If you have a cold fever, nasal drops, nasal spray and sometimes cough suppressants can relieve the cold symptoms.

You can be treated with antibiotics if you have a bacterial infection such as throat flux,  pneumonia or urinary tract infection.

What is it?

Fever is part of the body’s defense

Fever is not a disease but a symptom that something is wrong in the body. Fever is not dangerous or harmful in itself but is part of the body’s natural defenses against, for example, foreign viruses and bacteria.

The fever usually lasts no more than a few days.

The temperature is controlled

The body temperature is regulated in the brain in an area called the hypothalamus, which acts as a thermostat. It keeps the temperature around 37 degrees because the body then works best. The brain’s thermostat receives information about the body temperature partly from the blood and partly from nerves that feel cold and heat in the skin and in the body’s interior.

Chills and sweats

When you get an infection, the white blood cells that are the body’s defense cells increase. These blood cells release substances that affect the body’s thermostat so that it is set to a higher temperature. Then you get a fever.

You shiver and freeze as the temperature rises. When it reaches the value that the thermostat is set to, the temperature rise stops and the freeze stops. When the fever goes down again you become sweaty because the body gets rid of excess heat.

The body temperature varies

The normal body temperature in adults varies from person to person but is usually between 36 and 37.8 degrees. In the evening the temperature is a little higher than in the morning. Children usually have higher temperatures than adults. Generally, it can be said that temperatures above about 38 degrees in adults are fever. The most important thing is not actually the temperature itself, but it is how you feel otherwise that determines if you are sick. Especially older people can have serious infections without reacting with increased body temperature.

You can get a higher body temperature without being sick, for example when you exercise. Women have slightly higher body temperature after ovulation until menstruation. Children who play lively can also have higher temperatures.

Fever rarely comes alone

Fever often comes with one or more other symptoms depending on what is causing the fever. For example, you may get sore throat, cough or headache. In some viral infections in children, fever may be the only symptom. Then the fever usually goes away after a couple, three days.

Fever diseases caused by viruses

Colds caused by viruses are very common and can cause fever with cough and sniff. Influenza is also common, especially in winter, and then you usually get a high fever, pain in the body and cough. Children often have a fever and rash, for example in the case of three-day fever. Glandular fever is a prolonged viral disease that, in addition to causing a fever, often causes sore throat, swollen glands, and stomach pain. It is common for people to get tired for quite a long time after glandular fever.

Fever diseases caused by bacteria

Urinary tract infections are most often caused by bacteria and cause it to sting when peeing. Sometimes you can also get a fever. You can get bacterial infections in the skin which, in addition to fever, also causes the area that is infected to become hot, red and hurt.

Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria and often causes both fever and cough. Sinusitis and ear inflammation are complications that can occur after a cold. In addition to fever, sexual diseases and appendicitis can also cause stomach upset.

Other causes of fever

In addition to bacteria and viruses, there are other causes of fever. In addition to joint problems, inflammatory diseases such as rheumatism can cause fever, especially if you are older. You can also get a fever from some food poisoning. Some drugs can also sometimes cause a fever.

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