Fever: When dangerous?

Contrary to popular belief, fever is not a disease, but indicates that something is wrong in the body. Fever starts at a body temperature of 38 degrees Celsius (measured rectally), from 39 degrees Celsius it is a high fever. If the fever rises above 40 degrees Celsius or lasts longer, you need to call a doctor.

How does it get to fever?

In an infection with bacteria, viruses or fungi, the pathogens can act as so-called pyrogens. These are fever-producing messengers that already have a small effect on the temperature center in the brain. By the pyrogens, which the body can also make itself, the normal value of the body temperature is increased and set to a higher temperature. We start to feel cold and sometimes even shivering. The fever is often accompanied by headaches and unpleasant body aches.

The increase in temperature is the cause of many bacteria and viruses. Fever helps to fight these pathogens in the organism and is therefore a sensible reaction of our body to cope with infections and to initiate defense and healing processes in the body. Therefore: do not immediately resort to antipyretic drugs.

Infectious diseases as a cause

The most common causes are different infectious diseases like

  • Cold flu
  • bladder infections
  • Stomach and intestinal infections
  • rheumatism
  • Infectious diseases in childhood, for example mumps or measles

Tips for fever: appropriate measures

  • Protect yourself and do no physically strenuous work. For moderate to high fever, you should follow strict bed rest.
  • Drink a lot, at least 2 liters a day. The body's defense is now doing hard labor and therefore requires more fluid than usual.
  • The humidity in the room should be over 70%. Put on a humidifier or hang wet cloths over the heater.
  • Calf rolls help to lower the fever at higher temperatures. Wrap cool towels for about 20 minutes around the lower legs.
  • Cold baths are good for sweating the fever out of the body. A subsequent bed rest is essential after the bath. However, caution is advised if you have cardiovascular problems.
  • Elderflower or linden flower tea are also suitable for a sweat cure.
  • Analgesics and antipyretic drugs help against the annoying body aches and the fever. However, they should only be used with fever from 38.5 degrees Celsius, except for children or elderly, weakened people.
  • Plant immune stimulants, vitamin supplements and minerals can help to shorten or weaken the course of the disease.
  • Your medicine chest should always include a clinical thermometer. Accurate temperature measurement is very important for proper action to be taken. Suitable for children are digital thermometers or an ear thermometer. They have the advantage that the measurement takes place in a very short time.

Fever: When dangerous?

36.3 - 37.4 ° Cnormal temperature
37.5 - 38.0 ° CElevated temperature: harmless, can also be a result of physical work.
38.1 - 38.5 ° CEasy fever: Promotes the defense, usually does not have to be lowered.
38.6 - 39.0 ° CModerate fever: May be stressful for the chronically ill.
39.1 - 39.9 ° CHigh fever: In the long term loading, should be lowered. Inform the doctor!
40.0 - 42.5 ° CVery high fever: Call the doctor!
> 42.6 ° CAcute danger to life: The proteins in the body begin to clot, nerve cells are damaged by the heat.
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