It’s a shame that this time of the year – a time full of joy, presents, friends, family and winter celebrations – is also plagued by coughs, colds, flus and fevers. Between upcoming office holiday parties and New Year’s Eve, there’s perhaps no worse time of the year to be under-the-weather than now. While colds, coughs and flus are all easy to diagnose, the fever stands alone in its enigma, as it could really be any number of different sicknesses.
If you’re experiencing a fever, you’re actually not suffering from an illness called a “fever”, you’ve instead likely contracted an infection in which a fever is just one of its many symptoms. Regardless, people still perceive fevers as their own individual illness, as people have made their own definitions to it and applied their own parameters as to what qualifies as a fever. Most medical experts generally define fevers as a symptom in which patients experience abnormally high body temperatures that are sustained over an increased period of time.
While the reason a person’s experiencing a fever is contingent on what specific virus or infection they’re suffering from, we at least know their body’s heightened temperature is explained by a response in their hypothalamus, which is located in the central region of the brain just above the brainstem. Along with the regulation of body temperature, the hypothalamus also controls other essential functions including hunger, thirst and circadian rhythm. These are all part of the automatic nervous system’s list of primary functions. The automatic nervous system essentially regulates the body’s vital organs, meaning a response in the hypothalamus is the result of something critical in one of the body’s organs. A fever could therefore indicate – and in most cases does – an infection in one of the body’s organs. This is why it is extremely important for you to visit a physician if you’re experiencing a fever.
Don’t fret over temperatures under 100°. In fact, the body can exceed 100° throughout the course of the day through everyday activities. However, if your temperature consistently remains over 100° throughout the course of several days, it is highly recommended that you seek a physician’s advice. For infants under 2 years of age, fevers above 100° should always warrant a trip to the Emergency Room. This is because infants at that age have not developed an immune system capable of fighting off many infections.
Fevers should be taken seriously because it means something is wrong with the body and it’s difficult to tell what it is. Our physicians over here at AFC Doctors Express Urgent Care Southcenter have extensive experience working in urgent care and over the years, have developed a keen eye for diagnosing different conditions. After they diagnose what it is that is causing the fever, our team can then figure out the best method in treating it. This may involve recommending anything from simple home remedies to prescribing medication, which our physicians can administer.
To rid yourself of whatever’s causing your fever, visit us any day of the week! For more information, call us now at 425.291.3300 !