At the time of writing this post the Corona virus has been doing it’s rounds around the world (literally!) Today I just want to talk about fevers and how they relate to viruses and bacteria.
Firstly, viruses and bacteria don’t like heat. Some bacteria can withstand more heat than others and their toxins are heat resistant. Heat is good for killing these tiny critters. It first halts their ability to multiply and will eventually kill them off. If heat is good, then why do we keep trying to bring down the fever???
Here’s what happens (in layman’s terms). When a virus or bacteria enters your body, your body immediately detects it and sends your immune system to go and sort it out. Your immune system knows exactly what to do, and if it is strong and well equipped with the nutrients it needs, then it will go to work immediately to kill the ‘intruder’ and evacuate its remains. So, it raises your body temperature in an attempt to halt the ‘intruder’s’ activities. It continues to raise the temperature until it kills the bugger! Then you will feel what we call the “fever breaking”, and the body’s temperature returns to normal. When the fever breaks then you know the job has been finished and well done!
BUT, what do we do (as the doctors have taught us all along)? “Bring down the fever as soon as possible!” they say. So, we dose our kids (and ourselves) with medication to bring down the fever. What that medication is actually doing is hijacking your immune system. This gives the ‘intruder’ more time to strengthen itself and multiply, putting our body on the proverbial ‘back foot’.
In my experience with fevers (with my children, my husband and myself) I have found that the fevers by themselves (fevers caused by bacterial or viral infections) were never the problem. There were always other factors present which were the actual cause. And the fever was actually part of the solution. When I allowed the fever to do it’s work, I found that the infection was dealt with much sooner and we could quickly get our lives back to normal. I have learnt not to fear fevers, but to work with them to get the best end result.
Sometimes people with fevers, especially young children (because they don’t understand what’s happening), have thrown themselves into convulsions and injured themselves. It’s knocking themselves around that causes the injury, not the fever.
So, what must we do? First, establish what the cause is. If it’s an infection of some sort, then sit it out. Allow your body to fight the germ and overcome it. In fact, that will strengthen the body’s immune system.
Obviously, when it comes to children, you have to be watching over them constantly until the fever breaks. Some people (like my husband) wrap themselves in blankets and duvets and go to sleep. They sweat it out. And the next day they are fine! Healed, delivered, set free, and feeling great!
Over the past 15 years I have only had a (food poisoning type) bacterial infection twice. It started with a migraine. Then I lost my appetite. Then I felt the fever coming, and I knew what it was. So I lay down on the cold tiles to cool myself off and put a cold, wet cloth on my forehead. But on my inside the fever was raging! Then my mouth started to water and I knew it was coming out. Then I threw up twice. After that the fever broke, and I felt exhausted (my body had just won a war!), so I lay down on the couch, fell asleep, and woke up about 2 hours later, feeling much better. Both times the whole event lasted no longer than about 5 hours. I know that if I had gone to a hospital or doctor and followed their usual protocol, I would have been sick for a few days. Those were bacteria, but a virus can sometimes take a bit longer due to the nature of viruses.
Talking about viruses … also in the last 15 years I have had 1 viral infection. I picked it up at a friend’s house one Saturday afternoon. While I was there my feet started to itch. I did not feel well. By the time I got home my feet were so swollen that I couldn’t walk. A rash started to appear from my feet to my calves. It moved all the way up my thighs. I felt very weak, to the point that I was feeling faint. By the symptoms and signs, I could tell that it was a virus. I was also feeling very feverish. My temperature was going up and down all the time. I took some herbal drops, drank water and went to bed. I spent the next day (Sunday) in bed as I couldn’t walk due to the swelling of my feet. On the Monday the swelling started going down, and by Tuesday I was back to normal 🙂 That episode lasted about 2 and a half days.
We need to understand what’s happening in our body so we can learn how to react correctly towards fevers.