Why You Should Welcome the Fever When You’re Ill
Nowadays the pharmaceutical industry wants to sell us the idea that we need a lot of medication to get over our illnesses because our human bodies are flawed. Due to decades of media advertisement bombardment and modern life, we have forgotten much of the wisdom that has traveled through our past generations. I still recall my Great grandparents and grandparents not really being bothered when one of us had a fever. On the contrary, they would exclaim: “Good, it means your body is reacting. Go and lie down.” In today’s world, we are told to pop a pill and carry on working even though we are exhausted.
Every symptom is an alarm sign of the body, signalling that it is doing work, which needs to be observed and studied. One of these symptoms is particularly important and needs to be respected. Each symptom is a warning, a friend who informs us that something (wrong or not) is happening in our body and as such should be understood and considered.
Fever is a symptom that has great importance in the defense of the organism. It plays a central role in the immune response of the system and is a valuable signal in relation to the diagnosis and evolution of the patient.
Clinicians and researchers who have tried for generations to explain the protective action of fever during infectious processes today have received from immunology valuable support in their arguments. (See: Smith and Thier – Treaty of Pathophysiology).
When fever is happening, it indicates how and at what level our organic responses are working. It is known, for example, that patients with or predisposed to cancers rarely have a fever. Having a fever generally means that the immune system is active, and does not mean that the patient should go see a doctor unless of course it gets too high. Having a fever accurately reports on the vitality of the patient. Medical follow-up could become necessary, but without disturbing the organism.
A fever up to 37.5C (sub febrile) generally speaking, means that there are only a few humoral1 defenses that are not always sufficient to deal with more serious processes, requiring the organism to develop higher temperatures to complete its defense action. A fever up to 38.5C means that a more complete cellular response has started, that is, white blood cells called mast cells have begun to release chemicals that activate up to 20 times the body’s defense capacity.
A fever up to 39.5C / 40C means white blood cells called lymphocytes have come into action to further increase the body’s defense capacity, especially specific immune responses to certain infections and certain types of germs.
A fever above 40.5C means that the centre which regulates the temperature of the body is being affected by something that is directly acting on it, and these are usually serious infections in which anti-pyretics can be used to protect the body temperature regulator and also the whole organism. Contrary to what was previously believed in medicine, the body is perfectly adapted to withstand internal temperatures of up to 40.5C without suffering any damage. As the reader has realised by now, it is best to allow a fever to run its course and to rely on your own self-healing mechanisms to get you well, unless the fever is accompanied by symptoms below:
A stiff neck
A persistent cough that lasts more than a week
Unexplained heaviness or weakness in your legs or arms
Unexplained irritability, confusion, listlessness, and any other behavior that is out of character for fever sufferer (though here, it is known that many patient will become listless and sleepy when having a fever)
Even though many conditions will present the symptoms above mentioned, most cases turn out to be nothing serious.
This is why homeopathic philosophy, since its beginning over 200 years ago, has always respected the fever of their patients, knowing that when the fever arises the body itself is already taking care of its defense. In fact, many other alternative therapies do not interfere with a fever. Homeopaths have observed throughout the centuries that the more a fever is suppressed, the more chronic diseases arise in the body of the individual.
The best course of action is not to interfere with the fever, at the risk of interrupting this defense and weakening it. There is no need for baths or other maneuvers to lower body temperature like putting slices of tomatoes on the soles of the feet, cold compresses on the forehead and body. Really, the longer the patient remains in the feverish condition, the faster the infection will be killed off. Fever is like an oven that our body ignites to destroy the germs that are bothering us. Just make sure the patient is hydrated.
When prescribing homeopathic medicines during febrile processes, the homeopath does not aim to lower fever, but rather to help the body to complete its defense work more readily and to bypass the possible side effects that accompany it.
Many parents are thinking now: But what about feverish convulsion? Febrile seizures occur in predisposed children, ie, with a “small manufacturing defect” in a small site on the surface of the brain that is triggered when body temperature rises very rapidly, for example from 36.5C to 38.5C in a few minutes. If the child does not have this small “manufacturing defect” he will not develop a febrile seizure. Today the febrile seizure is considered to be benign. A symptom of this small “defect” can be easily bypassed by homoeopathic medicine that is similar to the psychophysical unit that is the human being.
Therefore, fever is not only a primordial manifestation of infectious diseases, but the molecular mechanisms involved in its origin have a very broad action in increasing the acute and specific nutritional immune responses necessary to restrict and eradicate the organisms responsible for the infection. (Smith and Thier, Pathophysiology).
So let’s all welcome the fever!
1 – relating to the body fluids, especially with regard to immune responses involving antibodies in body fluids as distinct from cells