Causes and symptoms of fever
What is a fever?
Fever is a rise in body temperature above 37 ° C Celsius. Most often, fever becomes one of the symptoms of infectious diseases of various origins and is accompanied by hyperemia of the skin, headache, thirst, confusion.
In most cases, the body temperature rises during the course of an infectious process in the body caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites. Also, the cause of fever can be trauma, heatstroke, dehydration, relapses of certain chronic diseases.
An increase in temperature may be associated with intoxication of the body against the background of thyrotoxicosis or with an exacerbation of certain chronic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease. Fever symptoms can accompany myocardial infarction, acute abdominal diseases, and some types of cancer such as lymphoma.
The febrile condition is accompanied by hyperemia (overflow with blood) of the skin, headache, aching in the bones, euphoria. In addition, the patient is disturbed by tremors, chills, increased sweating, thirst. The patient's breathing becomes frequent, his appetite disappears, confusion may occur, and delirium may begin. In pediatric practice, children have increased irritability, crying, and problems with feeding.
In the event of an exacerbation of chronic diseases, symptoms related to the features of the course of recurrent pathology may be added to the above manifestations of fever. It is necessary to call a doctor at home if the child's body temperature rises above 37.5 ° C Celsius for the first three months of life, or if the fever persists for two days.
Fever can be accompanied by seizures, which also requires immediate consultation with a specialist. In addition, medical attention is needed if the body temperature rises, which proceeds with a stiff neck, abdominal pain and skin rash, especially if it is dark red or takes the form of large blisters.
An adult needs medical help if the fever is accompanied by swelling, pain in the joints, and skin rashes. Also, examination by a specialist with an increase in temperature is necessary for pregnant women and patients who are tormented by a cough with yellowish or greenish sputum, acute headache, pain in the ears, in the throat or in the abdomen, dry mouth, vomiting, pain during urination. A doctor's visit is also necessary for patients with confusion, rash, increased irritability.
Treatment of fever at home is primarily aimed at replenishing the water-salt balance, maintaining the vitality of the body, and controlling body temperature. The patient needs bed rest and light food, he should drink more fluids, do not dress warmly, do not take a bath and measure the body temperature 4-6 times a day. If the temperature rises above 38 ° C Celsius, the patient is prescribed antipyretic drugs.
To normalize body temperature, as a rule, paracetamol is used in age-related dosages, ibuprofen or nimesulide.
It is not recommended (prohibited in children's practice) to use aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), as it can cause the development of hepatocerebral syndrome.
As part of the medical examination, the reason for the increase in the patient's body temperature is determined and appropriate treatment is prescribed. In some cases, the patient may need hospitalization or additional examination on an outpatient basis.
Article author: Mochalov Pavel Alexandrovich | d. m. n. therapist
Education: Moscow Medical Institute. IM Sechenov, specialty - "General Medicine" in 1991, in 1993 "Occupational Diseases", in 1996 "Therapy".