What body temperature is a fever?

Ah, fever. One of those fun little things our bodies do to let us know that something isn’t quite right. But what exactly constitutes a fever? And why does it make us feel like we just got hit by a truck? Let’s dive in.

Starting with the Basics

First things first – what is body temperature, anyway? Simply put, it’s the temperature inside your body. Shocking stuff, I know. But seriously, your core body temperature actually fluctuates throughout the day and can be influenced by factors such as exercise and diet.

But what about when you’re sick and experiencing symptoms like chills or sweating? That’s where things start to get interesting.

All Hail The Hypothalamus

The hypothalamus is basically the queen bee of your brain (yes queen bee). Among many other important tasks, it regulates your body temperature based on signals from various sensors in your skin and organs.

When you’re healthy and not currently battling an infection or virus, this allows for fairly consistent regulation of your internal thermostat (think comfy house with central air).

However, once you do come down with something… well let’s just say that thermostat starts acting more like my ex-boyfriend trying to “fix” my computer without any actual knowledge of how computers work.

And thus begins the journey into true fever territory…

Defining A Fever: Technical Edition

A fever occurs when your hypothalamus detects some sort of pathogen or other harmful invader within CELLS, setting off a chain reaction within your immune system to defend against said invader( i.e.: taking an Advil & drinking all sorts of herbs), while also increasing the set point for acceptable internal temperatures(Example: If normal temp -98°F now its acceptable level may be 100-101F ) .

In simple terms.. that means NO one including your ex-boyfriend can fix this without seeking medical attention or medication. Sorry, but it’s true.

What Temperatures Qualify As A Fever?

Now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for (…I know you’re excited). The age-old question- what constitutes a fever from a temperature standpoint?

Well, technically speaking, a fever is defined as anything higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit WITH NO COLD SYMPTOMS (this doesn’t include cold or feeling chilled due to winters) . For our friends across the pond who use Celsius (hellooo thereee!), that’s any temperature greater than 38 degrees.

The Different Types of Fever

Just like bodies come in all shapes and sizes—fevers can also present themselves in various forms:

Low-grade / Sub-fetal Fevers

These are very common among humans; And other animals yes don’t roll your eyes!

They range between 99 to maybe just around 100°F and typically happen when one has an inflammation which needs dealt with.

Intermittent/ Remittent Fevers

Say huh? No worries let me elaborate!

Intermittent fevers peak & then decrease at regular intervals whereas remittent have no definite pattern about the peaks & troughs (they may not always reduce even after medication)

To Treat…Or Not To Treat?

Once you’ve confirmed that yep, you do actually have a legitimate fever (pls visit Doctor before confirming though) – should you rush off to take Tylenol immediately?

Not necessarily. In fact ,low grade/sub-fever temperatures might not require any intervention whatsoever if they show no symptoms further like headache etc.. But once those headaches start kicking in–that Midol ain’t far behind!!!

So When DO You Need Medication?

Good question Donny lemme tell ya!!

When symptoms such as headache, body ache etc start kicking in that are associated with your moderate-grade & high-grade fevers (also ones not reducing below a certain temperature after taking medication) , that’s usually when most people will turn to some combination of Tylenol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen to find relief.

The One Time You Really Should Put Those Meds Down

Despite what we may think in the moment—that our headaches/muscle pain/etc is the absolute worst thing ever and nothing could possible be more pressing—you really should avoid dosing up if you have Dengue fever [sorry…no funny business here 🙁 ]

Dengue itself requires medical attention as there are no specific treatment available; But to add on -Medication such as Aspirin can actually make Dengue sufferers MORE vulnerable to complications like internal bleeding . Scary stuff!

No matter how capable our bodies might seem at times—it pays off just admit it. If y’all feel low energy, hot/cold flashes alongwith a feeling like every muscle you own feels achy- it’s wise reach out for some help—be it from your Doc or Mom!!!

Stay Safe Peeps!

Aina-Sharde Kosteniuk

I’m sorry…I mean:

Peace Out!

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