Since I started writing this newsletter two years ago, I have occasionally made
it clear that fevers are actually a good thing. Part of the body's immune
response, a fever is simply the term used to describe the body raising its
temperature. The purpose is to fight viral and bacterial threats; the idea to
raise the temperature to a degree that those foreign invaders cannot thrive.
Weaken the invader by raising the temperature and then blast it with immune
cells. Pretty simple...most of the time very effective.
However, despite common knowledge that fevers are part of the body's natural
immune response, we've been trained - as a society - to think that fevers are
bad. If you have a fever, you need to get rid of it, right? Especially in
kids, right? Well, actually the answer is no for the above stated reason. If
you take something to lower your temperature, you are weakening the body's
natural defense and allowing whatever caused the raise in body temperature to
thrive. And you no longer have to take the 'ol cheero-quack-tor's word for it.
The University of Michigan medical center - in an attempt to better educate you
and put your mind at ease - has released an online fact sheet concerning the
myths of the fever. I have included the link below for you to reference.
Essentially, it denounces the idea that fevers are harmful - specifically in
kids. If the temperature goes beyond 108 - that's when you need to worry.
Fortunately, rarely (if ever) is anybody going to be exposed to the
environmental temperature necessary to cause the body temperature to raise that
As a physician, I operate under the assumption that if the body is
functioning properly, I'll pretty much trust that whatever it is doing - no
matter how I feel - is the right thing. So, if you are concerned about a fever,
go get an upper cervical evaluation to make sure that your body is functioning
properly. If it is not, then we'll do what needs to be done to correct that
problem. If the body is functioning properly, then let the fever stand - I
promise you've got one for a good reason.