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  • Youre sweaty, get chills, and generally feel terrible. You, my friend, have a fever.

  • But, before you reach for the medicine cabinet, you may want to reconsider breaking it.

  • Hey there, Kaylee here with DNews. Throughout the day, your body temperature can

  • vary depending on the time, your level of activity, and age, although it averages to about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit,

  • or 37 degrees Celsius. Fun fact: at night, your core body temperature drops slightly,

  • allowing you to fall asleep. But a temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, or 38 degrees Celsius,

  • usually means that you have a fever caused by infections or an illness.

  • Fever, also known as pyrexia, is an important part of the immune system’s response to an invading bacterium or virus.

  • The immune system produces pyrogens, which travel through the blood to the brain,

  • finally reaching the hypothalamus, the body’s thermostat.

  • This then raises the body’s temperature above the normal range, and, lo and behold,

  • you are lying in bed, covered in blankets, fondly remembering the times when you felt normal.

  • If youre really uncomfortable, you might decide to take an antipyretic, or fever-reducing medication.

  • This will inhibit the enzyme cyclooxygenase and reduce the level of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus.

  • In plain English, the medicine overrides the signals that tell your hypothalamus

  • to elevate your body temperature and will reduce it instead.

  • But having a fever is actually a good sign! It means that our bodies are beginning to fight off the infection.

  • Previously, scientists believed that the elevated temperature might

  • inhibit the growth of some viruses or bacteria and potentially even kill them.

  • However, a study published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology found that

  • a fever also helps certain types of immune cells to do their job better.

  • In the study, researchers injected mice with an antigen and then monitored the activation of a type of lymphocyte

  • called CD8+ cytotoxic T cells, which are capable of killing cells infected with viruses and even cancer cells.

  • Half of the mice’s body temperatures were raised 2 degrees Celsius

  • while the other half was left alone. The results showed that the

  • mice whose temperature was raised had more of the CD8+ T cells than the control mice.

  • This suggests that elevated body temperature may enhance the function of the immune system,

  • meaning that we can get better faster. If left untreated, a fever will normally only

  • last two or three days, but the duration can vary. So, as uncomfortable as it is,

  • you may be better off not taking any medicine to reduce it.

  • HOWEVER, it is important to note that this is only recommended for mild fevers.

  • If your body temperature is over 108 degrees Fahrenheit, you may be in trouble. If it becomes too high,

  • youll definitely want to go see a doctor. Fevers from infections rarely get this high,

  • and are instead usually caused by heat strokes.

  • See, when your body temperature gets high, you sweat to cool down.

  • As a consequence, your body loses water and salt, which are essential for normal functioning.

  • And if youve already lost a lot of water and become dehydrated, you may not be able to sweat fast enough to dissipate the heat,

  • causing your body temperature to rise even further.

  • You know how your parents always tell you to stay hydrated when you are sick? Yeah, that’s why.

  • At such a high temperature, proteins and cell membranes, especially in the brain,

  • can be destroyed or malfunction. Heart muscle cells and blood vessels can break down,

  • damage can occur to internal organs, and, in the worst case, a fever can cause death.

  • While a fever may help you get over your infection faster, the brain and body can only handle so much.

  • What’s the worst fever that youve ever had? And what do you normally do to get over it?

  • Let us know in the comments and if you want to know more about temperature’s effect on sleep,

  • head over to my personal channel, Explorium, to find out if sleeping naked is better for you.

  • See, when you go to bed at night, your core body temperature decreases by about half a degree Celsius.

  • Now, that might not seem like a big change, but it's thought that some insomniacs may have a hard time getting to bed

  • because they have impaired thermoregulatory systems, making it harder to lose that extra heat. If youre on mobile, it will be the first link in the description.

  • Thanks for watching DNews and subscribe for more!

Youre sweaty, get chills, and generally feel terrible. You, my friend, have a fever.

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Why You Shouldn’t Fight A Fever

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    Pedroli Li posted on 2016/06/18
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