Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Does Fever Have a Purpose? an Interview with Christopher Vasey, N.D

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Does Fever Have a Purpose? an Interview with Christopher Vasey, N.D

Article excerpt


Q.: What is a fever?

A.: A fever occurs when the body is fighting against an infection. The fever is the effect of the fight between the human immune system and the foreign assailant. When the body fights an infection, it must work harder, and circulation of blood is extremely important. The heart working harder is the cause of the increased bodily temperature. It's the same thing as when we play sports; our muscles are working harder and blood is pumping harder. During a fever, the blood is being circulated through the area of infection in an effort to neutralize the threat posed to the body.

Q.: What is a normal body temperature for a human being?

A.: 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (98[degrees]F.). That is the temperature of a body at a healthy working state. With exercise and fever, the body's temperature can rise from anywhere between 0.01 degrees and 6 degrees above 98[degrees]F. There are differing levels of above-average body temperature, ranging from a mild to a severe fever.

Q.: How does a fever differ from a cold?

A.: A cold is a localized infection, and the body responds to it differently than with a fever. In a cold, the infection is in only a part of the body. With a fever, the infection is fought throughout the entire body.

Q.: What is homeothermia?

A.: Homeothermia is the body's range of temperature at which it can comfortably operate. In nature, many animals are affected by homeothermia more than humans are, like reptiles and small mammals. Body temperature in creatures who survive by homeothermia is greatly affected by exposure to the sun.

Q.: What are the benefits of fever to the body?

A.: Fever stimulates the immune system, which in turn creates more infection-fighting agents in the body. Fever stimulates the immune system in such a way that effectiveness, as well as the number of antibodies created, is stronger in order to fight the source of infection. Also, when our temperature is raised, it can kill microbes in the body that cannot survive the heat. Fever also increases circulation in the body. White blood cells and infection-fighting agents are transported throughout the body at a faster rate. Fever also cleanses the body of non-fever-related toxins as part of the healing process.

Q.: What are the dangers of a fever?

A.: The danger has to do with the state of the body during a fever. The body is working a lot harder to fight the infection and is left open to new infections and ailments during this time. When one has a fever for too long a time, the increased heat levels can destroy crucial protein chains and cells in the body that cannot deal with the elevated temperature.

Q.: Can our body temperature go above normal without a fever?

A.: Yes, during exercise, or when the body is exposed to an external heat source, body temperature rises. Other than those instances, there is no way for a person's body temperature to increase on its own. Dehydration also contributes to rising body temperature levels.

Q.: Is it possible to control a fever?

A.: It is possible to control a fever. A fever is the body's natural reaction to infection. Interrupting the natural healing process may result in complications within the body and with the immune system. When a fever is high for too long, it is possible to bring the temperature back down with a technique known as hydro-therapy.

Q.: What is hydrotherapy?

A.: Hydrotherapy is an age-old European process of applying cold or warm water to specific areas of the body in an effort to reduce or raise body temperature. …

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