What’s the reason for and benefits of fever and body temperature rise?

Are there any advantages to a fever? This is a really important question, because many people who habitually take tablets to suppress fever are not aware of the advantages of this condition.

Ordinarily, when infectious viruses or bacteria enter the body, blood cells known as T-cells identify them as foreign invaders and alert a region of the brain known as the hypothalamus. One of the functions of the hypothalamus is to maintain body temperature at a constant (98.6° Fahrenheit or 37° Celsius) level. On being alerted by the T-cells, the brain boosts our metabolic process to increase the temperature of the body to generate a lot of heat. If still greater heat is required, it makes the body shiver so that more heat is generated through friction.

In short, the hypothalamus does not rest content until it has raised body temperature up to the required level. (Sometimes up to 39° Celsius or 102.2° Fahrenheit). This results in body fever.

Keep in mind that this process is entirely natural. Furthermore, it is also beneficial to the body because

(1) the guard-like T-cells are able to perform their tasks more effectively at 38° to 40° Celsius temperature

(2) as the viruses cannot bear heat beyond a certain limit, they get exterminated

(3) bacteria require a certain iron mineral content of the blood for re-production; and as the circulation of iron constituents is reduced during fever, their proliferation is automatically reduced.

Viewed in the light of the above factors, a fever of up to 39° Celsius is not an illness in itself, but is the body’s response to the illness. It is a counter-attack on viruses and bacteria. After the extermination of infection, the hypothalamus brings body temperature back to a normal level.

It’s important to know when and how to treat a fever or to just leave it alone.


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