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You’re 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 you’re 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,
you’ll 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 you’ve 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 you’ve 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 you’re on mobile, it will be the first link in the description.
Thanks for watching DNews and subscribe for more!


Why You Shouldn’t Fight A Fever

7797 タグ追加 保存
Pedroli Li 2016 年 6 月 18 日 に公開
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