Today, I wanted to share with you some information from an E-book written by Doctor of Osteopathy Sherri Tenpenny. She is a world renowned doctor, speaker, author, and researcher on holistic living based out of Cleveland, Ohio.
Most of us have been taught that fevers are inherently “bad.” However, what we know is fevers actually serve a purpose. If we tell the body not to produce one, or to stop producing one with anti fever medications, that makes it more difficult for our immune system to get rid of the infection.
A fever’s purpose is to raise the body’s temperature and to stimulate an immune response to fight off a foreign invader (virus, bacteria, or parasite). When one of these invaders enters the body, a couple different chemicals from the immune system are released to tell a part of the brain called the hypothalamus to turn up the thermostat. Raising the body’s temperature makes it harder for the invader to replicate. Typically at the first signs of a fever, many people’s reflex is to get rid of it. However, it really means that the immune system is on full alert and at it’s best. If we give medication to reduce the fever, the body’s immune response is completely thrown off.
Going into this conversation, it is also important to define a fever. First, let’s talk about what a “normal” body temperature is. Most people are told that a normal body temperature is exactly 98.6 degrees fahrenheit. However, medical textbooks show that body temperature can range from 98.2 to 100.4 degrees fahrenheit based on the time of day and activity level of the person. In 2001, a study done in PEDIATRICS (Crochetti) revealed that most parents were giving medication to their children with temperatures that were near normal. Parents are taught that if you do not get your child’s temperature under control (with medication or cool baths) the fever will continue to rise and result in a febrile seizure. In reality, the body has ways to control the temperature from getting too high and causing damage to the brain and body. It is incredibly rare for the body temperature to rise too high unless there is extreme dehydration in play or getting locked in a very hot space like a vehicle in the summer. Only about 3% of kids experience febrile seizure and it is rarely caused by prolonged high body temperature; it is typically caused by a very sudden spike in temperature.
While your child is experiencing a fever, encourage them to drink fluids and natural or low sugar electrolytes like coconut water, ice chips and 100% real fruit juice or popsicles. You want to avoid foods high in sugar because white sugar shuts down the immune response up to an hour after consumption.
There are absolutely times when you should seek medical help in the case of a fever such as, your child not consuming enough liquid and not urinating every few hours or having 8 wet diapers in a 24 hour period. If your child is under 6 weeks old with a temperature of 101 F take them immediately to the emergency room. If your child is 7 weeks to 6 months and their temp is 101 F you should seek medical attention within the next few hours. If the child has a diagnosis of cancer or is immunocompromised you should consult your doctor and wait for further instruction. If your child is lethargic, won’t nurse, drink water or make eye contact seek medical attention. If there are signs of meningitis (neck pain accompanied by vomiting, unusual rash, and sensitivity to light) go to the nearest hospital.
Overall, children get sick– it’s nearly impossible to avoid. Getting exposed to pathogens is how we allow kid’s immune systems to become effective and strong. Fevers tell the body to fight off the bad guys. Next time, before you reach for that fever suppressing medication, think about allowing the body to express itself fully without interruption.
If you’re in Hudson, Wisconsin and wanting more holistic health care resources, we are here for you at Croixview Family Chiropractic!
Tenpenny, S. The Importance of a Fever [Ebook] (pp. 1-12) https://vaxxter.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Importance_of_Fever_eBook_.pdf .