If you find yourself feeling unnaturally warm, dizzy, weak, or have a headache, you might very well be suffering from a fever. A fever is not an illness on its own, but rather is your body’s way of fighting off an infection. As much as you probably don’t feel like doing any extra work, putting in a bit of effort to deal with the fever can bring you a lot of comfort.
The first thing that you want to do is take your temperature, or the temperature of the person who is suffering. Medical professionals do not advise using a glass mercury thermometer as you can accidently be infected by the toxin. Try using a digital thermometer instead.
If your temperature is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or below (38 degrees Celsius or below), then you have what is called a low-grade fever. The best option for you is to just continue on as normal unless the fever is accompanied by worrying symptoms.
Symptoms accompanying a fever (even low-grade) that you should watch out for include vomiting, diarrhea, and serious headaches. These symptoms may indicate a more serious illness such as meningitis.
Usual causes of fevers include a common cold, reaction to a vaccine, ear infections, and side effects to drugs. In order to best treat your fever, it is important to determine the underlying cause. That said, here are some general practices that will help you to get rid of your fever.
1. Over the counter medications.
If you are suffering from a fever, sometimes the fastest way to get some relief so you can try and function normally is to take a simple over the counter medication. Some of the most popular options include acetaminophen, the pain killer and fever reducer that is found in Tylenol; ibuprofen, found in Motrin an Advil; as well as naproxen, found in Aleve.
Note that when you are taking these medications you should always follow the directions and dosage levels listed on the package. Additionally, do not mix medications. You should also never give aspirin to anyone under the age of 18 as it can cause a condition called Reyes syndrome, which can cause brain damage and liver problems.
Overall, unless you have allergies or a sensitive stomach, the choice of over the counter fever medication doesn’t matter as much as all can be effective.
2. Rest up.
The fever is telling you that your body is trying to fight off an illness or other infection. Strenuous activity can take away the energy that your body may require. In order to speed up the healing process and reduce your fever, you should be getting lots of rest and therefore allowing your body to focus all of its energy on getting rid of this illness.
When you’re feeling sick, drinking plenty of fluids is one of the top two pieces of advice alongside resting your body. This is the same for when you have a fever, particularly because your body will be sweating out the fluids that are in it at a faster rate and you must work harder to replace them.
When hydrating, you should choose from fluids such as water, sports drinks with electrolytes, or diluted juice. Try and avoid alcohol, caffeine, and drinks that are high in sugar as this can dehydrate you and irritate your body further, interfering with the recovery process.
4. Cool your body.
Bundling yourself up and trying to sweat out the fever is not only an old wives tale, but it can actually be dangerous to your health. As such, you should actually work to cool your body down when you have a fever to make yourself a little bit more comfortable. One way to cool your body down when you have a fever includes using a cool compress such as a damp cloth and placing it on your forehead.
If you have a child with a fever, one good way to make them more comfortable is to let them have a popsicle to suck on. Not only is it cold and can help to reduce their body temperature, but these are often considered to be a sweet treat and that alone can comfort a child. Even as an adult, having a popsicle can still be a great way to get rid of your fever.
Finally, you can take a lukewarm bath to cool your body down. Never take a hot or cold bath, as doing so can make body chills worse or raise your body’s temperature even more.
In addition, you can look at ways to cool down your immediate environment to help regulate your body’s temperature. This might include turning on the air conditioning if your home has it, using fans, or opening a window to let in a breeze from outside.
5. Tea time.
There are also a number of natural remedies that you can make to help reduce your fever. Two examples of such remedies are listed below. Both involve brewing a tea, so they help to hydrate your body in addition to their natural fever reduction properties.
Ginger has natural fever reduction properties, but rather than eating it raw or candied, you should try shaving off a small amount of ginger (one or two tablespoons is a good starting point) and putting it in a mug of hot water. Let the ginger infuse for three to four minutes before removing the shavings and drinking your ginger tea.
Alternatively, you can take one clove of garlic and chop it up into smaller pieces. Then, put this garlic into a mug of hot water and let it infuse for a couple minutes, just like with the ginger tea.
6. See a doctor.
In many cases, a visit with a doctor is not required to get rid of a fever, particularly when it is low-grade. However, there are a few cases in which you should get in contact with your doctor as soon as possible.
You should always contact a doctor when any child under the age of three has a temperature of 100.4 degree Fahrenheit or above, if the patient has a history of serious illness, if the fever is accompanied by worrying symptoms such as vomiting, if the patient is a pregnant woman with a fever over 101 degree Fahrenheit, or if the fever is over 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
All of these situations can be very dangerous if they are not immediately attended to by a medical professional.
If you try out these methods the next time your temperature gets out of hand, your fever will surely disappear in no time and you can get back on your feet.