Can you imagine what our nomad ancestors did when they got a fever? Do you think they took something to lower it?
Of course not. And that was how we survived. Interesting, huh?
A fever is an inflammation mechanism that protects the body when there is an infection. It gets it by creating an inhospitable environment for the invasive organisms: in essence, it raises the temperature so they can’t survive. All bodies can do it and have done it for billions of years. Only in the last 80 years did we start taking medicines to stop a fever.
Is it dangerous to have a fever?
Why are so scared of a fever? It’s a situation to which we overreact, but it shouldn’t be a cause for alarm.
The percentage of cases that present bad complications (such as convulsions) is minimal. Those are the cases the pharmaceutical business has used to spread panic around fevers.
If our first reaction is trying to lower the fever, what happens with the micro-organisms from which our body is trying to protect us? Not only do we stop it from battling them, but we strength them. Imagine a thief is coming and my first impulse is t close the door to protect myself, if you tie my hands, the thief will come in and also find me tied. Something similar happens with a fever: it’s a sign that your immunological system is trying to defend you. Stopping it with medicines is not only unnecessary and gets in the way of your recovery process, but it can prolong the disease.
We don’t want to lower the fever, but to support it, just like other types of inflammation. When you let your immune system do its protection job, it becomes strong. It’s similar to training.
What happens in the body?
A fever is a natural response that increases your body’s ability to fight a bacterium or a virus. This initiates a series of beneficial processes that help protect you:
It produces more antibodies, the cells that attack exactly the type of invaders that your body is fighting at that moment. No drug is this specific.
It produces more white cells to fight the invading microbes.
It produces more interferon, an antiviral and natural anticancer that helps prevent the spread of the virus to healthy cells
It surrounds the iron, from which bacteria feed
It raises the temperature to kill microbes (many grow better in temperatures lower than those of the human body)