The human body is brilliant, truly brilliant. We as humans have survived as long as we have because of the wisdom of the body. Sadly, there is a strong tendency to assume that symptoms are something wrong with the body and must be treated, or suppressed. In fact symptoms are a vital effort of the organism in response to stress or infection, and are the body’s best effort to defend, and Fever : body’s defense Mechanism to heal itself.
The body creates fever, inflammation, pain, discharge etc in order to defend and heal it. Fever suppressants along with the overuse of medicines and exposure to multiple chemical contaminants in the environment, are at the root of the decline in children’s health and vitality. Thus manifesting in the disablement of immune function, neurological function, and upsurge of chronic diseases today. Children in particular have been hit hard as they are the most vulnerable. As caring parents, we naturally want to help our children feel better when the inevitable fevers, flu’s cold and various illnesses arise. But does fever have a critical function in fighting sickness that we have lost sight of?
There is plenty of scientific evidence validating the benefits of fever in fighting viral/ bacterial inflammation and its important role in the healing process.
The spontaneous release of pyrogens causes the body temperature to rise, a natural defense mechanism needed to fight disease. The presence of fever tells you that the repair mechanisms of the body have gone into high gear. A complex sequence of immune activity is activated by fever.
Fever enhances the immune response by increasing the mobility of white cells called leukocytes which disable the bacteria and viruses and remove damaged body tissues.
Antiviral and antibacterial properties of interferon are also increased. Iron is also removed from the blood and stored in the liver, disabling the rate at which bacteria can multiply.
High fever in some diseases like measles is needed to discharge the virus.
There is an exception however. When fever arises in a new born baby in the first weeks, there is heightened level of caution. New born babies may suffer from infection related to obstetrical intervention during delivery, prenatal or hereditary conditions, aspiration pneumonia from amniotic fluid forced into lungs, because of over medication of mother during delivery and exposure to legion of germs in the hospital. It is advisable for parents to seek medical help if a baby runs a fever in the first two months of life.
Our mistrust of natural processes and reliance on medicines has obscured our understanding of the importance of childhood illnesses. We must shed old fears and embrace a new relationship with Nature- every childhood inflammation, every cold, sore throat, fever, rash is a healing and cleansing process, to make the body a more suitable dwelling.
( Note : Fever is a common symptom in children and an indication of serious illness if associated with major changes in appearance and behavior or other additional symptoms such as respiratory difficulty, extreme listlessness or loss of consciousness etc. A consultation with a physician should be sought to rule out severe illness.)