If you ran a fever, if you’re like most people, you would probably take some acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
But in most cases, lowering a fever with pain relievers is positively the WORST thing you can do!
Fever is a good guy!
Contrary to popular belief, a fever is usually a good guy. It’s a sign that your immune system is kicking in and working to fight an illness.
Here’s what’s going on:
If you contract an infection or virus, that means that your immune system wasn’t quite strong enough at that moment to fight it off without it taking hold of you to some degree.
An initial rise in your body temperature, in this case, is a sign that your immune system is “rising up to the challenge”—and your temperature allows it to function at a higher level.
As your core temperature rises, it activates immune cells called lymphocytes that can destroy cells infected with viruses (as well as cancerous cells too!).
The increase in your temperature also activates neutrophils, which are immune cells that target cells with a bacterial infection. Plus the temperature increase also improves enzyme activity in your body to create an environment that is unfriendly toward harmful microbes.
Is it getting too hot in there?
Your immune system also knows that harmful microorganisms can only survive within certain temperature ranges.
So it turns up your internal furnace just enough to kill off the bad guys--this drastically reduces their population and ability to harm you.
Your normal body temperature is 98.6° Fahrenheit, and a fever is defined as having a rectal temperature that exceeds 100.4 °.
Once you cross the fever threshold and your temperature reaches 101°, most harmful bacteria are unable to survive. At 102°, viruses are unable to reproduce and spread throughout your body.
Now, your immune system is brilliant—it also knows that if your temperature gets too high, some of your beneficial bacteria will get killed off too.
Your body doesn’t want to raise your temperature to the point of killing off its own helpful microbes, but it will if necessary—that usually happens in a state of extreme infection.
Pain relievers--more harm than good
Now that you know what a fever is and what your immune system is doing behind the scenes, you can better understand why pain relievers usually cause more harm than good.
When you run a fever and pop Tylenol or Motrin, the drugs quickly lower your temperature, but they also silence your body’s natural defenses and cripple the actions of your immune system.
As a result, you roll out the red carpet for the invading organisms to survive inside of you and make you sicker!
Plus acetaminophen can deplete cellular levels of glutathione—your body’s master antioxidant—making you more vulnerable to disease-causing free radicals.
Next come the big guns
So, what usually happens when pain relievers don’t do the trick to kick a fever?
Well, you’d probably go to the doctor and report that you’ve had a fever and aren’t getting any better…and chances are good you’ll walk out with the big guns--antibiotics.
But this makes the problem even worse because antibiotics destroy your friendly intestinal flora—where 70 percent of your (already challenged) immune system resides.
This makes it far more likely that you will get sick again!
Gimme a chance
Fevers are typically self-limiting and short in duration—maybe a day or two.
To help your body along during the process and encourage the destruction of dangerous organisms, it’s important to drink lots of water and rest as much as possible!
When fevers become truly dangerous is when they get up over 103° and/or last longer than three to four days. At that point, you may be risking damage to your vital organs and it’s imperative that you see your doctor.
But even then many times taking a tepid bath can be enough to bring your temperature down into a more acceptable range. There are still some good old-fashioned doctors around who suggest a cool bath prior to giving drugs for a fever.
Support its efforts during a fever and all year long
In addition to respecting the expert actions of your immune system when you have a fever, it’s also important to help support it all year long.
Get enough sleep
Your immune system "recharges" when you sleep, so make sure you consistently get adequate rest.
The average person needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
Eat food—not junk
When you rely heavily on nutrient-poor processed foods, refined carbs, and sugars, not only does your body lack the nutrients it needs, but your immune system takes a hit.
Just one spoonful of sugar can depress your immune function for an hour or more! Think about that next time you drink a “Big Gulp” soda. Even just one can of Coca-Cola has a whopping eight teaspoons of sugar.
Plus sugar feeds the harmful bacteria in your gut, which can overcome your protective friendly flora.
Stick to real foods—fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, dairy and eggs—and ditch the junk.
Supplement with probiotics
Since 70 percent of your immune system resides in your gut, it's essential to make sure that you have a healthy population of beneficial gut bacteria.
Unfortunately, things like stress, smoking, use of medications like antibiotics and acid reducers, and environmental toxins can all harm your friendly inhabitants.
That's why supplementation with a full-spectrum probiotic like Super Shield is helpful for just about everyone.
One of Super Shield's 13 superior friendly bacteria strains, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, has been shown to be especially helpful at stimulating immune antibody production.
And Super Shield’s 12 other top-quality strains each have their own “specialty” in how they help support immune and overall health.
To your health,
The information in our articles are NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and are not intended as medical advice.