Sunday, February 24, 2008

* fluids.
* frequent small, light, bland meals.

Fever is not a disease in itself, but rather a symptom of some underlying problem, most commonly an infection. Depending on the cause, a fever is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as sweating, shivering thirst, flushed skin, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
A fever alone does not necessarily require treatment - it is one of the body’s natural ways of fighting disease and, generally, should not be suppressed unless it is very high or accompanied by other symptoms. When fever-lowering medication is indicated, either acetaminophen or aspirin may be effective. But aspirin should never be given to anyone under the age of 18 without a doctor’s approval; aspirin given during a viral infection increases the risk of developing Reye’s syndrome, a potentially life-threatening disease affecting the brain and liver. Keep in mind that children’s fevers can rise rapidly, so even a high temperature over 102* F (39*C) does not necessarily reflect the severity of an illness.

Drinks lots of fluids. Sweating, the body’s response to high temperature, results in the loss of fluid, which is worsened if there is diarrhea or vomiting. So it is important to drink at least eight glasses of fluid daily to prevent dehydration. If a feverish person does not feel thirsty, it may be easier to sip a bit of fruit juice diluted with an equal volume of water every few minutes rather than to drink a whole glass at once.

Feverish infants can get dehydrated very quickly, because they have a large body surface in proportion to their fluid volume. When babies have high temperatures, parents should give frequent bottles of plain water or a commercial infant rehydration product.

There is not medical basis for the saying “feed a cold and starve a fever.” If anything, you need more calories than normal if you have a raised temperature because your metabolic rate rises as the fever rises. So if you feel like eating, eat.

When diarrhea is a problem, solid foods should be avoided until the bowels stabilize.

No comments: