Understand Your Body: Chronic Fever and its Causes
It is not unusual to have a fever once in a while, but things can become a little more worrying when there is a case of chronic fever. This article will help you to understand what the difference between fever and chronic fever actually is and what you can do to find out the causes.
What is Fever?
Fever is a condition that describes an increased body temperature. It is not a disease as such but is rather a reaction of the body to an outer or inner influence. This reaction is an important supporter for the immune system of your body.
Normally, your regular body temperature in the early morning is around 97.7°F (measured rectally) or 97°F (measured orally). Your body temperature can rise a little bit throughout the day (up to 99°F) with its peak in the late afternoon. The most accurate measurement is taken rectally.
The body temperature is regulated by the brain and kept within certain boundaries as mentioned above. When you suffer from fever, this regulation is disturbed and allows the body temperature to rise. There are many different reasons why a fever can occur, most commonly it is experienced when a virus enters the body, but the cause may also be a bacterial infection, a side effect caused by medication or simply something that is going wrong inside the body. Women experience a slight increase of body temperature during the period of ovulation which is very normal.
What is Chronic Fever?
Chronic fever is actually a very broad term and there is not one particular definition. Generally spoken, chronic fever is a normal fever that lasts unusually long and is untypical for the cause. For instance, if your temperature is constantly at 100°F over a long period of time, you may suffer from chronic fever.
When a patient suffers from fever, the doctor may conclude with a diagnosis to explain it and commence an appropriate treatment. However, sometimes the therapy is unsuccessful or while all other symptoms are gone, the fever persists. This is when the initial diagnosis has to be reviewed as the cause may be something beyond the obvious. You may also find that you don’t necessarily suffer from chronic fever but from a reoccurring fever.
Chronic fever can have many different causes. Here is a list of possibilities:
- The diagnosis was correct, but the therapy was wrong.
- The diagnosis was correct, but there were unforeseen complications
- The diagnosis was wrong.
In these above cases, you must seek medical attention and deal with the issues. This means that if the medication you have been prescribed is not working, your doctor must find an alternative way to treat you. If there are some complications on the way, these must be treated separately. If the diagnosis was simply wrong, you must insist on a more thorough examination.
The above mentioned causes for chronic fever are common but obviously not the only ones. A chronic fever can hint to something serious or a defect in your immune system. It is very important that you seek medical attention if you have been in treatment and the symptoms persist even at the end. Remember that there is still no reason to panic at all because you may simply not respond to the therapy or the fever just may be a side effect of the therapy. However, a continuous fever can be a sign for a tumor or something similar.
Sometimes the causes for chronic fever are very rare or very difficult to discover. In medical terms you then suffer from ‘fever of unknown origin’ (FUO). You may find that the fever disappears on its own or you can try to get advice from a second or even third doctor.