Fever

Fever and your immune system

Lately, fever is given a bad rap.

 

Let’s talk about how and why you get a fever.

The first thing I want to let you know is that fever is such a smart thing your body does. It might make us feel crappy – but that is a sign you must take it easy and have some bed rest.

Your body has more than just the two outdated models of belief of the immune system. That is precisely why not all drugs work effectively for everyone.

This network of tissues, cells, and organs first tries to keep out germs like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites and then deals with them if they manage to get in. If it senses something in your body that could be bad for you, it triggers the release of specialized cells. These travel to where the trouble is, attack the intruder and help get rid of it.

The chemical properties of the antigen activate the innate immune response.


Number 1
The Innate:
This network of tissues, cells, and organs first tries to keep out germs like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites and then deals with them if they manage to get in. If it senses something in your body that could be bad for you, it triggers the release of specialized cells. These travel to where the trouble is, attack the intruder and help get rid of it.


Number 2:

Adaptive immunity refers to antigen-specific immune response. Antigens are markers that your immune system can recognize. Others could be part of a foreign cell or germ, or they may be a substance like food or pollen.

Innate vs. Acquired Immunity
When you’re born, before your body comes across any unfamiliar antigens, it can defend itself from infection, due to his / her genetic or constitutional markup. This innate immunity comes from those barrier body parts as well as some specialized cells. Over time, your immune system “learns” other ways to protect you. Acquired immunity comes from antibodies you get from your mother in the womb or that you make in response to antigens that aren’t yours — like from a cold virus.

The newer model includes the following immune system as well.

Number 3
The gut microbiome – 80% of your immune system comes from your gut. So a clean diet (that is less sugar and inflammatory foods, or antibiotics) can affect the microbiome.

Number 4
Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is a relatively new field of study that looks at the interactions between your central nervous system (CNS) and your immune system. Researchers know that our CNS and immune system can communicate with each other, but they only recently started to understand how they do it and what it means for our health.

The nerves in your brain and spinal cord make up your CNS, while your immune system is made up of organs and cells that defend your body against infection. Both systems produce small molecules and proteins that can act as messengers between the two systems. In your CNS, these messengers include hormones and neurotransmitters. Your immune system, on the other hand, uses proteins called cytokines to communicate with your CNS.

Number 5
Interferon – IFNs belong to the broad class of proteins known as cytokines, molecules used for communication between cells to trigger the protective defenses of the immune system that help eradicate pathogens. Interferons are named for their ability to “interfere” with viral replication by protecting cells from virus infections.

So when your body is working for you, it increases your temperature. Any guesses why? Clue… think of a microwave. The temperature starts to kill the invading agent (virus/bacteria). Basically, in very layman’s terms, it cooks the thing that does not belong in your body.

 

Managing your fever:
Best is to help your body deal with what it is fighting and not just taking medication to bring the fever down.

There are many homeopathic remedies and herbal medicines that can help your immune system to deal with the fever.
These include but not limited to Echinacea, Vitamin C, and Andrographis. 

Caution: In rare cases, fever can cause seizures in children. There are a few homeopathic remedies that can help reduce a fever naturally by improving the body’s immune response reaction to it. It is nice to have these at home in case your child develops a fever.

What is also beneficial during that time is to have soups (yes, the old story of chicken soup is true). The fluids keep you hydrated, and because the soup is ‘pre-digested,’ it is easy for you to digest, and your body does not have to use any energy on digestion necessarily.
Have some rest and sleep as this also gives your body time to address the insulting pathogen.

Caution on the use of hand sanitizers: remember the way your immune system works for you is that you are exposed to viruses/bacteria/allergens (like animals) and bugs. Your immune recognises this as foreign and works then to ‘fight’ them off. When your home instead uses soap to clean your hands but do go ‘play’ in the dirt now and again to stimulate your immune system.
It is interesting to note that “Some data suggest that long-term exposure to certain active ingredients used in antibacterial products — for example, triclosan (liquid soaps) and triclocarban (bar soaps) — could pose health risks, such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects,” the FDA stated.

So next time you get a fever, bless your body, knowing it is busy fighting for you and keeping you healthy.

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