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  1. Fever in Adults
  2. What causes a fever?
  3. Fever - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic

Body temperature is measured using a tool called a thermometer. These days, thermometers are digital devices, which show the temperature on a screen. In the past, thermometers used a substance called mercury to measure temperature, but these thermometers are no longer used in hospitals or sold to the public. Follow the instructions on your thermometer to measure body temperature. There are different places on the body where temperature can be measured, including the armpit, ear, under the tongue, or rectum.

Your thermometer might be designed to measure temperature in one or more of these spots.

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Fevers are rarely harmful, but can make you feel uncomfortable. Ironically, when your temperature is on the rise you might get chills or shivers, while your temperature falling can make you sweaty. High fevers can cause febrile convulsions seizures in children. Almost all children who get febrile convulsions will outgrow them once they are years old. In children over 3 months and in adults , a fever can be treated at home. Seek medical attention if the person has any of these other symptoms as well as fever:.

Most often, fevers can be treated at home. Cold baths, sponges and fans might seem like a good idea when you have a temperature, but they can actually make you feel more uncomfortable and should be avoided.

Fever in Adults

Fever and high temperatures in children — Health Direct. Fever — Raising Children. Skip links and keyboard navigation Skip to content Skip to site navigation Skip to footer Use tab and cursor keys to move around the page more information. Health alerts:. Site header.

Contact us Help. Infectious agents are not the only causes of fever, however.

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Amphetamine abuse and alcohol withdrawal can both elicit high temperatures, for example. And environmental fevers--such as those associated with heat stroke and related illnesses--can also occur. The hypothalamus, which sits at the base of the brain, acts as the body's thermostat. It is triggered by floating biochemical substances called pyrogens, which flow from sites where the immune system has identified potential trouble to the hypothalamus via the bloodstream.

The Black Keys - Fever [Official Audio]

Some pyrogens are produced by body tissue; many pathogens also produce pyrogens. When the hypothalamus detects them, it tells the body to generate and retain more heat, thus producing a fever.

What causes a fever?

Children typically get higher and quicker fevers, reflecting the effects of the pyrogens upon an inexperienced immune system. Should one eat little or nothing while feverish, as the saying "Feed a cold, starve a fever" suggests? The reasons for this are threefold. First, during fever, all the body's functions are occurring amidst increased physiologic stress. Provoking digestion during physiologic stress over stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system when the sympathetic nervous system is already active. Second, it is possible that the body could misinterpret some substances absorbed from the gut as allergens during a fever.

Finally, excessive fever can, on rare occasions, cause seizures, collapse and delirium--all of which may be further complicated by recent eating.

Fever - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic

Fever can help fight infection, but sometimes it can climb too high for the body's own good. Internal body temperatures in excess of degrees F, for instance, expose proteins and body fats to direct temperature stressors.

What conditions can cause a fever?

This form of heat distress can threaten the integrity and function of proteins accustomed to the body's usual temperature variations and the occasional less excessive fevers. Cellular stress, infarctions, necrosis, seizures and delirium are among the potential consequences of prolonged, severe fevers. The receptor environment at the hypothalamus maintains limitations on high fevers.