Fever is a sign that your body’s defense system is functioning well. It plays a key role in helping your body fight off a number of infections. Once the body senses a foreign invader the body heats up. This foreign invader may refer to bacteria, virus or something that is not supposed to be there.
According to Deborah Nunziato-Ghobashy, DO, family medicine physician at Scarsdale Medical Group:
“The hypothalamus in the brain controls your body temperature and raises it to kill off anything that could be invading your body. All those bacteria and viruses prefer a cozy 37degree Celcius (normal body temperature) environment to keep on replicating. Once it’s higher, it’s too hot for them and they start to die off.”
So, when is your fever a red flag for something that is more serious? Here are some of the things you need to know.
Cellulitis is a common bacterial infection of the skin and tissues underneath. It happens when bacteria enter a break or crack skin and spread. The result is an infection, which may cause fever, swelling, redness, pain, or warmth. And if not caught in time, the infection can spread quickly.
You should see a doctor if your fever does not resolve within three days.
As stated by Dr. Nunziato-Ghobashy:
“At that point, you have a fever of unknown origin, and your doctor will start to investigate to see what’s wrong. Most likely it’s an infection that can be found once a trained clinician takes a look at you.”
Some cancers such as lymphoma, leukemia, as well as liver and kidney cancers can be accompanied by a fever.
According to Dr. Nunziato-Ghobashy:
“They cause an inflammatory response in the body. This is rare, but something to pay attention to if you have a fever that persists. If you can’t find a reason for your fever, it’s important to have somebody look to see professionally whether there is a reason.”
Strep throat can cause a sore throat, fever, headache, and nausea.
Dr. Nunziato-Ghobashy says that you need to take medicine and finish the medication even after your throat feels better. She added that:
“Lingering strep bacteria can cause pericarditis, an infection of the heart valves, which is very serious.”
You may get fever if you have a blood clot in your leg. Plus, you will also notice swelling and tenderness in that area.
Dr. Nunziato-Ghobashy commented that in addition to fever, the patient may also experience shortness in breathing and a rapid heart rate if the clot moved toward his lungs. This situation can be deadly.
There are certain conditions that can cause an inflammatory response in the body and raise the body’s temperature. These conditions include irritable bowel syndrome, celiac diseases, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s diseases.
Dr. Nunziato-Ghobashy explained that:
“And if you alternate between constipation and diarrhea—common among patients with these disorders—the body can react to symptoms of dehydration and raise your temperature.”
Fatigue And Swollen Neck
According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, some symptoms of Epstein-Barr virus, also known as mononucleosis, include fever, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, fatigue, and an enlarged spleen. This virus is usually common during childhood and resolves in two to four weeks but can last for months.
Pain On The Lower Right Side Of Your Belly
According to Dr. Nunziato-Ghobashy, fever along with abdominal pain around the belly button that moves to the right lower quadrant of the abdomen within two hours are signs of appendicitis.
Inflammatory markers in the body increase if you have arthritis. Due to this, you experience fever, joint pain, and body aches. Usually, the pain is accompanied by insomnia, felt on both sides of the body, and is worse in the morning.
Low Back Pain And Blood In The Urine
You may have urinary tract infection if your fever is accompanied by burning pain when you urinate, blood in the urine, lower back pain, pelvic pain, or your urine looks cloudy or smells funny.