How fever comes about
Fever is a physiological state in which the body temperature is higher than normal.
Fever is the mechanism by which the body defends itself against invading germs. So fever is a defensive response by the body to external influences (e.g. infections) or internal ones (e.g. tumours). However, if the body temperature is raised for a prolonged period, this consistutes a threat to the entire organism.
The temperature of the body is controlled by our temperature-regulating centre, known as the hypothalamus. In cases of fever, this heat regulating system is disturbed.
The defensive reaction of the body by raising its temperature can be brought about by:
- Infection by bacteria, viruses or parasites
- Metabolic disorders (hyperthyroidism)
- Heat stroke
- Extreme dehydration
- operations (even without wound infections)
- Malignant tumours
- Inflammatory auto-immune disorders of the connective tissues and blood vessels