The Benefits to Letting a Fever Run its Course

It’s a conversation I see and hear quite often. In fact, last week I noticed this very discussion taking place among some of my friends on Facebook…

“Help; my little one is running a fever! We’ve tried Advil, Motrin, and Tylenol, but he’s still so hot! I’m worried…why aren’t the meds bringing his fever down?!”

Then the flurry of comments begins and everyone offers their advice for “breaking” the fever. These kinds of conversations literally keep me up at night. As a matter of fact, my palms are getting sweaty as I type this, and I’ve got that uncomfortable feeling in my stomach… I always feel this way when fear, frustration and concern come together inside me. Why would a doctor find this type of conversation so upsetting? Read on…

A fever is the body’s inborn ability to fight an infection, virus, etc.  Just like heating meat to kill the bacteria before we eat it, the fever does just the same, only within the body. The fever prevents the bacteria from reproducing, and as the temperature of the fever rises, it begins to kill the bacteria.

But, what happens when we don’t allow a fever to kill the bacteria? That’s when we end up chasing symptoms! For example, the immune system may not be able to fight a sniffle, and in turn the sniffle becomes a sinus infection. While initially just a minor cough, suddenly a cold turns into a deep chronic cough or even pneumonia. The next fever that isn’t naturally fought could create digestive issues (stomach pain, constipation). I could go on and on with examples.

Just like a cough is the body’s innate ability to get something out of the body, the fever is the same. It is there to fight the infection and/or virus. But, instead of allowing the body to do what it knows to do and allow for healing, we rush to the medicine cabinet.

For example, when a child has a cough, it’s common to give them a cough suppressant. While this may help quiet their cough, it doesn’t mean what was causing the cough is out of the body; no, it’s just suppressed.  The same goes for giving a fever reducer. The body’s innate ability has been halted by synthetically bringing the fever down. Does that mean what was causing the fever is out of the body? No, it is just suppressed! And that’s when we must ask; are we giving our body the tools to be stronger or weaker?

I’m concerned that we’re being bogged down by a fear-based medical system. Parents, especially, are scared that something will happen to their children because of what we see, hear and are told by the media and advertising. I understand; as a mom, I’ve been there. But I think we’re going out it all wrong.

I don’t want you to take my word for it; do the research and learn more about how the body innately and naturally works. I’m confident you’ll then understand why the advice I give to these panicked moms and dads is so important: Do what you can to NOT interrupt the process.  

That’s what I love about my favorite healing modality and why I love the chiropractic profession so much! Our focus is not on symptoms or interrupting the body’s natural healing abilities. Rather, the goal of chiropractic is to assist the body in functioning at such a level that you don’t get sick as often. And when you do get sick (because we all do from time to time), your immune system, stronger because of more efficient and higher functioning body-brain communication, is better able to fight off the disease, letting you, or your child, recover more quickly, and in a natural way.  As a result, you become more attuned to your body and your body’s healing reactions and abilities, and are also able to better adapt to future bouts of illness.

Dr. Tiffany

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