I know I always seem to title these posts with a terrible schoolboy-humour/ tabloid-worthy headline but this one was so glaringly obvious I just couldn’t resist it! With winter approaching and colds and flu on the horizon I thought it’s time to talk feverishly (OK, I’ll stop with the puns now).
Fever…. what’s it’s for? I’ve asked people of all ages this over the years. In the end everyone comes down to “it’s your bodies defence against the bug” ( kids get this much quicker than adults!). So, if it’s your defence mechanism, why do we so often try to interfere with it? Well, there’s been an interesting article in New Scientist recently. It takes the tack that science has been looking at what happens when we use drugs to bring a fever down and maybe it’s not such a good idea to do this.
Chiropractors have been saying this for quite literally years. Not just us either, Hippocrates was saying this 2400 years ago. Other natural health professionals have long maintained that your body knows best and its wise to let the body run its own immune system wherever possible. If there’s no interference to your nervous system then in the vast majority of cases your body will raise your temperature to kill off the bugs but leave you untouched. As with any process this can take time. During this time you may be uncomfortable but this is the price you may have to pay for your body fully protecting you!
Now clearly things can go wrong and your body could overheat to a dangerous extent. Lets be clear, these things do happen. But here’s a thought – what if it does that only when its not getting the right information! What if your body can fully regulate your fever when its getting all the right feedback, but if there’s any interference with that feedback (subluxation) then the control may be faulty and then you may indeed get too hot.
To be controversial for a moment, what if a lot of what we think are “problems” are just our bodies way of doing the best it can in the circumstances. For example there’s some evidence that a raised cholesterol level is just your bodies way of doing the best it can when there’s strain on the heart. There’s also a line of reasoning that says your blood pressure going up is the best approach your body has to dealing with a toxicity. Think about this for a moment – Why do we get these “illnesses”?
Is it bad luck or random chance? Clearly not.
Is it genetic? Much though medicine would love you to think that, there’s no evidence to support that in the majority of cases.
So why does it happen?
Is it possible that, just like plants, we need the right stuff to thrive and nothing else -and if we don’t do that the plant gets sick. What about us, if we eat junk, stress out, don’t exercise and so on – maybe we get sick just the same!
More of all those general principles in another post but for now let’s get back to fever.
I started out reading the article in New Scientist thinking about all the little children who suffer colds and bugs for longer than they should because someone doses them up with Calpol and the like, but I was appalled when I read about the difference in terms of deaths in hospital. I repeat, deaths.
There was a study carried out in the University of Miami in 2005 and they studied 82 critically ill people who either were given drugs at 38.5 degrees or only if they reached 40 degrees. Of the people given drugs at the lower temperature (standard treatment) 7 died. Of the other group (only given drugs if their temperature reached a higher level ) only 1 died. The trial was stopped on ethical grounds. It seemed the standard treatment was killing more people!
The message here seems to be let your body do what it knows best how to do. Medication is not the answer in the vast majority of cases. Your body is an amazing piece of bioengineering and will do the most astonishing things as long as it is not suffering from interference. It pays to make sure your body works at it’s best. Don’t mess it up with drugs (whether pushed or prescribed), give it the right rest, nutrition, hydration, exercise and so on and make sure you keep it clear of nerve interference by getting your spine checked by a chiropractor then, stand back and let it be amazing.
Till next time
Yours in health