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What You Really Should Know About Fevers

By Stephen R. Farris

How well do you know your body's temperature? Probably not as much as you think you do. 

When you do to the doctor one of the first checks they do is take your temperature. There's a good reason for that, as our temperature can reveal a lot about certain illnesses we may have, or underlying medical conditions we don't always know about.

Normal body temperature is marked at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it can vary from 97 to 99 degrees and still be considered in normal range. As we grow older, our body temperature tends to fluctuate. So getting our temperature checked while getting a check up plays a vital role in our health.

Usually, when we have an infection in our body, a sort of an alarm is sent out in the form of fever, which lets us know that something is wrong. Fever symptoms can range from chills to feeling extremely warm, as well as the following:

  • Sweating
  • Headache
  • Muscle ache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Irritability
  • Feeling weak

Adults with a fever over 103 degrees should consult a doctor as soon as possible. There are other guidelines as to what you should do when infants, toddlers, small children, pre-teens, and teens have higher than normal temperature.

Generally a fever alerts us, but it can also be used to our advantage to help fight off infection. Depending on the infection, it's sometimes better to let the fever play out. But in cases of strep throat, pneumonia, and other infections that threaten our respiratory system, your physician may prescribe medication to assist your body in combating those conditions.

Believe it or not, men and women aren't the same when it comes to body temperature. Here's a fun fact: The core temperature for women -- according to research -- is 0.4 degrees higher than men. On the other hand (no pun intended), a woman's hands are 2.8 degrees cooler than that of men. The study also suggests there might actually be some truth to that old saying, "cold hands, warm heart."

If you have questions about your overall health, feel free to visit any of The Joint Chiropractic's 500-plus nationwide locations to get the answers you need from their highly trained, board certified chiropractors they have on staff. No appointment is necessary and walk-ins are always welcome.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sugar Hill, Ga.

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