What’s the reason for and benefits of fever and body temperature rise?

There is a third interesting question – what is the advantage of fever? This is a really important question because many people who habitually take tablets to suppress fever are not aware of the advantages of fever.
Ordinarily when infectious viruses or bacteria enter the body, blood cells known as T-cells identify them as foreign invaders and alert a region of the brain known as hypothalamus. One of the functions of hypothalamus is to maintain body temperature at a constant (98.6° Fahrenheit or 37° Celsius) level. On being alerted by T-cells the brain boosts metabolic process to increase temperature of the body so as to generate a lot of heat. If still greater heat is required then it makes the body shiver so that more heat is generated through friction.

In short hypothalamus does not rest content till it has raised body temperature up to the required level. (Sometimes up to 39° Celsius or 102.2° Fahrenheit). This results in body fever.

Keep in mind that this process is entirely natural. Further, it is also beneficial to the body because (1) the guard like T-cells perform their tasks more effectively in 38° to 40° Celsius temperature, (2) as the viruses can not bear heat beyond certain limit they get exterminated, and (3) bacteria require iron mineral content of the blood for re-production and as the circulation of iron constituent is reduced during fever their proliferation is automatically reduced.

Viewed in the light of above factors fever up to 39° Celsius is not illness but it is the body’s response to the illness. It is a counter attack on the viruses and bacteria. After the extermination of infection hypothalamus brings body temperature back to normal level.

Additional reading:
Fever (Wikipedia)
T cell (Wikipedia)

Related posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *