Fever: Is it Good or Bad?

A fever is good! It is actually the body’s natural way to fight infection!

Our bodies can handle and still function if our temperature is 104 degrees, whereas the bacteria or virus can’t survive with a temperature this high.  They are more comfortable and prefer when our body temperature is closer to normal or 98.6 degrees.

So if it’s completely natural, should we be trying to reduce the fever with medication?

Many of us, especially parents, feel that we need to take fever-reducing medication as soon as the fever starts, which ultimately interrupts the body’s natural ability in healing itself.  And there is a possibility that the infection will last longer and become more complicated when taking these meds. If fever-reducing medication is continually given to keep the fever down or gone, we are just leaving the door wide open, allowing the infection to stay.

When should we worry about a fever?

  • An infant 3 months old or younger with a fever over 100.4 degrees should be treated
  • A 3 month old to 3 year old with a fever higher than 102.2 degrees should be treated
  • Adults should treat a fever that goes above 104.5 degrees

What are some ways to reduce a fever naturally?

  • Rest and hydration are the most important – We need to drink plenty of cool fluids to prevent dehydration, which can occur more easily during a fever
  • Warm baths can be relaxing and provide relief – Do not do a cold bath because it can actually raise the body temperature even high because you are trying to warm up
  • Avoid having too many layers on to allow the heat to be released
  • Essential oils: I have had a few patients tell me they use lavender, eucalyptus or peppermint oil to help with a fever! (I have some pretty smart patients!)
  • And of course, chiropractic adjustments! Adjustments relieve the nervous system and allow the body to heal itself (and it also boosts the immune system 200-400%!)

Next time you or the kids have a fever, try to give the body a chance to do what it does best: Heal itself! It’s so amazing what we are capable of!

Dr. Jess




2Dr. Jessica Stensland is a busy family wellness Chiropractor in Urbandale, Iowa. She spends her weeks taking care of dozens of families.  Not only does Dr. Jessica specialize in pediatric and pregnancy chiropractic care, but she’s a board certified Acupuncturist.  Dr. Jessica believes that a healthier community means taking care of all ages.   She is a Minnesota native and enjoys seeing family and friends in her free time, in addition to staying active and reading the many books she has on her kindle


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