We’ve all had a fever at least once. It’s so uncomfortable, we sweat, feel hot but then get the chills and can’t seem to warm up. When we have a fever it might seem like our body is fighting against us. But it turns out our body is doing us a favor by inducing the fever. A fever is a symptom of numerous illnesses that are characterized by an elevated body temperature. The increased body temperature is one of the ways our body’s immune system activates to fight the illness.
Perhaps by having a better understanding of fevers we can learn how to appreciate our body’s immune system. In this article, we’ll cover fever in adults: when to worry as well as all the symptoms and causes you should know.
What Is a Fever?
Let’s start at the beginning and break down what a fever is. A fever is when your body temperature is higher than normal. The Cleveland Clinic tells us that in adults, a fever is classified as a temperature higher than 100.4-degrees Fahrenheit (38-degrees Celsius). For reference, a normal body temperature is 98.6-degrees Fahrenheit (37-degrees Celsius).
When we have a high temperature it is our body’s natural way of fighting an infection. According to Healthline “A fever begins when your immune system makes more white blood cells to fight an infection. The increase in white blood cells triggers your brain to heat your body up.” With the increase in body temperature, you will experience symptoms of a fever such as shivering, sweating, and body aches.