Saturday, September 12, 2009

Treating Fevers... or maybe not?

Taken from

Fever should not be regarded as a dangerous or unhealthy process in the body. If we feel uncomfortable, achy, or even delirious during the course of a fever, these sensations are due to the toxicity that the fever is working to rid us of. The fever isn't the problem: it's the solution. Giving Advil or Tylenol to lower it is akin to killing the messenger.

Many parents' dread of fevers has to do with the fear of fever convulsions or brain damage. This fear is unfounded. The great majority of fevers are perfectly benign, and the majority of children is not susceptible and won't develop fever convulsions, even with very high fevers. Children who do get convulsions naturally have low thresholds to them, and even in this small segment of the population, convulsions will occur only once or twice between six months and six years of age, and are harmless. Lowering fever with Tylenol, Advil, or baths will not prevent fever convulsions in children susceptible to them. Such measures may even increase the risk of brain damage by hindering the immune system from discharging the body's toxins. This would explain the relationship between aspirin and Reye's Syndrome.

In rare cases, encephalitis or meningitis can result from a toxic inflammation, which may settle into the nervous system and possibly lead to brain damage-with or without fever or convulsions. The guidelines in this article for bowel cleansing, diet, quiet, and warmth are designed to prevent encephalitis, meningitis, and other toxic complications. Unless high levels of retained toxins are irritating and inflaming the nervous system, fevers and fever convulsions will not cause brain damage-not even at 105° F. A fever very rarely goes over 106° F; if it does, you should call your doctor.

For further discussion of these issues, see the book Healing at Home by Sandra Greenstone and Dr. Incao's chapters in The Vaccination Dilemma, Christine Murphy, ed. (see "Bibliography").

Yesterday afternoon, my daughter came back from school with a mild fever that escalated throughout the evening. Honestly, I didn't notice she had a fever until bath time. Thankfully, I always keep fresh fruits and a kiddie herbal tincture that I get at Whole Foods. It's amazing but it really works, it has always worked for us. I've used this for over 5 years on my girls and they seem to react pretty fast if I act fast enough. We decided to keep her at home until the fever subsides --so glad it was Friday! So I ran to Whole Foods pretty quick and got 2 bottles of Strawberry Kefir (probiotics) which you can get in pill form as well (though I prefer Kefir for its protein - great way to get them to eat something so healthy for them). Then I mentally prepared myself for a long sleep-deprivation night!

Every four hours I administered 2 droppers of Herbs for Kids (either Echinacea with Astragalus* or Echinacea with Goldenroot*), every two hours I gave her sips of iced water and Kefir. Two room temperature baths waist down throughout the day and really cold fruits (in cubes) to munch all day, whenever she was in the mood to eat something --her favorite were some delicious orange wedges! I made sure she was hydrated with really cold-fresh water and that she had very little clothes. Wearing too many layers of clothes will agravate the temperature, undies and a shirt works fine! And of course, some cuddling is needed too :-)

It's hard to know why fevers occur. The fever is a sign of the body doing its job, so let it be just don't wait for it to pass on its own. Help the body to get the nutrition and the hydration lost during these high temperatures. You want to be able to treat the BODY not the illness. Sometimes homemade chicken broth works great also! Add a little oregano and you are good to go! Oregano is a great plant with healing properties, appropriate to treat mild fevers and other common colds, pain and even pain related to menstruation! (Though she is too little young for that - hehe!)

*Used to Treat Infections

How do you think she feels now? (Same day - different times)

6 proofreaders making corrections!!!:

Joe on September 12, 2009 at 9:28 AM said...

I read that article too, and really liked it. It's true, although I remember thinking that it's not the FEVER that bothers me when DD has one, but WHAT is causing it. Don't get me wrong - I don't jump into panic mode ;-) But I keep a watchful eye - it could as simple as a tiny cold virus that will pass within a day, or it could be something more serious, most of which usually have high fevers as the first symptom. Again - high fever. If she's at 38 degrees, yes, it's a fever, but hardly high. However, if she goes from 36.5 to 45 in the matter of a few hours, then I might get her checked out.

Fever is definitely the body's way to fight back viruses, and like other mild symptoms (throat aches, headaches, runny/stuffy noses), shouldn't be tempered with too much, or just until you feel comfortable. I rarely take cold medicine myself when I am sick, unless it's the 5th night in a row that I CAN'T sleep and need some functioning ability the next day, hihi Then I take just enough to get me sleeping, even though it doesn't eradicate all symptoms, and only in the evening. Seriously, that rarely happens.

We have to trust our bodies to serve their function, but also keep in mind that some illnesses are bigger than colds, and fever is a warning sign. Treat it mildly at first, get your kid comfortable, watch how they react/feel, and if it's going up, up, up, or staying, staying, staying, and seek medical advice if it gets too high/kid too lethargic. But otherwise - no need to overdrug them... or us! :)

Joe on September 12, 2009 at 9:29 AM said...

(just subscribing to comments - I thought I could RSS subscribed hehe)

enithhernandez on September 12, 2009 at 2:07 PM said...

I agree Joe! I keep telling parents to always wait until you have tried everything else. Parents often rush to the doctor, then the doctors always think that parents expect them to medicate, which they do. One of the reasons Antibiotics become resistant to infections in little children, because they have been exposed to them so early in life :(

Joe on September 12, 2009 at 2:15 PM said...

Oh I know. It's also one of the reasons I personally try not to take anything when I don't have to. These medicines, drugs, medical interventions as a whole truly have their purposes, when needed, and they saved and will save countless lives. But are way overuse.

Dagmar on September 19, 2009 at 2:30 AM said...

I try to go the natural route whenever I can. I also believe in letting a fever just run its course, which I have done with L a few times. Lots of breast milk helps as well :)


Krista on November 6, 2009 at 3:21 PM said...

I usually leave the fever alone too unless they are really miserable. So much better if they can just rest and let the fever do it's job.

PS. I've got a little something for you on my site to thank you for letting me read your awesome blog!


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