Why does our body Temperature rises after an infection

Fever is usually considered as an unfavorable condition for our body but in reality it is one of our body's protective measures to fight against an invading bacterial or viral infection. How does rise in body temperature saves us is a fact that should be understood. Our immune system is the basic unit which is extended in our whole body and keeps track of any invasion through any part of body, either on foot nail or in a hair follicle on the scalp. Betterhealthfacts.com will explain the reason behind fever in this informative article.

Importance of Fever in our Immune System

Our brain and immune system keeps a record of all the chemicals and proteins present in a healthy body. As soon as any bacteria or virus invades our body, it secretes it own chemicals or proteins, which are instantly recognized by our body. Immune system around the infected part of body informs the hypothalamus (a part of our brain) to increase body temperature. Rising body temperature helps fight the infection in various ways.

  • Every organism including bacteria and virus have its own survival temperature range. A bacteria or virus infects us because our normal body temperature comes in its survival temperature range. By rising the body temperature, our immune system checks if it can kill the invader by going above its survival temperature range. 
  • In the mean time infection fighter T-cells, which are part of our immune system, become super-strong due to rise in body temperature. In fever they attack the infection site with full power to destroy the invading bacteria or virus. These T-cells are a type of white-blood-cells that usually remain in monitoring mode and keep flowing in our whole body through blood stream. Fever changes their status from monitoring mode to attack mode.
  • Fever is accompanied by high pulse rate. It means heart beats faster and blood flows faster, which helps T-cells to faster reach the site of infection. This faster flowing blood and helps the T cells to squeeze though the walls of blood vessels and reach the lymph nodes that need them. Lymph nodes are bean like structures in our body and they trap the infection causing invaders in a particular part of body, so that infection can't spread.
  • As we told earlier that fever makes our T-cells super strong. The heat makes alpha-4-integrin molecules on the surface of T-cells, which are hook like structures that stick out from a T cell’s surface. These hook like structures helps T-cells in holding the walls of blood vessels near the infection site. Without these hook like structures these Tcells can't control their movement in the faster flowing blood. 

However higher body temperature makes us feel uncomfortable but it is for the own benefit of our body. It is harmful only if it rises too much or remains for a long duration.

Why do we have fever after some vaccinations ?

As we told earlier than fever is a normal response of our immune system and it helps in generating new antibodies to fight against a particular microbe. Usually a vaccine contain only the chemicals or proteins released by a virus/bacteria, which makes our falsely believe that its an attack and starts preparing antibodies with its normal response. In this process, fever is an indication that its happening properly.

Shall we take medicines to reduce fever ?

If the infection is not a serious one then waiting for a few hours will only help you. If the temperature remains moderately high for few hours then you may take some medicine. If the fever goes above 101 then you should not take any risk and immediately take some medicine to reduce fever. 

Note: Every infection is different and sometimes our bodies react differently to similar infections. So it is better to consult a doctor as soon as you feel feverish. Being your own doctor can sometimes be harmful. However there is no harm in talking to your doctor and understanding your disease and medicines prescribed.

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