Fever and its treatment
Human beings are afraid of fever for centuries. The main reason is that children get handicapped or die after fever and convulsion. Main diseases causing death and complications are menengitis, typhus, malaria. Diseases in which skin rash are seen like meassles death are rare and caused by wrong treatment mostly. Vaccination and appropriate treatment decrease death in these diseases.
Heat shock and fever because of disease are accepted as same and treated accordingly. Cold application in heat shock is normal but it may be harmful in disease fever. Unfortunately still cold application is used for children with disease fever.
Why they apply vinegar to patients with fever?
In ancient times in Europe because of living in cities in a crowded place water is polluted. There is not a toilet in homes even in palaces. This causes contamination. There is a very bad odor around. That is why odor sectory is well developped in France. Then they realized that if vinegar, alcohol is added to water they do not cause disease. They commend that there is a good spirit in wine and pushes away the bad spirit in water. They give the name spirit to the drinks that are fermentated. Can good spirit treat diseases? They spread wine to the body then they realise that it decreases fever. Alcohol evaporates quicker than water and lowers the temperature. This new investigation spread to the world. Islamic population also loved this finding but there is a problem. Wine is forbidden. They write “heat vinegar” on the wine bottles. In time people who are not aware of this trick use vinegar to lower the fever.
How does fever go down, is it necessary?
Fever is a reaction that body produces against microbes and foreign materials. Over 36 degrees celcius, microbes live hardly, body metabolism is increased and immune system is activated. Our body learned that fever is a good defensive mechanism against external stimulants. To lower the fever does not help disease to get better. Fever is not a disease, it is a sign. What is important is to diagnose what is causing fever to increase.
What if convulsion occurs!
Before we should learn why “convulsion” occurs. Microbe or toxic materials stimulate the nerves (astrocytes) in brain. After a chain reaction brown adipose tissue produces heat. With increasing fever, body needs more oxygen. To maintain it heart beats faster and respiration increases. Also necessary blood is directed to vital organs, vessels are constricted in face, foot and hands to use less blood. Babies younger than 6 months do not have convulsion because they have high heart beat already. Convulsion is most frequent between 6 months-4 years of age. If fever increases suddenly and if heart and respiration cannot adapt to it then brain cannot get enough oxygen. Then brain cuts relation with body to save energy. This causes convulsion. Stimulations coming from spinal cord cause muscle spasms. After spasms heart beat and respiration are incerased. When brain gets enough oxygen then it returns to normal function. If fever increases slowly and time is given to the body to adapt it then no convulsion is seen. In other words if fever is 40 degrees celcius convulsion does not occur.If fever is tried to be decreased fastly by external cold application then convulsion is seen. Cold application for fever is unnecessary and even harmful.