Why Fevers Are Healthy and Why You Shouldn’t Break Them

Fevers are a healthy immune response to illness, and breaking them could do more harm than good. Here's why.

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According to a 2011 article in the Washington Post, “pediatricians say it’s often better to let a child’s fever run its course.”

That may seem surprising considering how many children’s over-the-counter fever-reducing meds currently exist (not to mention, the flu shot, of which, ironically, fevers and flu-like symptoms are a common side effect…)

As a chiropractor in Charlotte NC who has cared for many small children, I must say I agree with the article. Fevers are actually a healthy immune response to illness, and breaking them could do more harm than good. Here’s why:

Medicines mask symptoms. When symptoms are masked, children feel better. They may not realize just how sick they are, and sickness calls for plenty of rest and fluids. However, if they don’t feel sick, they may be inclined to insist on long periods of play that could drain them of the energy their body needs to heal. Taking medicine to reduce a favor may make your children feel better, and thus make you feel better as a parent in the short-term, but long-term, you could face worse consequences by not letting the fever run its course. Also, if your child (who seems better) is exposed to other kids before they’re fully healed, they could potentially pass on the illness unknowingly.

Fevers catalyze the healing process. A fever is your body’s response to illness. A natural defense mechanism. Evidence shows that it’s actually your body’s way of preventing disease-causing microorganisms from replicating, thus shortening the length of time it takes for your body to heal itself (which it does naturally, most of the time.)

Most fevers are mild. They usually come and go with no complications. Why take a fever-reducing medicine that’s likely to come with a long list of side effects, when you can sweat it out for a few days and strengthen your immune system in the process by letting your fever ride? Moreover, masking the fever symptom with medicine will likely have no bearing on how quickly you recover. In fact, as we mentioned in the previous paragraph, it may actually prolong the process.

A few chiropractic adjustments can go a long way in helping to speed up the healing process when you’re sick. If you or your children are feeling feverish, call us today at (980) 422-2000 to schedule your appointment!

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