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Should You Really Sweat Out A Fever?

I’m a huge fan of spiders. I know, I know, I’m telling you this now so you can get all your boo’s and hiss’s out of the way early. We grew up on a farm where spiders played a huge part in making sure our house wasn’t constantly infested with other, way scarier little creatures (ticks, anyone?). And now that I live in the city, I’m still a fan of spiders (goodbye, gnats), but unfortunately every once in a while a really bad spider comes along and tries to give all the other spiders a bad name. The jerks. Equally unfortunate is the fact that this happened to me two months ago. I was bitten by a spider on the derrière and ended up getting super, duper sick. But, in combating this arguably icky level of sickness I actually learned a few things and I figured I’d pass them along. One of them? The fact that my mom always told me you should sweat out a fever…and she was totally wrong.

should you really sweat out a fever

Should You Really Sweat Out A Fever?

So like I said, no. You really shouldn’t sweat out a fever. What happens is your body develops a fever which triggers your white blood cells and other do-hickeys to step in and do their job. The fever is a big part of what helps fight off bacteria and infections. But if you start bundling up, wearing tons of blankets, and taking hot baths in order to sweat out your fever, what you might actually be doing is inadvertently raising your temperature and making it even harder for the ol’ immune system to go to work.

Probably my favorite ‘Informative’ cartoon from when I was a kid. Do you remember it?

Another fun fever fact? It’s okay to let a fever ride. If you’re achy, stiff joints, in pain, etc, feel free to take a lil’ something (if the doc said it’s fine), but otherwise, like I said before, that fever is actually a pretty handy little dude so if you’ve got the ability to just chill in bed and live with it (and it’s not mega, crazy high), then just try to stick it out. It will probably help you get faster way better.

If you do take a pill, you can inadvertently make the infection take longer. Before this fun little time of my life, I thought you were Supposed to take Ibuprofen or such and such if you got sick, but nah. I was totes wrong. By lowering the fever, the infection isn’t being killed by the little yellow immune system fellas and it can get stronger or worse. Just, like I said above, let it ride.

So what are you supposed to do? I mean, here you are hanging on by a thread, burning up sick with a 101  fever that’s making you feel like death warmed over…and I’m telling you not to pop a pill? Actually, the best thing is to try to adjust to it. Rest. Drink tons of water. Eat light. Rest. And if I haven’t mentioned it, rest. Yeah, that’s the perfect cure for what ails you.

Now, I truly hope none of you have to go through what I had to with that awful bite, but whether you’re battling a summer cold, or a respiratory infection, or maybe one of those ‘who knows why I’m sick’ things, at least you’ll know what to do about that fever.

Quick note: When to go to the doctor…according to the ER doctor who saw me three times because of that bite (it was a bad one, did I mention?), you come in if your temperature has been above 103 for at least three days. And I’m not saying go straight to the ER, I’m saying, call your doc and tell them you need to be seen. And, of course, if your doctor gives you different advice than what I’m giving, LISTEN TO THEM. I’m not a doc. Just a gal whose booty will now permanently bear the mark of a very unwelcome visitor.

sick girl

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