Gross ignorance still abounds about fever
- Created on Tuesday, 06 November 2018 05:46
Even among medical doctors the stupidity reigns, as they keep prescribing drugs to suppress fever. This is 2018; almost 2019. So, how could doctors be so stupid about something as primal as fever?
Fever is NOT dangerous, and it is NOT part of the problem. It is part of the solution. The body creates the fever, not the disease-causing agent. It does it on purpose. It does it because it wants it. Fever helps the body fight the infection. It helps the body kill bacteria.
Medicine knows it. Researchers know it. But, doctors still prescribe fever-reducing drugs to patients. I suspect that in large part it’s because the patients ask for it. And that’s especially true of parents who are petrified every time their child has a fever. But, make no mistake: suppressing the fever is bad; it does harm and not good, and I mean from the very act of lowering the fever. But in addition to that, the drugs used are all toxic. Giving aspirin to children is a bad idea since it is so corrosive to the lining of the digestive tract, and it can cause Reye's Syndrome in some children. Acetaminophen damages the liver and quite severely. Acetaminophen poisoning is a major cause of liver failure. And liver transplants have had to be done on patients who overdosed on Acetaminophen- and not always for that long either. Combining Acetaminophen with alcohol increases the damage to the liver, and unfortunately, when people are in pain, they often take both. They may wash the acetaminophen down with a good stiff drink. Another drug often used for fever is Ibuprofen, and it is damaging to the kidneys. And you should know that kidney damage is irreversible. And the truth is that all the painkilling drugs are nephro-toxic. There have been plenty of people who have had to start kidney dialysis because of having taken painkillers for years- for things like backaches, arthritis, etc. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a harmless painkiller.
Scientists know that fever enhances infection-fighting lymphocytes, particularly a type of lymphocyte known as CD8T cells, and that these cells are more active, more robust, and more effective against bacteria in a warmer environment. You can even demonstrate it and see it in a smear of blood under a microscope.
But, can’t fever cause brain damage? I know that that is a widely held belief, both in Medicine and among the public, but what is it based on? There is absolutely no doubt that mild fevers, moderate fevers, and even moderately high fevers to NOT cause brain damage. The only question is whether extremely high temperatures (like 106 or 107) cause brain damage. But, since such fevers are always treated and brought down with drugs, how do they really know that they cause brain damage? Where is the clinical evidence for it? Where are the brain-damaged kids who got that way from experiencing high fevers? I haven’t met any. Have you?
I will tell you outright that I think it is a complete myth that fever causes brain damage. It certainly could if there was no limit on how high a fever can get. But, there is a limit; a built-in limit. And that’s why we never hear about anyone having a fever of 112 or 120. It takes a lot of metabolic activity to generate fever, and that metabolic activity would reach its limit before the fever reached the point of doing brain damage. I am telling you that brain damage from fever is just a myth. And even if you can cite a case in which someone with a high fever wound up with brain damage, how do you know the damage was due to the fever and not to the infection that induced the fever or to drugs that were given?
I am stating unequivocally that on an evidentiary basis, there is nothing there. It’s just a belief, an old wive's tale. Doctors always treat extremely high fevers, so how do they know that if they didn’t do it that brain damage would result? I say that it’s far more likely that when there is brain damage, that it's due to the infection or to the drugs.
Let me put it this way: I would NEVER take a drug to reduce my fever. I am NOT afraid of fever.
That is not to say that people with high fevers aren’t in trouble. But, they are in trouble from whatever caused the body to respond with fever and not from the fever itself.
But, let’s remember that 98% of the time, we are talking about low to moderate fevers, and it is absolutely insane to suppress those fevers with drugs. And that it is still being commonly done in 2018 is a sickening thought. How can such medical ignorance and misguided care abound in the 21st century?