YOUNG ADULT PROBLEMS: FEVER (PYREXIA)

Fever should be considered a friend. Fever itself is unlikely to cause any problems to an adult but it is important to assess the underlying cause because a fever may be a symptom of problems such as meningitis, pneumonia or kidney infection.

A normal temperature lies in the range 36°-37°C or 96.8°-98.6°F.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Ensure good water intake, increasing normal consumption by at least 2 pints of water per day. A fever with sweating may need more. Avoid cold water, preferably drinking room temperature or warm water. Refer to your preferred homeopathic manual for suitable remedies, paying special attention to Aconite, Arsenicum album, Belladonna, Bryonia, Gelsemium and Phosphorus.

Herbal remedies include extracts from elderflower and peppermint as an equal mix, or chamomile by itself or with yarrow as an infusion taken four times a day.

Cold compresses on the forehead, neck, abdomen and ankles will bring the discomfort down whilst leaving the core temperature raised to encourage the immune system response.

Fever diminishes appetite and the saying ‘starve a fever, feed a cold’ is true for short periods of time. Eat by instinct.

Avoid alcohol, caffeine and other stimulants.

Exercise should be kept to the minimum of a short walk in fresh air if the patient feels like it.

Glandular fever is so named because of the association with swollen glands in the neck, axilla and groin (although glands in the abdomen and thorax will also be enlarged but not palpable) in association with a fever. This condition is often recurrent because the causative agent, Epstein-Barr (EBV) virus, is resilient and may hide intracellularly, especially within the liver. (It may cause hepatitis.)

Glandular fever usually appears as a sore throat, fever, malaise and lethargy in association with the above findings. In a healthy individual the problem will last less than two weeks. Recurrence, however, may be every couple of weeks or it may in fact lie dormant for several months. Known in the past as the kissing disease, Epstein-Barr virus is disseminated by kissing, sneezing, coughing and mouth-to-hand-to-mouth contact (shaking someone’s hand who may have licked their fingers). Unless one is already immuno-compromised as is the case in AIDS, Epstein-Barr virus is not generally a serious infection although it can cause a non-chronic hepatitis.

Epstein-Barr virus may be responsible for chronic fatigue syndrome (postviral-fatigue syndrome) but most frequently appears as a sore throat, muscle pain, loss of concentration and depression with the aforementioned glandular swelling.

RECOMMENDATIONS

A blood investigation known as the Paul Burnell test should be performed on any persisting, resistant or recurring fever. A positive result may be indicative of acute or past infection.

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a member of the herpes group of viruses The Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is a neurological condition that is characterized by symptoms ranging from lethargy and muscle weakness to paralysis. In severe cases, paralysis of the respiratory muscles may prove fatal. The aetiology (cause) is unknown and the condition is diagnosed by excluding other causes of the symptoms. There is a strong association between GBS and previous, recent viral infections and recent vaccinations, particularly the measles and polio vaccines.

I believe that this potentially devastating syndrome is multifactorial and will only be triggered if the underlying nervous system is weak. This weakness can be created by persisting physical causes such as food allergy, drug abuse and other unhealthy lifestyles. I believe that stress leading to excessive adrenaline production over a period of time can ‘strain’ the nervous system and leave it open to such problems as GBS.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Any persisting neurological problem or one involving any form of paralysis must be reviewed by aGPora neurological specialist. Any problems with breathing make this a medical emergency.

Besides life-saving first aid, the orthodox world can only offer palliative treatment for GBS. Consult a complementary medical practitioner with experience in this field.

Consider osteopathic or Marma therapy.

Polarity therapy, cranial osteopathy, yoga and the Alexander technique have, in my experience, all been beneficial.

Ensure that food allergy testing is performed .

Eat before drinking alcohol, even if it is only a small amount. Avoid drinking on an empty stomach.

Do not mix your alcoholic drinks at any session.

The homeopathic remedy Nux vomica potency 6 can be taken every hour. A more specific remedy choice may be made depending on the symptoms and remedies such as Aconite, Chamomile and Pulsatilla should all be reviewed.

Avoid the popular use of ‘the hair of the dog’. Whilst making some impact on well-being, it enhances the potential damage. Coffee is also a poor idea because it enhances the dehydration.

An individual who indulges and creates frequent hangovers should consider the daily use of a liver support such as milk thistle or other herbal concoctions such as Liv 52.

Joking apart, frequent hangovers may be an indication of a mild form of alcoholism .

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