Monday, September 14, 2015

Why a fever is a friend—not a foe

Contrary to popular belief, a fever is not necessarily a bad guy.  It’s an indication that your immune system is kicking in and working to make you well. 

Let’s take a closer look at what a fever really is, and why in the vast majority of cases it’s a friend—not a foe.

Fever 101—what’s really going on?
First of all, if you contract an infection or virus, it means that your immune system wasn’t quite strong enough at that moment to fight it off without it taking hold of you to some degree.

An initial rise in temperature in this case is a sign that your immune system is “rising up to the challenge”—and your temperature allows it to function at a higher level.

As your core temperature rises, it activates certain immune cells (called lymphocytes) that are able to destroy cells infected with viruses (as well as cancerous cells too!).

The increase in your temperature also activates neutrophils, which are immune cells that target cells with bacterial infection. Plus the temperature increase also improves enzyme activity in your body to create an environment that is unfriendly toward the harmful microbes.

Is it getting too hot in here?
Your immune system also knows that harmful microorganisms can only survive within specific temperature ranges.

So it turns up your internal furnace just enough to kill off the bad guys--this drastically reduces their population and ability to do harm in your body. 

Your normal body temperature is 98.6° Fahrenheit, and a fever is defined as having an oral temperature that exceeds 100.4 °.

Once you cross the fever threshold and your temperature reaches 101°, most harmful bacteria are unable to survive.  At 102°, viruses are unable to reproduce and spread through your body.

Now, your immune system is brilliant—it also knows that if your temperature gets too high, some of your friendly bacterial will get killed off too. 

Your body doesn’t want to raise your temperature to the point of killing off its good guys but it will if necessary—that usually happens in a state of extreme infection. 

More harm than good
Now that you know exactly what a fever is and what your immune system is doing behind the scenes, you can better understand why pain relievers may cause more harm than good.

When you run a fever and subsequently pop acetaminophen or ibuprofen, the drugs do quickly lower your temperature, but they also silence your body’s natural defenses and cripple the development of your immune system.

As a result, you allow the invading organisms to survive inside of you and make you sicker and sicker.

So what do you typically do then?

If you’re like most people, you go to the doctor and report that you’ve had a fever and aren’t getting any better…and chances are good you will be given antibiotics at that point.

But this can make the problem even worse because antibiotics destroy your friendly intestinal flora—where 70 percent of your (already challenged) immune system resides.  This makes it far more likely that you will get sick again.

Gimme a chance
Fevers are typically self-limiting and short in duration—maybe a day or two.

To help your body along during the process and encourage the elimination of dangerous organisms, it’s important to stay hydrated and drink lots of water, and to rest as much as possible!

Of course, always call your doctor if you have concerns.

When fevers become truly dangerous is when they get up over 103° and/or last longer than three to four days.  At that point you may be risking damage to your vital organs and it’s imperative that you see your doctor.  

But even then many times taking a cool bath can be enough to bring your temperature down into a more acceptable range.  There are still some doctors around who suggest a cool bath prior to administering any drugs for a fever. 

Make it stronger overall
In addition to respecting the expert actions of your immune system, it’s also important to help keep it strong.

Here are four super-effective immune health boosters that can quickly help whip your immune system into better shape:

1) Get adequate rest
Your immune system "recharges" when you sleep, so make sure you consistently get adequate rest. 
The average person needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night, so if you're getting less than that, start turning in a little earlier.  

2) Keep it real
Your entire body is nourished by the naturally occurring nutrients in real foods, and that includes your immune system.

However, when you rely heavily on processed foods and refined carbs (especially soda and snack foods), not only does your body lack the nutrients it needs, but your immune system takes a hit.

Just one spoonful of sugar can depress your immune function for an hour or more!  Think about that next time you drink a “super-sized” soda.  Even just one can of Coca-Cola has a whopping eight teaspoons of sugar.

Plus foods like these feed the harmful bacteria in your gut, which can then crowd out your friendly flora and hamper your immune function.

Stick to real foods--fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy and whole grains.  Your whole body (including your immune system) will thank you.

3) Make sure you have adequate B12
Vitamin B12 is crucial for the formation of red and white blood cells, which help boost your immune function. 

But many people are deficient in B12--especially people over age 50, people who take acid reducers, vegetarians and people with inflammatory bowel disease.

And even if you eat foods that are rich in B12 it’s not always easily absorbed through the GI you may be getting less than you think.

The easiest way to make sure you have enough is to supplement with a more easily absorbable form of B12 like Hydroxaden 2.5 B12 spray.

Hydroxaden 2.5 is a convenient way to get the B12 your body needs.  Just 5 sprays under your tongue gives you a full 2.5 mg of B12, and since it's being absorbed directly into the bloodstream, there are no concerns with lack of absorbency through the GI tract.   

4) Probiotic supplementation
Since 70 percent of your immune system resides in your gut, it's essential to make sure that you have a healthy population of beneficial bacteria lining your gut wall to provide a good home for that immune system.

Unfortunately, things like stress, cigarette smoking, use of medications like antibiotics and acid reducers, and environmental toxins can all harm your friendly inhabitants.

That's why supplementation with a probiotic like Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula can be helpful for just about everyone.

One of Super Shield's 13 superior friendly bacteria strains, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, has been shown to be especially helpful at stimulating antibody production.

And Super Shield’s 12 other top-quality strains each have their own “specialty” in how they help support immune and overall health.

Be good to it and it will be good to YOU
Your immune system is not something to take lightly. 

Support your immune system and help it do what it’s meant to do—keep you healthy!

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

PS: Always be sure to let your doctor or healthcare provider know what supplements you are taking.

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