How To Tell If You Have A Fever

have a feverIt’s happened to all of us. A friend with a slightly tired look approaches and asks, “Do I feel warm?”

Suddenly it’s your responsibility to diagnose a fever or oncoming sickness. Do you use your wrist? Do you measure against your own skin? What if you feel warm, too? There’s just so much to think about.

Giving your friends the role of temp doctor is quite trusting (because they are pretty likely to overestimate the incidence of fever), but with these tips, you can eliminate the need to ask anyone. And the next time someone asks you, you can pass these tips along, too.

Here’s how to tell if you have a fever, without asking your coworker:

1. Take your temperature. Let’s just assume you don’t have a thermometer and start in on step 2.

2. Check for symptoms other than temperature.

  • Dehydration, or just feeling dehydrated, is sometimes key to the body’s signal to crank the heat. If you feel thirsty, have dry mouth, experience fatigue, have a headache, see an increase in dry skin, or experience constipation, you may be dehydrated, indicating a higher likelihood of fever.
  • The chills. We all know the kind that fevers give. They crawl up your neck and take over your whole body. If you have them, you might have a fever.
  • Muscle aches can also be a symptom of dehydration, but if you have them in a noticeable, aggravating way, you may have a fever. If muscle stiffness occurs in your back or neck, and you believe you have a fever, a trip to the doctor (immediately) is in order.
  • General weakness and fatigue are hallmarks of a fever, but are some of the less severe symptoms that could also present with other conditions. Take that for what it’s worth – they might be fever-related, they might not.
  • Severe symptoms: Hallucination, convulsion, severe irritability or confusion. These warrant a doctor’s visit, too.

If you have none of the above symptoms, but just feel that your skin is warm, you may still have a fever, but you probably shouldn’t panic. There’s only one guaranteed way to diagnose yourself, and that’s with a thermometer.

If you do have some of the above symptoms, an ibuprofen and plenty of fluids should do the trick to ease your pains or discomforts.

A fever is an immune response, so it’s part of your fight against the real culprit. Instead of focusing on ridding yourself of the fever, focus on ridding yourself of the discomfort, and allowing the fever (if it’s normal and not severe) to do its job, too.

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