[back] Fever

Don't Fear the Fever

by Bruno Seemann, M.D.

“What do you mean, she's still sick ... I gave her something for her fever?" Mrs. Brown (not her real name) was flabber­gasted when she was confronted by the fact that her little daughter's cold was lingering into its third week. She was used to giving Tylenol for even the slightest fever or body ache. "The symptoms keep changing! First it's a runny nose, then a sore throat, and now she's coughing."

Fever, it turns out, is not an illness in an of itself, but a sign that our bodies are attempting to work through an illness. Suppressing fever is like pinching a fire hose shut when the firemen are trying to save your house. A fever, for an adult and for a child, is actually beneficial for our body. It is an opportunity for our immune system to respond to a challenge.

Parents today are much more uncomfortable with fevers than parents fifty years ago. A fearfulness surrounds them because of the risk, albeit ex­tremely low, of a febrile seizure. The medical establishment has generated a pervasive culture of paranoia, by not clearly stating that 1) seizures are extremely rare, and 2) the seizure itself is harmless, does not lead to a subsequent permanent seizure disorder, and does not cause brain damage.

Anthroposophical remedies exist which can help support our body during times of acute fever. These do not suppress the fever, but rather help to integrate its functions so that the body can be returned to the healthy balance which we call health.

Dr. Seemann has a practice in San Diego, CA