Fever phobia is the term given by medical experts to parents'
misconceptions about fever in their children. As a result of these
misconceptions, parents are anxious, give the child
fever-reducing medicine when the temperature is technically normal or
only slightly elevated, and interfere with the child's sleep to give the
child more medicine[1,14-15].
This misconceptions also happen to adults ourselves. At the first sign of a fever, we quickly reach for
medications such as aspirin or Tylenol (NSAIDS). The medicine represents hope and recovery. Taking medication implies a cure.
Based on researches
[1-5], we probably should not fear fever because we know scientifically that fever is a protective mechanism.
Cancer and Fever
In clinical practice, doctors observe that many cancer
patients simply don't develop fevers, and cancer patients often report
that they were never ill. Two of my friends told me exactly that and one of them is cancer victim and another cancer survivor.
The Bad and Good of Fever
A fever is usually accompanied by sickness behavior, which consists of
lethargy, depression, anorexia, sleepiness, hyperalgesia, and the
inability to concentrate. No wonder, at the first sign of a fever,
we quickly reach out medications for relief.
We know scientifically that fever is a protective mechanism. When body temperature reaches 101.3
the immune system shifts into a state of alarm. At this temperature, the level of immune chemicals in the
bloodstream doubles, and immune defenses throughout the body
increase. Within 6 hours, almost every major defense within the
immune system doubles its efforts.
This process appears to be dormant in many cancer patients,
who typically report never having experienced a fever.
Body temperature is regulated by the
hypothalamus. When we are well our core body temperature has a rhythmic
pattern. It is lower in the morning and increases in temperature
toward the later afternoon—the difference can be as much as
1.8oF (1.0oC) or more. These mild
fevers normally decrease as the evening progresses. As reported by , the temperature difference decreases as we age.
Findings from Cancer Patients
For cancer patients, it's been found that their body has difficulty
regulating temperature. They often report that they may have had brief
bouts of a sore throat, a cold, or a cough, but these
illnesses were never accompanied by a fever. In other words, they cannot
mount a fever and hence they are unable to activate their immune
system. The abnormalities found among cancer patients include:
- Their core body temperature tends to be lower than normal.
- For many of them, it is more
than 1oF lower.
- Many report that they have frequently felt chilly over the
last few years and often have cold feet and hands.
Many of cancer patients habitually use aspirin, Tylenol, or antibiotics at
the first sign of a fever. With frequent use of fever
suppressants, the immune system
may never mature adequately or become fully activated. Without an all-out effort by the immune system, the following
consequences may result:
- Their temperature shows a disruption of the normal rhythmic
pattern described above.
- Many bacteria and viral
infections tend to linger and become chronic.
- The immune system becomes less and less
adept, leaving the body more vulnerable. This can set
the stage for developing cancer.
For example, a study published in the JAMA provides evidence that the use of antibiotics is associated with increased risk of breast cancer. To further the argument, Dr. Fuhrman also stated that :
I remember the first pharmacology lecture I heard in medical school, when the professor emphasized, "Make no doubt about it: all drugs are toxic and can even hasten one's death. ...
Couple our nutrient-poor diet—and the resultant immune system weaknesses, leading to frequent illness—with the use and overuse of medications, including antibiotics, vaccines, and immunosuppressive drugs for autoimmune diseases, and we have a good reason for the explosion in cancer rates over the last seventy years.
Fever and Heat Therapy
Historically, heat have been recognized for their
beneficial effects. The following list shows how various cultures have used simple forms
of heat as a way of both cleansing and healing.
- Ancient Greek medicine
- Roman hot sulfur baths
- Finnish saunas
- European and American spa treatments
- Japanese hot tubs
- Native American Indian sweat lodges
- Bhutan's unique hot stone baths 
Gorter Model is designed to restore and enhance cancer patient's
immune function, enabling the immune system to aggressively and effectively combat cancer cells throughout the body. It is created by
Dr. Gorter, who himself is a cancer survivor, and used to treat cancer
patients at the Medical Center Cologne in Germany.
In its cancer treatment protocol, therapeutic fever is used in combination with
immune therapies that include
interleukin, interferon, and various other
To reactivate the immune system in these patients, the
Gorter Model uses a process of controlled fever referred to
in the scientific literature as fever-range, total-body
hyperthermia—a form of treatment in which the entire body is
heated to a moderate fever temperature of approximately 101.3oF
Because fever is a stress to the body, it is usually not
given to patients with severe cardiac decompensation or to
patients with brain cancer because it potentially can evoke
cardiac difficulties or an epileptic seizure.
For almost all other patients, fever-range, total-body
hyperthermia has no negative side effects or risks.
Usually when patients complete the fever-range, total-body
hyperthermia treatment, they feel cleansed and energized.
Dont Be Fever Phobic!
Research has demonstrated that fever has several important functions in the healing process. It can
As advised by Dr. Gorter, the fear of fever is misplaced. Next time
if you have a fever and are tempted to use a fever suppressant, think twice—consider the long-term consequences of compromising your immune defense.
- Increase mobility of leukocytes
- Enhance leukocytes phagocytosis
- Decrease endotoxin effects
- Increase proliferation of T cells
Be warned that: sometimes you could be seriously ill and do need the aid of modern medicines. These are the times that you should call a doctor:
Watch for a sudden worsening of the overall condition, especially if worsening symptoms start to involve labored breathing, persistent fever above 103 degrees for three days, abdominal pain, changes in behavior or mental status, and persistent diarrhea or vomiting.
- Crocetti M, Moghbeli N, Serwint J (June
2001). "Fever phobia revisited: have parental misconceptions about fever changed in 20 years?". Pediatrics 107 (6): 1241–6.
- J.F. Duffy, D,J.Diji, E.G. Klerman, and C. A. Czeisler, "Later
Endogenous Circadian Temperature Nadir Relative to an Earlier
Wake Time in Older People," Am
J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 8 (1998):275.
- Craven, R and Hirnle, C. (2006). Fundamentals of nursing: Human health and function. Fourth edition. p. 1044
- Lewis, SM, Heitkemper, MM, and Dirksen, SR. (2007). Medical-surgical
nursing: Assessment and management of clinical problems. sixth edition.
- Fighting Cancer — A Nontoxic Approach to Treatment by Robert Gorter, MD, PhD and Erik Peper, PhD.
- Documentaries about the Gorter Model — These videos include interviews with patients who have overcome cancer receiving the Gorter Model treatment.
- Velicer CM, Heckbert SR, Lampe JW, et al. Antibiotic use in relation to the risk of breast cancer. JAMA 2004; 291(7): 827-35.
- Super Immunity by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
- The Meat Industry Now Consumes Four-Fifths of All Antibiotics
- Antibiotic resistance a "catastrophic threat" - medical chief
- C. difficile
12 Home Remedies for CoughsHome Remedies for Congestion7 Facts About Mucus, Phlegm, and Boogers
- C. difficile most commonly affects older adults in hospitals or in long term care facilities and typically occurs after use of antibiotic medications. Mild illness caused by C. difficile may get better if you stop taking antibiotics.
Treating sinusitis—Don't rush to antibiotics
- If you have green or yellow boogers, don't rush to antibiotics," says Satish Govindaraj, MD, an assistant professor of otolaryngology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
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- 15 to 21 percent of all antibiotic prescriptions for adults in outpatient care are for treating sinusitis. Unfortunately, most of those people probably don’t need the drugs.
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- The water temperature used in most of the published research ranges from approximately 104°F – 109 °F.
- Nearly all antibiotics can cause antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
- Why antibiotic-associated diarrhea occurs isn't completely understood. It's commonly thought to develop when antibacterial medications (antibiotics) upset the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.