Febricula is not a disease in itself , it is usually the manifestation of some illness . Febricula is characterized as an increase in temperature above levels considered normal.
However, one should not forget that the temperature of the human body varies throughout the day: after performing physical activity, when we are subjected to high temperatures, and even depending on where the measurement takes place. In general, the rectal temperature is higher than the oral temperature, which is higher than the armpit temperature.
It is worth mentioning that there is a lot of variation among authors about which values are considered normal and which represent Febricula. Some of them claim that an individual has a Febricula when he has an axillary temperature greater than 37.2 ºC or a rectal temperature above 38 ºC. Other authors consider values between 37.3 ºC and 37.8 ºC as Febricula, being called Febricula only when the individual has a temperature above 37.8 ºC.
To identify whether an individual has a Febricula, one should use the thermometer and properly follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, paying attention, for example, to the time required for the measurement to be completed. Placing your hand on your head or even your wrist is not an adequate technique to confirm if an individual has a Febricula, but it can help to suspect the problem.
The mechanism of Febricula
It occurs due to an elevation of the temperature set point . Our body temperature is regulated by the thermoregulatory center, which is in the hypothalamus . This regulatory center works like a thermostat , ensuring the balance of our temperature, keeping our body’s internal temperature at around 37ºC. In Febricula, what happens is a readjustment of this thermostat , with the set point shifted to higher levels. Febricula occurs in response to an endogenous or exogenous stimulus.
What causes the Febricula?
It is one of the main reasons why people see a doctor, especially when it affects children. As mentioned, it is not a disease, but a symptom of some health problems.
Often the causes are not identified, however, it is very commonly associated with inflammatory diseases and infections. It can also be caused by autoimmune disorders, endocrine disorders, trauma, neoplasms , hemorrhages, among many other problems.
What do we feel when we have a Febricula?
It is a warning sign that something is not right with our body, being the symptom of a wide variety of diseases. This symptom, however, often does not appear alone, being accompanied by headache, body pain, malaise, decreased physical strength and irritability . It is common for the patient to also experience chills and shivering.
The importance of Febricula
Generally, It is seen as a problem that must be quickly treated. However, it is important for our body. The increase in temperature is related to an increase in the effectiveness of the immune response and also to a reduction in the replication of microorganisms .
Febrile seizures usually occur in genetically predisposed children between the ages of six months and six years, occurring in about 4% of healthy children. Despite being an extremely unpleasant event, there is no reason to panic , since febrile seizures are benign and are not responsible for brain damage.
It is important to highlight that children older than one year of age who have already experienced Febriculas above 38.7°C and have not had seizures are unlikely to have febrile seizures.
Febricula is treated using antipyretic drugs , such as dipyrone or ibuprofen. It is worth mentioning, however, that, although these drugs are sold without a prescription, they should not be used indiscriminately .
Often, Febricula does not need to be treated, and in other cases, the use of these medications can make this symptom ignored and the true reason not identified. In general, the treatment of Febricula is recommended when it compromises the patient’s general condition.
Difference between hyperthermia and Febricula
Unlike what many people think, Febricula and hyperthermia are not synonymous. Although, in both cases, there is an increase in temperature, in hyperthermia this increase is not related to changes in the thermostat . In it, what is observed is a failure in the thermoregulation mechanisms , responsible for dissipating heat.
Hyperthermia has different causes , one of the best known being prolonged exposure to heat . Staying inside a closed car under the sun, for example, can lead to an increase in our body temperature. Hyperthermia can also be induced by physical exertion or the use of certain medications. Hyperthermia, unlike Febricula, cannot be treated with the use of antipyretics.