Starting with A for "ACE inhibitor" and continuing through to Y for "Yolk Sac Tumour", we give you succinct explanations for scientific and medical terms in clear and simple words.
- FeverIncrease in body temperature as a result of a disturbance in thermal regulation. In contrast to hyperthermia, in which the body is overheated without the so-called target value being shifted, in fever the target value for the body temperature is shifted upwards. Fever can support the body's defensive mechanisms, partly by acceleration of biochemical reactions. These advantageous effects of moderate fever must be balanced against subjective complaints (feeling of illness, loss of appetite, headache) and objective disadvantages ( protein degradation). Classification: Up to 38 °C subfebrile temperature, up to 38.5 °C moderate fever, above 39 °C high fever. Fever rarely rises above 41 °C.
When fever develops during infections, babies and small children can react with fever seizures. With older children, the rise in fever is accompanied by shivering, cool limbs and centralisation of the circulation. Adults with fever usually suffer from chills. After the peak of the fever has been reached, there may be loss of consciousness or perception. The fever may drop slowly in the course of days or rapidly in the course of hours.
Treatment of the causes (e.g. treatment of infection); treatment of the symptoms, balancing the advantages and disadvantages (physically by improving the release of heat, or by giving drugs which lower fever). Traditional medicine prescribes calf compresses, juice or tea fasts or a variety of plant extracts (e.g. red currants, traditional barberry, common wood sorrel and others).
Glossary entries: Roche and Walter de Gruyter, Berlin