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Why do I shiver when I have a high temperature, not when I have a low one?

  1. Dec 11, 2004 #1
    I'm sick and running a fever. If I take an Advil and my fever goes down, I stop shivering, but as the medicine starts wearing off, I begin to shiver more. I thoguht shivering was a mechanism designed to raise you're body heat, so it doesn't make sense that when I'm running a 103.8 temperature I'd need to generate any more heat to kill whatever pathogen's inside of me.

    Paz,
    Jacob
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 12, 2004 #2

    Moonbear

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    Fever is a different mechanism than simply being overheated. Your "setpoint" changes (like raising the temperature on a thermostat as opposed to turning on a separate heater in a room containing the thermostat). When you're running a fever, you perceive room temperature to be too cold, so start shivering. The medicine works on the fever-inducing mechanism in the brain to lower that set-point and help get your temperature down.

    Since you're running close to 104 F, if you haven't already seen a doctor, you should do so soon! While 104 isn't unusual for a kid, for an adult, it gets dangerous. Have someone drive you to a doctor (you shouldn't be driving yourself if you are that sick).

    Feel better soon!
     
  4. Dec 12, 2004 #3
    I'm a teenager, and I meant 102.8

    Thanks for the info hombre,
    Jacob
     
  5. Dec 12, 2004 #4

    Moonbear

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    When I was saying "kid" I was thinking little kid, like under 12. In terms of high fevers, I'd lump teenagers in with adults in terms of when it's time to see a doctor.

    Are you feeling any better today? If the fever doesn't start to go down today, go see a doctor anyway (if it gets worse, call a doctor immediately...I know Sundays aren't the best days to get ahold of a doctor otherwise).
     
  6. Dec 12, 2004 #5
    I actually am doing better, thanks for caring. It's amazing what some advil, chicken soup, juice and a few days rest will do for a viral infection. It's also amazing what a doctor can do (say: "Yep, it's a virus, nothing I can do for you, that'll be $75).

    It's amazing the feeling of sympathy that a series of 1's and 0's tranfered over phone wires into a series of red, green and blue pixels can confer.
     
  7. Dec 12, 2004 #6
    Behold the power of cheese..I mean, err the Internet
     
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