Anatomy And Physiology

Anatomy Physiology

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There are a number of reasons why the body temperature rises when we are sick with some ailments. As well as being a direct response and defense mechanism to some viruses and bacterial infections it is also the result of increased amount of activity within the body by the immune system, the result of which is a temperature rise throughout the body. The medical name for a fever is pyrexia, and believe it or not it is actually the body, and not the condition that causes this to happen as a way to fight the virus or pathogen.

Some of the work of raising the body temperature is done as a result of the reactions taking place between the invading pathogens and the antibodies. However most of the process is caused by false signals send by the brain that gives us the sensation of being cold even though we aren't. This will cause the body temperature to rise in two ways. First of all this causes us to begin to shiver as if we were cold, which increases temperature and stimulates the muscles to generate heat as well, and secondarily as well as this we will generally wrap up warm as well because of the feeling of being cold. The muscles being stimulated as a result of shivering is often why when we experience a flu or other similar condition that involves fever, muscle aching is often another side effect.

When the body rises to an above normal temperature as with a fever or when battling something such as the common cold or the flu, then the body is in effect creating conditions that will inhibit the growth of the bacteria and will slow its progress in attacking the body. Most bacteria and viruses like these are able to reproduce and grow best at body temperature and anything much above this will damage them and stop them from multiplying, which also helps to localize infections. This can sometimes lead to the temperature being too high for even our own cells to effectively reproduce and heal you, and in this case anti-pyretic drugs are prescribed by the doctor to get the body temperature back down to a lower level. The condition of this body temperature being too high is called Hyperpryrexia.

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