Saturday, December 19, 2015

The ear thermometer is a totally inaccurate measure of temperature in the body.

Summary of a talk by Dr Jeff Hasday
MD, PhD of the Maryland School of Medicine, leading professor of body temperature and fever

The temperature of a person is regulated by the hypothalamus which has a firing rate that increases as the body gets hot and slows down when in the cold.  To maintain a normal body temperature of 37°C there has to be equal amounts of gaba and glutamate to fire the neurons.
Fevers activate the endocrine and immune system.  Suppressing fevers by using antipyretic agents masks the underlying condition and therefore prolongs the infection.  Antipyretic drugs are only used for a patient’s comfort and it is advisable to let the fever continue so as not to mask the underlying medical condition.
External cooling, when you submerge the patient in a bath of tepid water or you use ice, cold wet sheets and a fan, is a very costly metabolic exercise.  The only time you would attempt to bring down a patient’s temperature by these means is if the person is suffering from heat stroke. (This was a very eye-opening message. I think most of us try to bring temperatures down in some way or another).  Two things can happen when you do nothing to bring down a temperature.  Small children can have convulsions and old people can go dilly.  Only then is an antipyretic really necessary.
There is an enzyme called PG2 which increases the temperature of a patient and an antipyretic inhibits this enzyme; which is necessary for healing the medical condition. 
Another quite shocking fact is that the thermometers used today in hospitals that are used to take an ear reading are the most unreliable instruments in the assessment of a fever.  Each ear will give a different reading; and putting the ear thermometer on the cheek with give another reading.  The old mercury mouth or anal thermometers are far more accurate.
Sir William Osler said in the early 1900’s, “Fever is natures might engine that helps recovery from diseases”.
Everybody gets fevers when they are ill, including those with autoimmune diseases. 
However, there is a group of people who never get a temperature and their normal body temperature can be as low as 34 or 35°C.  This group are known as the Primary Immune Deficiency/hypogammaglobulinemia/CVID and others which have almost no or no normal immune function.  This presents a huge problem for people like me because I can be as sick as a dog and have no fever.  The protocol at all hospital emergency rooms is that if your infection markers are up and you have a fever, you are put into hospital.  This does not happen to me.   I have to go back time and again and only when x-rays are taken am I treated as seriously ill.  I have never come across a single doctor who understands this phenomenon in patients with the above illnesses.  My normal temperature is 35.6°C.  Anything above that is a fever for me.  The reason we do not get fevers is because we have too much gaba and not enough glutamate in the hypothalamus, and therefore the firing rate of the neurons is impaired.  We do not have normal febrile response from the neurons of the hypothalamus.   Some of the sickest people will have no fever at all. CVID patients do not have a normal febrile response (firing rate of neurons).

The problem with CVID and related disease patients is the response they get at emergency hospitals.  It would be a good idea to get a letter that you carry with you from your Primary Physician to give to the ER doctor explaining that you have a below average temperature and to take into account that a few points above your “normal” should not be ignored and should be seen as a fever. 
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