Sweating out a fever: Is it good or bad for you?

Is sweating out a fever a real thing? Is it good or bad for you?

If you are dripping the sweat off of your forehead right now while cluelessly looking for answers as to what your fever has to do with all that sweating, here’s your catch!

Sweating during fever is not a new phenomenon but it sure as hell creates an uncomfortable experience for a person who is already trying to recover from his or her fever.

If we talk about sweating and fever separately, these are two different body conditions. 

Fever is a temporary increase in your body temperature, often due to an illness with the temperatures fluctuating now and then. 

Sweating, on the other hand, is an outcome of a response towards heat, stress, or any other medical condition. It is associated with a release of salty fluids from sweat glands.

Fever sweating is a very common condition experienced by many people. But is it sweating in fever is good or bad for your health?


Why does the Body Sweat?

Well, sweating is one of the most important regulatory mechanisms of the body.

The main role of sweating is to cool down the internal temperature of the body and essentially balance the thermoregulation.

When the body overheats, sweating is a reaction process to bounce back the normal temperature. The antibodies fight the pathogens attacking the body and thus undergo changes that involve heat stimulation and thus an increase in body temperature.

In fact, sweating can release heat from the body at a rate that is more than ten times higher than a resting body can heat itself up.

Some of the reasons as to why sweating is important are –

  • Circulation through the muscles and other tissues increases
  • The skin releases certain toxins upon sweating which helps in detoxification.
  • Prevent the formation of kidney stones by releasing extra salts from the body.
  • Helps in opening up the skin pores and thus restricting bacteria entry and preventing skin problems like acne

Essentially, during fever, many people experience profuse sweating. This comes into play because fever raises the internal temperature of the human body.

Sweating during fever helps in cooling down this raised internal body temperature and thus prevents the body from getting heated quickly and balancing the thermoregulation.

Understanding fever

Fever is a temporary increase in body temperature that occurs in response to an infection or illness. It is the body’s natural defence mechanism for fighting off pathogens and stimulating the immune system. Symptoms may include sweating, chills, headaches, and muscle aches.

Can you sweat out a fever?

Yes, sweating out a fever is a popular home remedy that has been used for centuries to alleviate symptoms of illness. However, is it good to sweat out a fever? There is an ongoing debate among medical professionals about the effectiveness and safety of this practice. Let us take a closer look at the potential risk of sweating out a fever and possible alternative ways.

Does sweating mean Fever is Breaking?

Well, yes. Sweating does help in breaking the fever and bringing back normal body temperature.

This is why you can find yourself profusely sweating during fever because your body is trying to adapt and cool down the fever-induced raised temperature.

Once a person’s fever runs its course, the body needs to lower its core temperature. That’s where fever sweating kicks in. Sweating is the body’s only way to regulate the normal temperature.

Fever sweating is not a fun part of the whole course of your health problem but it has its share of benefits which help the body in self- responding towards fighting the fever.

When a person has a fever, the normal body temperature (which is around 98.6 degrees) starts changing and fluctuating and mostly rises.

Fever can be defined as an adaptive response of the body to infection, inflammation, stress, or trauma. If your body temperature constantly keeps rising and goes above normal or 100.4 degrees, it’s definitely a fever.

As the fever progresses and starts heating up the body, the following symptoms can be experienced-

  • Headache
  • Malaise
  • Lack of appetite
  • Skin vasoconstriction
  • Chills and goosebumps
  • Shivering

Also Read: Cold Sweat Symptoms & Causes

Sweating in Fever is Good or Bad?

It’s common to sweat when you’re having a fever. It means that your body is trying to cool down the internal temperature and is fighting off the infections which is a good thing.

Naturally sweating while having a fever is something not to get worried about. You can experience natural sweating at any time, either day or night. 

However, the point of concern is when you intentionally try to make yourself sweat more in order to speed up your recovery process. 

Well, this doesn’t work as effectively as you think. It isn’t unhealthy to sweat out your fever but there is no evidence that sweating it out intentionally will actually help you feel better faster.

Fever, in itself, isn’t an illness. It is an effect of the underlying health causes that you need to address. 

So, as long as you are sweating profusely and your fever is cutting down, it’s good for you but if you forcefully try to sweat it up, then you may face dangerous side effects.

Also, there is no need to panic if your fever isn’t going down or coming back again, as in the case of COVID-19, where the symptoms return back even after recovering.

Fever takes its own time to fade away and prominently, it depends on the underlying cause and it may return even after you have got your normal temperature back.

The Potential Risks of “sweating out a fever”

If you are trying to sweat yourself up by exercising a lot by covering yourself in multiple blankets or by trying to raise the room temperature, that may lead to more health losses than any benefit.

The potential outcomes of fever constant fever sweating can be-

  • Increased fever

If your fever is already high, sweating it out might actually make it even higher. Skin is a heat-losing organ so it is wise to wear loose clothing and remove excess blankets. This helps in cooling down the body temperature.

  • Dehydration

This is one of the most underappreciated outcomes of fever sweating. As much as sweating helps you cool down, too much of it can lead to major fluid and electrolyte losses leading to dehydration which can further worsen the condition.

  • Exhaustion and fatigue

Fighting off infection and having a higher body temperature can actually leach out a lot from your body including your strength and immunity.

If you exercise more than required just to sweat it out more during your fever, it may lead to weakness, fatigue, and many other health complications.

To prevent these dangerous side-effects of fever sweating, make sure you do not force sweating it out. Let it come out naturally and perform its work.

Secondly, focus on your hydration the most. Fever usually calls for NOT feeling like drinking or eating much, but to control the constant sweating and maintain the fluid balance of the body, it is important to hydrate yourself.

It is not advised to keep drinking water out of your body capacity, but keep in mind your regular intake. Instead of only water, try to consume more natural electrolyte drinks like coconut water, warm milk, or sometimes, energy drinks

You can also indulge electrolyte and water-rich foods like citrus fruits, watermelon, avocados, green leafy vegetables, etc. in your diet to rehydrate. 

All these additional options will not only make up for your fluid and electrolyte losses but will also help you gain energy and recover sooner.

Alternatives to Sweating out a fever

Several alternative remedies may help alleviate symptoms and support the body’s natural healing process. One of the most effective ways to manage a fever is to rest and allow the body to recover. This means getting plenty of sleep, avoiding strenuous physical activity, and taking time off from work or other obligations. Resting can help reduce inflammation, promote healing, and prevent complications associated with fever.

Another alternative to sweating out a fever is to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids, such as water, electrolyte-rich sports drinks, or herbal teas, can help keep the body hydrated and support immune function. 

Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen can help reduce fever and relieve pain and inflammation. Natural remedies such as ginger, elderberry, and echinacea have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting effects that may help reduce fever and support the body’s healing process.

Debunking common myths

There are several common myths associated with fever and its management. Some of them include:

Myth #1: Does wrapping yourself in blankets help break a fever?

This is not true. Wrapping yourself in blankets can make a fever worse by trapping heat and preventing the body from cooling down. It is important to keep the body cool by wearing light clothing, keeping the room at a comfortable temperature, and using a cool compress or fan.

Myth #2: Is it true that taking a cold shower can lower a fever?

While taking a cold shower may feel refreshing, it is not a safe or effective way to lower a fever. Exposing the body to cold water can cause shivering and increase the body’s internal temperature, making the fever worse. It is better to use a cool compress or take a lukewarm bath to help reduce fever.

Myth #3: Do Fever-reducing medications prevent the body from fighting off the infection?

It’s untrue. Fever-reducing medications such as ibuprofen do not prevent the body from fighting off infection. Reducing fever can help alleviate symptoms and make the body more comfortable, allowing it to focus on fighting off the infection.

When to see a doctor?

A low-grade fever doesn’t always need medical attention. But a fever can be an indicator of serious illness if it’s not coming down even after a long time. 

If you are facing the following symptoms while in fever, you may want to rush to a doctor-

  • Abdominal pain
  • Chest pain
  • Convulsions light sensitivity
  • Mental confusion
  • Severe headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Extreme weakness

A doctor usually prescribes some medicines/syrups which help in bringing the fever down quickly.

Note: These medications can make you sleepy and also cause sweating to help cool down the internal temperature.

Bottom Line

Sweating during a fever is not a very life-threatening or dangerous situation. It’s a bodily response to fight off the infections and bring your internal temperature to normal from being too high. 

What you need to keep in mind is to let it sweat naturally and NOT intentionally. Maintaining proper hydration levels is beneficial during fever so take a watch on your diet.

Sweating out a Fever related FAQs

Can stress cause a fever?

While stress can have an impact on the immune system, it is unlikely to cause a fever. A fever is typically a response to an infection or illness.

Should you alternate between fever-reducing medications?

It is important to follow the instructions on the medication label or as directed by a healthcare provider. Alternating between medications can be harmful and should be avoided.

Does drinking alcohol help reduce a fever?

No, drinking alcohol does not help reduce a fever and can be dangerous. It is important to stay hydrated with water and other non-alcoholic fluids.

Can a fever cause brain damage?

While a high fever can be concerning, it is unlikely to cause brain damage in healthy individuals. However, individuals with pre-existing medical conditions may be at a higher risk of complications from a fever.

Is it okay to go to work or school with a fever?

No, it is not okay to go to work or school with a fever. This can put others at risk of getting sick, and it is important to rest and recover.

How can you tell if a fever is serious?

A fever is considered serious if it is 103°F or higher, accompanied by symptoms such as difficulty breathing, severe headache, or chest pain. It is important to seek medical attention if you have a high fever and other concerning symptoms.

Is it safe to exercise when you have a fever?

No, it is not safe to exercise when you have a fever. You should rest and allow the body to recover.

Related posts

Does Soda Cause Dehydration?

Dr Debarati Biswas / BDS / Dentistry

Watery Diarrhea: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Dr Debarati Biswas / BDS / Dentistry

Can Dehydration cause Kidney Pain?

Dr Debarati Biswas / BDS / Dentistry

Can Dehydration Cause Diarrhea?

Nupur Choudhary / BSc. / MSc. [Nutrition]

Sports and Hydration: Importance, Guidance And Effects

Nupur Choudhary / BSc. / MSc. [Nutrition]

Can Constipation Cause Nausea? Here’re The Answers You Need!

Lakshmi Jaisimha

Dehydrated Tongue: Is White Tongue a Sign of Dehydration?

Dr. Suneet Monga

How Long Can You Live Without Water? It’s Fact Time!

Lakshmi Jaisimha

Does Lemon Water Help You Lose Weight?

Lakshmi Jaisimha

How to Prevent Dry Mouth While Sleeping?

HealthyStripe's Editorial Team

Dry Mouth From Anxiety: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

HealthyStripe's Editorial Team

Hypertonic Dehydration: Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Smridhi Bhatia

Does Salt Dehydrate You? Find Answers To All Your Salty Questions!

Lakshmi Jaisimha

Waking Up Dehydrated? Reasons & How You Can Fix It

HealthyStripe's Editorial Team

Does Milk Hydrate You? Know The Answer

HealthyStripe's Editorial Team

Leave a Comment

DMCA.com Protection Status