Fevers and Why We Need to Embrace Them

I had the privilege a couple of years ago to meet a really well-respected Anthroposophical doctor
named Philip Incao. He’s written many articles over the years, but the one that caught my eye is
entitled How to Treat Childhood Diseases. I found it most interesting that in Dr. Incao’s experience, suppressing fevers increases the tendency for allergies. With this in mind, perhaps it’s time to let go of the fear of fever and appreciate the benefits.

“The best doctors are Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet and Dr. Merryman.” —Jonathan Swift

My 5-year old is home from school today for the second day in a row. Yesterday he labored into
my room at 6:30 in the morning and declared that his stomach hurt. It was Monday and I’m no
stranger to hearing all kinds of excuses why he shouldn’t go to school, so I was skeptical. I
thought, maybe it’s hunger or maybe he just needs to go to the bathroom – or maybe it’s nothing
at all and he doesn’t want to go to school. As the morning went on, he ate some breakfast and
tried using the restroom and his energy was ok – not great, but ok. In the end, I decided to keep
him home and I’m glad I did. About an hour later, he was really sick to his stomach and later,
spent a good part of the day laying on the couch falling in and out of deep sleep.

That evening his fever started.

At this point, when the body aches and general crumminess sets in, some people want a quiet
room in the back of the house with nobody coming or going. Or some individuals, like my son,
want to lay on the couch in the middle of a busy living room with someone to rub feet or back
and just be there for support… So that was us last night. I sat on the couch with him for hours
and literally felt his body temperature increase as I sat there.

I’ve learned over the years to not be afraid of fevers; I embrace and appreciate their benefits. I
welcome them, in fact. I admit as a young parent, I didn’t feel this way. I was afraid that
something bad would happen so I suppressed them with Tylenol or Ibuprofen. It wasn’t until I
started to understand the body better, that I grew to feel more comfortable with high
temperatures (~101-102).

I had the privilege a couple of years ago to meet a really well-respected Anthroposophical doctor
named Philip Incao. He’s written many articles over the years, but the one that caught my eye is
entitled How to Treat Childhood Diseases. In it, he describes how every illness, whether it’s a
minor cold or more serious fever, is an opportunity for the body to rid itself of toxins and
impurities that build up over time through diet, stress, pollution, etc. He goes on to say that
Anthroposophic and homeopathic remedies help promote the cleansing process, thereby creating
a pathway for healing to occur. On the other hand, over-the-counter pain/fever reducers like
ibuprofen suppress the immune system, causing the symptoms go away before the illness has
fully cleared out. When this happens again and again, there’s potential for the body to develop
allergies and asthma. And since the focus of Artemis Therapeutics is allergies, I found it most
interesting that in Dr. Incao’s experience, suppressing fevers increases the tendency for allergies.
With this in mind, perhaps it’s time to let go of the fear of fever and appreciate the benefits.

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