How to Fight a High Body Temperature

A temperature is what happens when your body temperature elevates beyond the normal healthy range, around 38°C and above, usually as part of an immune system response to infection. Unfortunately, if you have contracted a bug, whether it is viral (Coronavirus, the flu) or bacterial (ear infections, gastroenteritis) the most common symptom you're likely to experience is an elevated body temperature.

When you have a high temperature, it is likely you will experience some of the following symptoms.

  • General unwell feeling

  • Headaches

  • Body aches

  • Chills contrasted with feeling hot and sweaty

  • Shaking, chattering teeth

  • Dehydration

  • Loss of appetite

  • Overall weakness

How Does a High Body Temperature Make You Feel?

How Do I Know if I Have a Temperature?

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digital thermometer for fevers ava safe.

You can determine if you have a high body temperature by measuring it. The quickest, least-invasive and most accurate way to do this is to use an infrared thermometer to see if your body temperature is 38°C or higher. If it is then you in likely have what is known as an elevated body temperature.

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If you have a high temperature with no overwhelming or concerning symptoms, the simplest way to overcome it is to follow this guide.

  1. Get lots of rest, this will help your body in its fight against the infection.

  2. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated otherwise your condition can deteriorate quickly. If you're struggling to stay hydrated try an electrolyte-enhanced drink or ice block as this will restore lost electrolytes.

  3. Take over-the-counter medications such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to help bring your temperature down.

  4. Have a tepid bath or use a cool compress on your forehead.

  5. Overall keep yourself in a room with a stable, comfortable temperature (not overwhelmingly cold OR warm) and maintain your hydration/rest levels until you start feeling better.

  6. If you do not feel better after a couple of days or you are feeling concerned at any point, contact a medical professional about your high temperature.



Myths about temperatures can do more harm than good and lead you to make unwise choices about your health. Some things you should avoid doing if you have a high temperature include:

  • Having an ice-cold shower or bath. Exposure to the cold causes blood vessels to constrict which actually traps body heat in, meaning you can feel even hotter and less well after having an initially relieving cool-off.

  • Drinking alcohol, tea, and coffee as they can lead to further dehydration -- something you want to avoid if you're already not optimally hydrated.

  • Covering yourself in heavy blankets can trap heat under the surface with you, causing you to feel overheated. Similarly having an ice-cold air conditioning running isn't going to help either. It is best to have lightweight sheets over your body in bed and to wear comfortable lightweight clothes rather than opt for extreme hot or cold options.

  • Getting back to strong exercise and strenuous activity too soon after overcoming a raised temperature can cause you to feel rundown or even to have a relapse. Pace yourself and gradually return to your daily activity level over time.

For more information on fighting temperatures please visit HealthDirect Australia and Better Health VIC. This article is not designed to be medical advice. Please see a medical professional such as a doctor if you feel you are unwell.

Tips on How to Overcome a High Body Temperature

High Body Temperature Myths

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