How Do I Recognize a Fever from an Allergic Reaction?

Erik J.J. Goserud
Erik J.J. Goserud
A fever can be measured on a thermometer and recognized by symptoms like a spike in body temperature.
A fever can be measured on a thermometer and recognized by symptoms like a spike in body temperature.

The presence of a fever is sometimes a symptom of an allergic reaction, but recognizing a fever from an allergic reaction may be difficult. One good method for doing so it to try to isolate the causes and, in the process, conclude whether an allergic reaction is possible. For example, if a person was stung by a bee and then is exhibiting an increased body temperature, there is a significant chance he or she is experiencing an allergic reaction.

High fevers of any type can be life-threatening, so consult a physician immediately.
High fevers of any type can be life-threatening, so consult a physician immediately.

The common fever, medically termed pyrexia or hyperthermia, is characterized by an increase in body temperature beyond the typical range of 98 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (36.5 to 37.5 degrees Celsius). Fevers are usually accompanied by a number of related symptoms, including shivering, increased muscle tone, headache, and general malaise. When these symptoms go on for a longer amount of time, they indicate a fever. Severe fevers are life-threatening and should be treated with urgency. Fevers, however, are also a result of other ailments, so sometimes it is difficult to distinguish their causes, as in the case of a fever from an allergic reaction.

Emergency care is necessary if someone allergic to bees is stung by the insect.
Emergency care is necessary if someone allergic to bees is stung by the insect.

Allergic reactions are basically the body's overcompensation for the presence of an allergen. What this means is that a foreign object, or allergen, has entered the body's system. When this occurs, the immune system acts to identify the object and make any necessary physiological changes. Normally, these changes are within reason, but in the case of immune hypersensitivity, an allergic reaction may occur, and these overcompensations can be dangerous. For example, in the case of a person allergic to bee stings, experiencing an allergic reaction to stings near the throat could cause swelling and asphyxiation.

The common fever is characterized by an increase in body temperature.
The common fever is characterized by an increase in body temperature.

By paying attention to the details leading up to an allergic reaction or fever, it may be easier to discern a fever from an allergic reaction. A few important questions may include the following: Is the person suffering allergic to anything? What did the person suffering last eat? Did any events trigger the onset of the fever? Are there any other symptoms present?

This last question is especially useful in determining a fever from an allergic reaction. If the person is only exhibiting fever symptoms, like feeling cold or increased muscle tone, they are likely experiencing a fever. If, however, allergic reaction symptoms such as itchiness, irritation or swelling are present, then an allergen may have caused the episode. In either case, it is best to consult a medical professional to prevent the potential for more harmful conditions.

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    • A fever can be measured on a thermometer and recognized by symptoms like a spike in body temperature.
      A fever can be measured on a thermometer and recognized by symptoms like a spike in body temperature.
    • High fevers of any type can be life-threatening, so consult a physician immediately.
      High fevers of any type can be life-threatening, so consult a physician immediately.
    • Emergency care is necessary if someone allergic to bees is stung by the insect.
      Emergency care is necessary if someone allergic to bees is stung by the insect.
    • The common fever is characterized by an increase in body temperature.
      The common fever is characterized by an increase in body temperature.