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Low-grade Fever

Low-grade Fever

A low-grade fever is the body's response to fighting off an infection. However, a persistent low-grade fever works as a signal that indicates other health related conditions. Elucidated in this article, are the various conditions, for which one of the symptoms is low-grade fever.
Loveleena Rajeev
Last Updated: May 12, 2018
Feverishness
When needed, in order to suppress bacterial growth, iron and zinc concentration in the blood reduces, which is nothing but a result of fever.
Fever is, perhaps, the most common of all health conditions diagnosed.

It is also the first sign that the body sends out to signal an infection or a disease that's coming on. It is the body's thermoregulatory set-point that rises to deal with a faulty mechanism occurring in the body. A fever is generally characterized by bouts of cold, and an increase in shivering, heart rate and muscle tone.

A low-grade fever is a mild increase in a person's normal body temperature. It ranges from 100.4° F to 102.2° F, and can be persistent in nature. It is important to note that mild elevation in body temperature can also be caused due to environmental factors, as well as rigorous physical activity.

Here, we are going to take a look at some of its causes, and a few health conditions which are indicated by low-grade fever.
Causes of low fever
Due to various infections and other reasons
  • Any kind of ear infection
  • Parasitic infections
  • Sinus infection
  • Festering wound infections
  • Lung infections (pneumonia, bronchitis)
  • Gastroenteritis (infection of the digestive tract)
  • Cellulitis (skin infection)
  • Viral infections (cold, flu, etc.)
  • Teething
  • Chronic allergies
  • Immunization reaction
  • Side effects of certain medications
  • Pulmonary embolism (blood clot that travels to the lung)
  • Vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis)
Due to some severe and life-threatening causes
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Meningitis (the sac around the brain and spinal cord, gets inflamed and infected)
  • Cancers
  • Appendicitis
  • Diverticulitis (an abnormal pocket in the colon is inflamed)
  • Encephalitis (brain inflammation)
  • Epiglottitis (swollen and inflamed epiglottis, along with fever and sore throat)
  • Osteomyelitis (bone and bone marrow infection)
  • Heat prostration (depleting body fluids and electrolytes)
  • Acute hepatitis (active infection of the liver)
A few detailed conditions, with a common symptom -- low-grade fever
Mumps - It is a contagious inflammatory viral disease which leads to the swelling of the parotid salivary glands.

Rubella - A viral contagious disease (milder type of measles) usually lasting for 3 to 4 days.

Chickenpox - It is a common viral infection characterized by small red rashes, which is accompanied by low-grade fever.

Scarlet Fever - A streptococcal infection caused as a fallout of the strep bacteria in the body, occurring mostly with a sore throat, fever, and a rash.

Hepatitis - It occurs due to a liver inflammation or a liver infection, and can cause a rise in body temperature.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) - PID encompasses all infections of the Fallopian tubes and other internal reproductive organs; it occurs only in women.

Mononucleosis - Also known as glandular fever, it is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus.

Leukemia - This is cancer of the blood cells, usually the white blood cells. One of the early symptoms of leukemia is mild but persistent fever.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - A progressive form of arthritis, affecting and inflaming the joints of the body.

Typhoid - It is a gastrointestinal inflammation and ulceration, caused by a bacterial infection.

Sinusitis - Also known as sinus infection, it is a very common condition caused due to inflammation of the sinus cavities behind the nose and eyes.

Flu - An acute, febrile, highly-contagious, viral infection, that inflames all organs involving the respiratory tract, like the nasal mucosa, the pharynx and conjunctiva.

Myositis - It is a muscle disorder that is caused due to chronic muscle inflammation, leading to progressive muscle weakness and deterioration.

Chikungunya - A viral disease transmitted by mosquito bites. It is characterized by fever and rash, and in severe cases, arthritis. Chikungunya is a very rare infection.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the cause of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), causes fever that fluctuates very often.

Autoimmune Disorders - Disorders caused by an inflammatory reaction caused by the body's own immune system, when it attacks its own tissues.

Chronic Abscess - Chronic abscess (collection of pus surrounded by inflamed tissues) can persistently cause low-grade fever, and is a result of a number of health factors.

Tuberculosis (TB) - The third-most deadliest disease in the world, is an infection caused by bacteria, whose malignancy causes diseases usually in the lungs.

Dengue Fever - This is an infectious disease caused by mosquito bites and dengue viruses. Its symptoms are persistent fever and rash.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) - UTI is a bacterial infection that affects the urinary tract. Besides a burning sensation while passing urine, another symptom of this infection is low-grade fever with acute shivering.

Fifth Disease - The human parvovirus B19 leads to this mild childhood ailment, and causes flu-like symptoms with a rash. It is the fifth ailment on the list of common childhood illnesses, and hence the name.

Pertussis - Also known as whooping cough, it is a disorder of the respiratory mucous membrane.
Probable Symptoms
Depending on the underlying cause, low-grade fever might be accompanied by various other symptoms. Health conditions which often lead to an elevated body temperature would have additional signs and symptoms, out of which, a few are mentioned below.
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Shivering
  • Diarrhea
  • Convulsions
  • Sore throat
  • Hallucinations
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cough
  • Tenderness and redness of the skin
  • Burning sensation while urinating
Treatment Options
Antiviral drugs are often prescribed to treat some common viral infections. Some over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, aspirin (only for adults) or acetaminophen can also be used to treat low-grade fever. However, it is important to remember that the treatment also depends upon the type and severity of the disease one has.
Quick Tips
  • Drink plenty of water and other fluids like soups, fresh fruit juices, etc., to keep yourself well-hydrated.
  • Avoid eating too much fruits and energy drinks.
  • Rest as much as possible, do not exert yourself, and stay indoors.
  • Keep yourself cool by putting on some light clothes, and keeping the room temperature cool.
If the fever is persistent, it is advisable to get yourself checked, rather than treating it with over-the-counter medications. A timely checkup of a fever will help diagnose the more-complicated health condition in time.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by a medical professional.