Does sweating mean your fever broke?

Sweating is a bodywide reflex to cool the body, and the body cools the fever by sweating. If you have a fever, you will likely sweat.

However, if you have a fever and do not sweat, you do not have a fever. In this case, your fever is likely a condition known as a pseudomembranous or non-sweating fever. These types of fevers are not caused by a viral infection, and instead are a result of inflammation or an infection.

The symptoms of a pseudomembranous fever include:

  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue

You may have a pseudomembranous fever if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Chills or shivers
  • Flu-like symptoms

How are you supposed to know if you have a fever?

Generally, if you have a fever and you have a temperature above 100.4 F (38 C), you have a fever.

However, if you have a fever at 100.4 F (38 C) and you are sweating, you likely are experiencing a pseudomembranous fever.

When to seek medical care?

You should seek medical attention if you have a fever higher than 101 F (38 C).

If you are experiencing a fever with sweating, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Additionally, if you have a fever that comes back up to 100.4 F (38 C) after you have been taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), you should seek medical attention.

If you experience a fever with no sweating, you may have a pseudomembranous fever.

Your doctor may also want to run some tests.

Your doctor may ask you to give a blood sample. This can be done by drawing a small blood sample from your finger tip.

Your doctor will also want to take a sample of your urine.

A blood test measures the level of your white blood cells. A normal result for white blood cells is between 4,000 and 10,000 cells per microliter of blood.

A urine test measures the level of creatinine. Creatinine is a chemical compound that is produced when you break down muscle.

The urine test is usually more accurate at detecting a urinary tract infection (UTI) than a blood test. However, it is not as accurate at detecting a kidney infection.

How long do pseudomembranous fevers last?

Pseudomembranous fevers typically last between 4 and 8 days.

When to see a doctor?

If your fever comes back up to 100.4 F (38 C) after you have been taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), you should seek medical attention.

Pseudomembranous fevers may be a sign of a serious infection, so be sure to see your doctor if you have a fever above 100.4 F (38 C).

What are the complications of pseudomembranous fevers?

Pseudomembranous fevers may be a sign of a serious infection.

You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever that comes back up to 100.4 F (38 C) after you have been taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
  • Fever higher than 102 F (39 C).
  • Fever higher than 104 F (40 C).
  • Fever higher than 101.3 F (38 C).

Pseudomembranous fevers are a sign of inflammation. As a result, they may cause:

  • Swelling around the eyes and mouth.
  • Itching.
  • Increased redness of the skin.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea.

How are pseudomembranous fevers treated?

If you have a pseudomembranous fever, you will likely be treated with an oral medication.

These medications include:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • Naproxen (Aleve)
  • Diclofenac (Voltaren)
  • Ketorolac (Toradol)

Each of these medications will work to decrease inflammation.

Additionally, you may be given an antibiotic if your fever is caused by a UTI.

How do you prevent pseudomembranous fevers?

If you are at a high risk of developing a UTI, you may be given preventive antibiotics.

You may also be given an antibiotic to treat a UTI if you do develop one.

However, it is important to note that some antibiotics are not the best for treating a UTI.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), you should not take these antibiotics if you have a urinary catheter.

Additionally, antibiotics that treat a UTI are generally not prescribed for pregnant women.

It is best to speak with your doctor about any antibiotics that you should avoid altogether.

What is the long-term outlook?

Pseudomembranous fevers usually last between 4 and 8 days.

However, sometimes they can last as long as 10 days.

If you have a UTI, you may be prescribed antibiotics for up to 8 weeks.

The best way to prevent pseudomembranous fevers is to urinate after sex.

Additionally, you can help prevent UTIs by not using urinary catheters.

What is the difference between a “normal” temperature and a fever?

A normal temperature is 98.6 F (37 C).

A fever is defined as a temperature above 100.4 F (38 C).

If you have a fever, you should seek medical attention.

What are the causes of pseudomembranous fevers?

Pseudomembranous fevers are a sign of inflammation.

Inflammation of the skin is usually the cause of pseudomembranous fevers.

This inflammation may be due to:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI).
  • Urinary tract stones.
  • Urinary tract obstruction.
  • Bacteria in the blood.
  • Allergic reactions.
  • Viral infections.
  • Lymphoma.
  • Drug reaction.
  • Cancer.
  • Autoimmune diseases.
  • Medications.
  • Shingles.

Pseudomembranous fevers can also be caused by a urinary tract stone.

This may occur when your bladder or urethra has become blocked.

Pseudomembranous fevers can also be caused by a urinary tract obstruction. This is when the ureters become blocked.

This is more common in women, as they have two ureters, one on each side of the uterus.

Treatment for pseudomembranous fevers

If your fever comes back up to 100.4 F (38 C) after you have been taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), you will likely be treated with an oral medication.

These medications include:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol).
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).
  • Naproxen (Aleve).
  • Diclofenac (Voltaren).
  • Ketorolac (Toradol).

A quick recap

  • “Pseudomembranous fever” is a general term used to describe fevers over 100.4 F (38 C).

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