Extended low grade fever - when is it doctor time?
April 25, 2011 8:21 AM Subscribe
Low grade fever for 10 days with (mostly) no other symptoms. When is it doctor time?
posted by booksherpa to health & fitness (19 answers total)
(I understand that you are not a medical professional, or if you are, you are not mine)
Saturday night, about a week and a half ago, I had a 100.4 fever as measured on an ear thermometer. Stayed in bed the next day and rested, as I had some fatigue. Took it easy Monday as well. The fever stuck around, fluctuating between 99.5ish and 100.4, depending on which ear and time of day. Fatigue mostly went away, no other symptoms presented. I didn't take any medicine, except for Saturday night (aspirin). A strange side note - I took my temperature in both ears each time, and the left ear was consistently lower - sometimes just 2/10 of a degree, sometimes as much a full degree.
Also during these first few days, I have to go to the bathroom A LOT. Every bit of water weight seems to want to leave my body. I was down 6 pounds at my weekly weigh-in, and I hadn't been that good/active the preceding week.
Cut to Wednesday, 4 days after the fever showed up. Fever's still here. My husband suggests going to the doctor, but except for the presence of the fever, I feel fine. I call the nurse hotline associated with my insurance, run through this history with a nurse. She suggests treating it at home, but going to the doctor if certain symptoms present (higher fever, difficulty breathing, sudden headache, etc.)
Last night, fever is still present, around 99.5 or so. I decide to go to the doctor today. This morning, both ears are showing around 98.6 (normal for me, as measured in my ears, is about 97.6, so this is still elevated). I reconsider going to the doctor, since my only symptom is a fever, I have a "normal" temperature right now, and no other symptoms. Really, what could they do for me other than send me home with the same instructions the nurse gave Wednesday? My temp has not fluctuated above 100 in about 48 hours, and the difference between ear temperatures has been less pronounced as well.
Should I go to the doctor anyway? What are some common causes of low grade fevers, and why is this one sticking around? Is it normal to have such large temperature variations between ears, or is it indicative of something?