Frequency Of Unexplained Fevers

What Causes Unexplained Fever?

Unexplained fever can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose unexplained fever, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "unexplained fever" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Malaria
  • Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Ovarian Cysts
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Lupus (SLE)
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Leukemia

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
regular sun rash on cheeks
excessive thirst
regular rashes
chronic vomiting
night sweats
frequent 'chills'
frequent confusion/disorientation
severe abdominal pain
resolved atypical recent headaches
blood transfusions
black/brown fingernails
significant left iliac pain
... and more than 100 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of unexplained fever:
Cause Probability Status
Ulcerative Colitis 96% Confirm
Leukemia 24% Unlikely
Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma 21% Unlikely
Malaria 2% Ruled out
Sarcoidosis 0% Ruled out
Lupus (SLE) 0% Ruled out
Ovarian Cysts 0% Ruled out
HIV/AIDS 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Metabolic Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about frequency of unexplained fevers:
How often do you get unexplained fevers?
Possible responses:
→ Never / rarely / don't know
→ Occasionally - one or two per year
→ Frequently - several/many per year
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either occasional unexplained fevers or frequent unexplained fevers, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)

A less common but more serious constitutional feature of SLE is persistent fever.

Ulcerative Colitis

In severe acute attacks there may be fever.

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