Could I give myself a fever on purpose?

Let’s say for the moment that George Soros has offered me a million dollars if I can maintain a resting body temperature of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 hours. Is there a way to do it without infecting myself with an actual disease?

There are non-infectious processes which can raise your body temperature. Whether or not you would categorize them as a “disease” is a definitional problem.

As a general rule of thumb, your thermoregulation is a homeostatic regulation the purpose of which is to maintain health, so anything that alters it might be loosely considered a disease process, even if it’s not an infection.

Exercise on even a mild day can bring your temp up that far. Run a marathon.

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Injections of endotoxins or Pyrogenal, e.g. : (Think of these two examples as essentially simulating what happens when you get an infection with a live organism)

Also, while exercise can raise your internal temperature, it should not remain high for four hours unless there is associated significant physiologic perturbation such as heat stroke.

There’s certainly drugs that can do it, including illicit recreational ones. Elevated body temperature is one of the dangers associated with ecstasy. Other substances which may be sold as ecstasy may have a more profound effect on body temperature:

Of course, your million dollars won’t be much good if you also experience death as a side effect …

Ingestion of the compound 2,4-Dinitrophenol raises the body temperature by interfering with the energy metabolism of the cells. Metabolic energy is converted to heat rather than used to produce ATP, because DNP collapses the proton gradient in the mitochondria.

Pyrogens will do the trick for you.
Grow up some gram negative bacteria, kill em, extract the lipopolysaccharides from the cell walls, and inject them. You’ll get a fever.

Whatever you do, stay away from cowbells.

If the bacterial cell wall approach is too icky for you, you could instead inject yourself (IM) with certain steroids such as 3a-Hydroxy-5b-androstan-17-one (Etiocholanone). That’ll give you a fever of up to 105°F for a day or so.

My ex used to fake a fever by drinking coffee while holding a penny under his tongue. One time he accidentally let it get too hot and his temp went waaaay over the top. BUSTED!

Good point, thanks. :smiley:

Supposedly you can do this using Tummo meditation.

Has anyone ever researched these pyrogenic preparations y’all have mentioned in connection with the anecdotal saying about mental patients, “when they get sick, they get better?”

Basically, I’m wondering if doctors could induce a harmless fever to halt a psychotic episode or severe depression. Since I’m not a pharmaceutical research lab, this’ll have to stay in the realm of speculation, but has anyone heard of such a thing?

Why go the exogenous route with pyrogens?
The body naturally produces them with inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1 (which incidentally is what some bacteria target to create a febrile state). They’re produced by cyclooxigenase genes (COX-1 and COX2), and incidentally, these genes are the ones that anti-inflammatory drugs target to down regulate to help decrease the effects of a fever (medications such as Asperin are irreversible COX inhibitors- thus they help decrease the amount of interleukins to help control a fever).

Also, you can do this the old school way: there are 4 ways through which the body physically deals with thermoregulation: Conduction, Radiation, Convection, and Evaporation (the only one that works to cool the body when the surrounding temperature is greater than the internal temperature). So to induce a fever- you can just try to inhibit/stimulate those 4 mechanisms in some form:

  1. Radiation- basically increasing the amount of heat exposed to your body such as via sunlight, bright lights, tanning booths, etc. Find a hot enough source and stand in front of it.
  2. Conduction: basically physical contact with hotter objects- pretty much the equivalent of cooking the body. Find a nice hot pad/conductive surface and use it to raise up the body temperature in an area- find something that covers your entire body and voila! You’re cooking with gas now!
  3. Convection- this is basically the blood flow in your body and heat transfer- if you’re trying to conserve the temperature you want to INDUCE vasoconstriction- to decrease the heat loss (basically it’s what your body NORMALLY does when you get really cold- the shivering, frostbite, and goosebumps are your body trying to conserve heat. So you want to do this while WARM- it’s a bit unnatural but it can be done (the marathon example above was great, especially if you combine it with the next idea- Evaporation!).
  4. Evaporation- think of it as the sweat from your body- Sweat cools the body down, since if the surrounding temperature is greater than the internal one, Radiation, Convection, and Conduction all work AGAINST heat loss causing you to gain Heat (going from hot to cold, where in this case you’re the cold). So sweating is the body’s natural way of trying to compensate. To evaporate one gram of H20 into gas will require .58 degrees of heat. So your body will RELEASE the heat into the sweat and the energy will be lost to the surrounding area. But your goal is NOT to cool down, but to heat up.
    So YOU WANT to MINIMIZE the evaporation. Basically- you need to prevent any water loss from your body because that’s heat being wasted. So that’s why when you run a marathon and you begin to sweat you’ll be trying to cool down- the muscles are producing the heat, but the body is cooling it down as much as it can by sweating!
    –So for you: if you wrapped your body up in bags, or wore clothing that trapped the water in, basically creating a mini-sauna around yourself and then ran a marathon- you wouldn’t be able to lose any heat and thusly you’ll start burning up.
    It’s also Very VERY likely that you’d give yourself heat stroke and die too.
    But still, this is in the name of science!

That’s why some wrestlers to try to lose more weight will wear those weird plastic clothes/workout uniforms and then go sit in a sauna basically for hours, their goal is to create AS MUCH sweat as possible to try to lose as water weight before they go in for a weigh in. This has in the path lead to dehydration, heat strokes, and death in a few cases. But it’s the stupid things people will do to try to gain an advantage, ya know?

Also, if you want another way to unnaturally induce a fever- you can increase your metabolism. Increase the levels of thyroxin, and T4/T3 hormones in your body to basically induce Hyperthyroidism, and you’ll have increased your metabolic work and thusly increased your body temperature slightly. Of course there’s all sorts of problems too with hyperthyroidism as well (including goiters, bulging eyes, hyperreflexia, spasms, and other fun things). But still it’s another way to do it without having to resort to nasty external toxins!

(Guess who’s got a test on Thermoregulation tomorrow?:D)

Cost and convenience?
100 mg of 3a-Hydroxy-5b-androstan-17-one will set you back $153.01, while bacterial wall slime is practically free.

5 micrograms of recombinant Interleukin-1α will set you back about $295.

I do not understand any of what you are saying as a practical strategy to increase body temperature for four hours (absent, as I mention above, a physiologic perturbation such as heat stroke).

It’s true that endogenous pyrogens exist and are, in fact, the mediators through which infections and the like raise body temperature. But the first part of your post skims over some ordinary physiology without a practical suggestion for how to trigger them. The next four ways may raise body temperature, but only temporarily unless you cook it into heat stroke. Lots of illnesses, including ones related to thyroid regulation, can cause baseline temperature changes, but fever is not a very prominent component of a hyperthyroid state. In any case, I would put a deliberate overdose of thyroid hormone in the category of “nasty external toxins.”