Healthful Living


Chapter 32—Fevers and Acute Diseases

Causes of Acute Diseases

905. Nature is burdened and endeavors to resist your efforts to cripple her. Chills and fevers are the result of those attempts to rid herself of the burden you lay upon her.—Testimonies for the Church 2:68. HL 211.1

906. Nature, to relieve herself of poisonous impurities, makes an effort to free the system, which effort produces fevers and what is termed disease.—How to Live 4:60. HL 211.2

907. Nature bears abuse as long as she can without resisting, then she arouses, and makes a mighty effort to rid herself of the incumbrances and evil treatment she has suffered. Then come headache, chills, fevers, nervousness, paralysis, and other evils too numerous to mention.—Testimonies for the Church 2:69. HL 211.3


908. When we feed on flesh, the juices of what we eat pass into the circulation. A feverish condition is created, because the animals are diseased; and by partaking of their flesh we plant the seeds of disease in our own tissue and blood. Then, when exposed to the changes in a malarious atmosphere, to epidemics and contagious diseases, the system feels their effects; it is not in a condition to resist disease.—Unpublished Testimonies, November 5, 1896. HL 211.4

909. Highly seasoned animal food produces a feverish state of the system; especially if pork is used freely, the blood becomes impure, the circulation is not equalized, and chills and fever follow.—Spiritual Gifts Volume 4a, 126. HL 212.1

910. Many times your children have suffered from fever and ague brought on by improper eating, when their parents were accountable for their sickness.—Testimonies for the Church 4:502. HL 212.2

911. Children should not be allowed to eat gross articles of food, such as pork, sausage, spices, rich cakes, and pastry; for by so doing their blood becomes fevered.—Testimonies for the Church 4:141. HL 212.3

912. Thousands have indulged their perverted appetites, have eaten a good meal, as they call it, and as the result have brought on a fever or some other acute disease, and certain death.—Testimonies for the Church 2:69. HL 212.4


913. The effects produced by living in close, ill-ventilated rooms are these: The system becomes weak and unhealthy, the circulation is depressed, the blood moves sluggishly through the system because it is not purified and ventilated by the pure, invigorating air of heaven. The mind becomes depressed and gloomy, while the whole system is enervated, and fevers and other acute diseases are liable to be generated.—Testimonies for the Church 1:702, 703. HL 212.5


914. If fevers enter a family, often more than one have the same fever. This need not be if the habits of the family are correct. If their diet is as it should be, and they observe habits of cleanliness, and realize the necessity of ventilation, the fever need not extend to another member of the family. The reason that fevers prevail in families, exposing the attendants, is because the sick-room is not kept free from poisonous infection by cleanliness and proper ventilation.—How to Live 4:57. HL 212.6

915. Families have been afflicted with fevers, some have died, and the remaining portion of the family circle have almost murmured against their Maker because of their distressing bereavements, when the sole cause of all their sickness and death has been the result of their own carelessness. The impurities about their own premises have brought upon them contagious diseases.... Disease of almost every description will be caused by inhaling the atmosphere affected by these decaying substances. There is constantly arising from them an effluvium that is poisoning the air.—Spiritual Gifts Volume 4a, 141. HL 213.1

916. If a house be built where water settles around it, remaining for a time and then drying away, a poisonous miasma arises, and fever and ague, sore throat, lung diseases, and fever will be the result.—How to Live 4:64. HL 213.2

Helpful Suggestions

917. In nine cases out of ten the indisposition of children can be traced to some indulgence of the perverted appetite. Perhaps it is an exposure to cold, want of fresh air, irregularity in eating, or improper clothing; and all the parents need to do is to remove the cause, and secure for their children a period of quiet and rest or abstinence for a short time from food. An agreeable bath, of the proper temperature, will remove impurities from the skin, and the unpleasant symptoms may soon disappear.—The Health Reformer, October 1, 1866. HL 213.3

918. Reduce the feverish state of the system by a careful and intelligent application of water. These efforts will help nature in her struggle to free the system of impurities.... The use of water can accomplish but little if the patient does not feel the necessity of also strictly attending to his diet.—How to Live 3:60. HL 214.1

919. If, in their fevered state, water had been given them to drink freely, and applications had also been made externally, long days and nights of suffering would have been saved, and many precious lives spared. But thousands have died with raging fevers consuming them, until the fuel which fed the fever was burned up, the vitals consumed, and have died in the greatest agony, without being permitted to have water to allay their burning thirst. Water, which is allowed a senseless building to put out the raging elements, is not allowed human beings to put out the fire which is consuming the vitals.—How to Live 3:62. HL 214.2

920. The blessed, heaven-sent water, skilfully applied, would quench the devouring flame, but it is set aside for poisonous drugs.—Testimonies for the Church 5:195. HL 214.3

921. In cases of severe fever, abstinence from food for a short time will lessen the fever, and make the use of water more effectual. But the acting physician needs to understand the real condition of the patient, and not allow him to be restricted in diet for a great length of time until his system becomes enfeebled. While the fever is raging, food may irritate and excite the blood; but as soon as the strength of the fever is broken, nourishment should be given in a careful, judicious manner. If food is withheld too long, the stomach's craving for it will create fever, which will be relieved by a proper allowance of food of the right quality. It gives nature something to work upon. If there is a great desire expressed for food, even during the fever, to gratify that desire with a moderate amount of simple food would be less injurious than for the patient to be denied. When he can get his mind upon nothing else, nature will not be overburdened with a small portion of simple food.—Testimonies for the Church 2:384, 385. HL 214.4

922. The sick-room, if possible, should have a draught of air through it day and night. The draught should not come directly upon the invalid. While burning fevers are raging, there is but little danger of taking cold. But especial care is needful when the crisis comes, and the fever is passing away. Then constant watching may be necessary to keep vitality in the system.—How to Live 4:59, 60. HL 215.1