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Does low fever with fatigue,chills and stomach pain seem like infection after the gum surgery ?

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Practicing since : 2001
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Hi I'm inquiring for my mother. She's a very active 70 year old - exercises every day and is an extremely healthy eater, in great physical condition. A month ago she retired from a 5 year job as a nanny, a very active position - not only taking care of 2 young teens but doing all the grocery shopping, cooking the family meals and doing cleaning and all laundry. ( a very draining job) The week after she stopped, she had the last restorative gum surgery done in a series of oral surgeries, and it was the most invasive. She had a severe reaction and her doctor put her on antibiotics. That was a month ago. Ever since, (for an entire month now), she's had a consistently low body temperature of 97.0 ( which is not her norm), along with chills, constant fatigue, and constant lower abdominal pain that she says" feels like her kidneys". She has had thyroid issues in the past, but the recent tests she had done said that all levels were normal. She is getting some more test results back from her doctor tomorrow, but he's a fast moving and sometimes dismissive guy. Is there anything that you can think of that we should ask the doctor about? Anything that these symptoms see to point to to you? I worry that she had that gum surgery at a time that her system was "worn down" and perhaps she has developed some sort of XXXXXXX infection? Anyway - I'd love some professional input! Thanks so much!!! XXXXXXX
Posted Fri, 13 Apr 2012 in Abdominal Pain
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 36 minutes later

Thanks for writing to us.

Any XXXXXXX infections of the body after the gum surgery would have resulted in fever, a rise in temperature and not a fall.

A constant lower abdominal pain may be due to an organic cause- related to kidneys or ovaries - can be ruled out after an ultrasound examination or due to indigestion problem, constipation, etc.

It is best to get the organic causes of this pain excluded from your physician after proper investigations.

The low body temperature is not something alarming. It might just be the result of weakness she must be feeling after the extensive surgery.

Everything you describe here sounds like most likely a benign type of viral syndrome. Viruses in the environment are common and when we are exposed to them they can sometimes trigger a constellation of symptoms including fatigue, non specific pains, chills, etc.

These types of viral syndromes typically last from as little as 3 days up to sometimes 4 to 6 weeks. I would advise that you support her body with good hydration, adequate sleep, a well-balanced diet and a moderate exercise regimen.

Exercise is actually good for the immune system which is why I suggest it here. In addition you can supplement her diet with some Vitamin C tablets and consider drinking some immune boost type of tea such as Echinacea which is readily available at most supermarkets.

I expect her symptoms to gradually level off and improve over the next week or two. In the event that this does not occur, I suggest you visit with your primary physician for a complete physical exam and possibly some blood work as well.

In the meantime, try not to worry about this and ask her to focus on maintaining good health as I have recommended with diet, fluid intake and exercise as well as adequate sleep (7-9 hours per night).

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful.

Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.

Wishing you good health.
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