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What Happens To The Body When You Have Malaria?

Malaria which is caused by the parasite named plasmodium presents with a very typical history of chills and rigors. The patient even complains of loss of appetite, fatigue and lethargy throughout the day.

What Happens To The Body When You Have Malaria?

What Happens To The Body When You Have Malaria?

Malaria initially was considered a chronic disease, but as there are so many good medications available now there is much lesser damage to any organ of the body. Still, there are few who are really not aware of the problem and these patients present at very late stages. The one who presents in later stages may have cerebral malaria or renal complications. So accordingly a person presents with varying signs and symptoms. At times when there is cerebral malaria body condition may deteriorate very badly. A person comes with delirium, abnormal behavior and various focal neurological symptoms.

If the disease has progressed to the very end-stage patient may even have convulsions which are usually generalized. So it depends on the stage which he/she is approaching the doctor. At times quinine’s side effects may even occur. A person who has not heeded the advice regarding medications and its adverse effect might present with hypoglycemia. It is really very important to differentiate hypoglycemia with another finding as a dextrose infusion can improve the status of a person. Since hypoglycemia is much more dangerous than hyperglycemia, the patient should be given proper advice regarding the drug because a little careless attitude can cost a life. So, all the necessary precautions should be taken.

The infected individual who is diagnosed in the late stages should get the urine test done since when there is deterioration of kidney function there are high chances that red cell sequestration occurred in renal vasculature which has compromised the blood flow to the kidney. So accordingly the diagnosis should be made. There are so many times when a doctor fails to diagnose that this renal condition is associated with malaria because the time when the patient presents don’t have any symptoms of malaria, but have more symptoms of renal disease. If in case the patient have any symptoms there are times those are ignored since the main emphasis is shifted towards the management of kidneys, most of the times we don’t treat the cause but we keep on treating the disease. This is what happens when one has to deal with the complications of a disease.

At times the patient may appear pale due to anemia because of rupture of red blood cells in the spleen. So checking for pallor even helps in making a diagnosis since many red blood cells get destroyed during the disease. Besides this, it is important to take care of anemia if a pregnant women approaches to the doctor else anemia related complications may even complicate the pregnancy. So it matters what type of patient one is dealing with. Gender and age are considered important while making a diagnosis so as to rule out the real cause. Immediate transfusion should be done in such cases if anemia is severe. Proper matching and testing of blood should be done to prevent hazards of blood transfusion.

Above all, patient’s body reacts to each and every disease in a different way. Few people might get alright within few days whereas few might require months. It all depends on the immunity and eating habits of the individual. It is like how well a person is dealing with the disease. During the acute phase if one takes proper treatment there are really very fewer chances of complication. It is during this stage that the disease should be dealt adequately. Immunity is the main factor while one considers the way patient presents. At times the person gets alright within a day or two without needing proper bed rest. So presentation and body condition of a disease varies from person to person.

Therefore, one should just take care of basic things while dealing with the malarial infection which includes proper diet and hygiene, proper medication and at least bed rest of minimum 2 days to rectify the disease completely.


  1. World Health Organization (WHO) – Malaria: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/malaria
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Malaria: https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/index.html
  3. Mayo Clinic – Malaria: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/malaria/symptoms-causes/syc-20351184
  4. National Health Service (NHS) – Malaria: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/malaria/
  5. MedlinePlus – Malaria: https://medlineplus.gov/malaria.html

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 31, 2023

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