Normal Body Temperature
Your body’s like a little furnace. It puts out heat all the time. It results from your body working to keep you alive. When it puts out a lot less or a lot more heat than usual, it is trying to tell you there’s a problem.
A normal body temperature can vary depending on your age and other factors. Whether you take it in the armpit, rectally or orally also can impact your temperature reading. A healthy body is normally pretty good at keeping its temperature at a comfortable level, however, if the body goes into some sort of illness or trauma, the temperature can become high or low depending upon the trigger. In such cases, do not hesitate to reach out to a doctor. When and how do you know you need help? Read on to know more…
What is Normal Body Temperature?
The average person most likely learned as a child that the body’s normal temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (or 37 degrees Celsius). A mid-1800s research is where that frequently used figure came from.
The average person nowadays probably runs a little bit cooler than that, between 97.5 F (36.4 C) and 97.9 F (36.6 C), according to a more recent study.
The reality is that although it often stays within a range, your body temperature can fluctuate up, down, and all about.
What is the Average Body Temperature as Per Your Age?
Your normal body temperature changes throughout your life. It frequently increases from youth through adulthood before declining in one’s senior years. It looks like this as per stages:
- Younger children – Between the ages of one and ten, children’s body temperatures typically vary from 95.9 F (35.5 C) to 99.5 F (37.5 C). It would be an oral temperature measurement for this.
- Older children and adults – For persons between the ages of 11 and 65, the normal body temperature range is 97.6 F (36.4 C) and 99.6 F (37.6 C).
- Older adults – People over the age of 65 typically have a body temperature between 96.4 F (35.8 C) and 98.5 F (36.9 C).
What Makes Your Body Temperature Rise?
A temperature that is higher than 100.4 F (or 38 C) is considered a fever, and it is normally something you should bring to your doctor’s attention, especially if it lingers for more than two days.
Oftentimes, a fever is your body’s reaction to a virus or an infection (like influenza). A fever itself does not require any specific treatment, other than trying to bring the temperature down for your comfort.
Persistent high-grade or low-grade fevers could signal that something else is going on in your body. Some medical conditions, including hyperthyroidism and other endocrine disorders, can raise your body’s core temperature.
Young kids usually tend to push thermometer readings higher than adults. Their bodies have not yet mastered the art of regulating their body temperature, so they are also more likely to spike fevers and severe ones, at that.
If an infant younger than 3 months develops a fever or if your child’s fever does not come down with fever reducers, call your paediatrician.
Is a Low Body Temperature Bad?
According to studies, as people age, their core body temperature drops. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can also slow down metabolism, which can lead to a drop in body temperature.
If your core body temperature dips down to 95 F (35 C) or lower, that is considered hypothermia. It is often caused by exposure to cold weather, but other factors can put you at risk for hypothermia, such as certain medications and age.
Hypothermia is a medical emergency, so call an ambulance or take the patient to the emergency room if you suspect someone has hypothermia.
What Factors Can Affect Your Temperature?
During the 19th century, German doctor Carl Wunderlich identified the average body temperature of 98.6°F (37°C). However, many studies have since determined that that is not always the case. The average body temperature was determined to be 97.86°F (36.59°C) in a 2019 research. That is a little lower than initially thought so many years ago.
However, it is best to take this information with a grain of salt since no single number defines your average body temperature. Instead, it is best to look at a temperature range that might be lower or higher than the average.
Here are some of the factors that affect body temperature:
- Lower body temperatures are another connection between excess weight
- Hormone levels can affect body temperature
- Thermometer readings from the mouth are lower than if taken in the rectum or ear
- Readings from the armpit are lower than those taken with a thermometer placed in the mouth
- Whether that is hotter or colder may also reflect how your body temperature changes with each, rising in a warm setting and falling in a cold one
- Physical activity level has an impact on temperature since the more you move, the warmer your core body gets
- Younger people have higher body temperatures
- Because our capacity to control body temperature declines with ageing, older people have lower body temperatures
- Throughout the day, our bodies usually continue to warm up
What is the Best Way to Take Your Temperature?
If you take your temperature with 3 different kinds of thermometers, you may get 3 different results.
A thermometer that goes under the tongue will likely give you a slightly higher reading than the one that goes under your armpit or a forehead thermometer (But those kinds might be easier to use with young kids).
Which is the most accurate? A thermometer that you place beneath your tongue would be that. A rectal thermometer, usually used with young children, would be more accurate for the same reason. A thermometer used rectally should never be used orally to avoid spreading bacteria. Keep thermometers used orally and rectally separate and clearly marked.
When Should You Take Your Temperature?
Usually, you go to the medical cupboard to get your thermometer because someone at home is feeling under the weather.
As a result of the crucial information the reading gives, consider the optimum moment to measure your temperature. Temperature is one of your vital signs, and it is an important indicator of your health.
It is also important to note that body temperatures usually run slightly higher in the afternoon and a little lower in the morning. Additionally, it may vary with menstrual cycles.
A human body’s temperature is an important indicator of its overall health. Your body can normally maintain its temperature at a comfortable level, however, if you have any concerns or questions about your temperature, then it is always advisable to seek medical help from an experienced general physician. Timely care and help can ensure an optimum body temperature for the best possible health.
At the CK Birla Hospital, we ensure patients get timely medical support which includes treatment in a hands-on yet compassionate environment. This patient-first approach not only helps patients heal better but also ensures they are aware of the preventive measures at hand. In case you need to consult a general physician, reach out to us, or book a direct appointment with Dr. Tribhuvan Gulati at the CK Birla Hospital.
What Fever is Too High?
A fever of 103°F or higher typically requires a doctor’s consultation. If your fever reaches 105°F, go straight to an emergency room.
Why Do I Feel Heat in My Body?
People might feel hot for many reasons other than a fever. Some causes might be easy to identify and temporary, like experiencing anxiety and stress, being in a humid environment or eating spicy foods. However, some people might feel hot frequently for no apparent reason.
What Temperature is a Fever?
Typically, the following thermometer readings signify a fever: temperature of at least 100.4 (38 C) in the temporal, ear, or rectal arteries, and at least 99 F (37.2 C) in the armpit and oral temperature of at least 100 F (37.8 C).
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