Body temperature refers to the ability of the body to generate and eliminate heat. The body is naturally able to maintain its temperature within a safe range, even though there may be considerable fluctuations in temperature outside the body. When we are too hot, there is a dilation of the blood vessels beneath the skin and the excess heat is carried to the surface of the skin. When we are too cold there is a contraction of the blood vessels and the flow of blood to the skin is decreased, thereby enabling a conservation of the body heat. The body may begin to shiver, which is actually nothing more than rapid involuntary muscle contractions. This activity allows for the generation of more heat. This helps to keep the temperature of the body within a safe margin.
The breasts are external organs and as a result tend to naturally have a lower temperature than the rest of the body. The wearing of bras causes this temperature of the breast tissues to rise slightly. The buttocks and some other areas of the body may appear to be cooler than the rest of the body as the fat content is higher in these areas. The layer of fat creates a sort of insulation for the skin and body heat is kept away from the surface of the skin. As such, overweight individuals will always have a lower body temperature in their extremities, while physically active persons will have higher peripheral temperature due to the improved flow of blood to the extremities. Individuals who smoke may also have cooler extremities due to poor blood circulation in those areas.
This is also the reason why women tend to feel colder than men. Women are able to conserve body heat better than men because their fat layer is distributed more uniformly and hence all the blood is pulled away from the skin and into the vital organs. This enhanced ability to conserve heat means that there is less blood flow to the extremities, especially the hands and feet. Therefore women tend to feel especially cold in these parts of the body. A woman's body temperature also varies during her menstrual cycle. Sleep too influences how cold or hot a person feels. When the body is tired, the sensitivity to temperature changes is increased. The temperature of the body is likely to fall at night and women attain their minimum body temperature much faster than men
Submitted by M T on April 1, 2010 at 03:36