Information On Body Temperature and Conditions During High and Low Temperature

Submitted on March 27, 2012

The temperature of the human body can be one of the easiest indicators of our current state of health. Under normal circumstances our body maintains a constant temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. You will notice a slight difference in this value depending on the time of day when the temperature is measured. The temperature of the human body tends to be slightly lower during the morning and slightly high during the evenings.

Our metabolism has a direct impact on the body temperature. Higher metabolic activity tends to increase the body temperature and lower metabolic activity lowers it.

Under normal circumstances, our body has the capability to regulate its temperature, ensuring it is always maintained at normal. Higher external temperature such as on a sunny day, triggers our body to send signals to our brain to make us sweat. This in turn brings the body back to its normal temperature. Similarly, when the weather is cold the brain sends out a set of signals, which make our muscles rapidly contract and we start shivering. This again regulates our body temperature back to normal.

Ways To Measure Temperature of Our Body

There are different ways to measure the temperature of our body. The most common methods are:

  • Oral measurements: These are considered to be extremely convenient and provide a fairly accurate reading. The normal body temperature when measured orally should show 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. These measurements are most commonly used as a reference standard.
  • Armpit measurements: This type of measurement can be slightly more inconvenient as compared to the oral measurement. The readings obtained from this technique are fairly inaccurate. When measured between the folds of your skin under the armpit, a normal temperature should be 97.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Rectal measurements: These are the most accurate measurements since the temperature is measured internally. The measurement is taken from the rectum and though accurate, this technique can be very inconvenient. The normal body temperature when measured from the rectum should be 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Conditions During High or Low Body Temperature

When the temperature exceeds 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the body is said to be in a feverish state. A higher body temperature simply indicates that our body is not in a state of wellness and it may require additional investigation by a doctor to find the cause.

Very low or high temperatures can be dangerous. Any temperature below 97 degrees Fahrenheit and above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit qualifies to be investigated by a doctor.

The normal temperature of a baby is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit and a variation of 0.5 to 1 degree during the course of the day may be acceptable. The slight variation may be because the body is fighting an infection. See your doctor immediately if your baby’s temperature has gone above 101 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you are pregnant you can expect your body temperature to be slightly elevated. Hormone fluctuations could also be a cause of temperature variation when you are pregnant. Having a thermometer handy and constantly measuring your body temperature can be vital at times of illness.