The human body operates much like a furnace…. it produces heat. Our body is working to keep us alive, and this generates heat. When a person runs cold, the body is trying to communicate that something in the production line isn’t right. Typically, body temperature ranges from 97 F to 99 F for adults, while children have a higher body temperature ranging from 97.9 F to 100.4 F. Everyone’s body temperature is actually different and the person next to you might have their furnace set a few degrees higher or lower than you. Our body temperatures vary all throughout the day. This all depends on your activity, age, sex, what you have had to eat or drink, and what time of day it is. Body temperature also varies based on where you measure it. The underarm pit will be hotter than around the mouth area.
When body temperature is above normal, this is called a fever. A fever is considered anything above 100.4 F. The body is working to fight off germs and getting sick, and this battle produces heat. The body is doing what it is supposed to be doing, so a fever is not always a bad thing. However, if a fever is associated with rash, vomiting, or headache, and persists for more than 3 days, seeking a doctor’s help is advisable. Fevers should be taken more seriously when it comes to children. Getting adequate rest, taking over the counter medications such as ibuprofen, using cold compresses, or taking a cold bath, can help alleviate a fever. The body goes to war when it comes to infections but can be cooled down using these methods.
On the other hand, when body temperature is well below normal, it called hypothermia. This occurs when the body loses too much heat and it can be very serious, possibly fatal. Hypothermia occurs when body temperature falls below 95 F. This low body temperature is of particular importance when it comes to babies and the elderly. This is usually a sign of sickness. Hypothermia can also be caused by malnutrition, anorexia, certain medications, stroke, nerve damage, and alcohol and/or drug use. It is important to help warm the body up using heating pads, putting on layers of clothing, removing any wet clothing, drinking a warm herbal tea, or sitting by a fire or heating lamp.
Hot or cold extremes are uncomfortable and form of communication that the body is in fight or flight mode to help you. Listen to your body when it speaks to you. Normal body temperature comes and goes throughout the day, so always bring a jacket just in case and stay hydrated to help regulate your furnace.