Average body temperature is vital for the optimal functioning of the body. You have heard people complain about how a slight decrease or increase in body temperature affects them. This is because the body’s optimal function gets reduced due to the low metabolic process. So, what are some of the facts about body temperature that you should know about? Well, in this review, we discuss different aspects of body temperature concerning your wellness, behavior, and surroundings.
13 Interesting Facts About Body Temperature That You Should Know
Your body temperature can quickly reveal so much about your health. However, certain factors may cause it to fluctuate. This includes your gender, age, behavior, and surroundings. An increase in body temperature could be due to an underlying sickness or change in the external environment. Well, below is what you need to know concerning body temperature.
What Is Appraised a Normal Body Temperature?
According to Stedman’s medical dictionary, the average body temperature should be 37.0 degrees Celsius or 98.6 degrees F. This information is also seconded by the US National Library of Medicine. An average body temperature should range between 97- and 99-degrees F. it should also be noted that a temperature that is normal for you may sometimes be a little lower or higher than the average body temperature.
This usually happens because your body tends to adapt to the temperature of its surroundings. That’s why your temperature will be slightly higher in the late afternoon than early in the morning. Additionally, your body temperature will be higher after exercising. In comparison, babies and young children will record a higher body temperature than adults and the elderly. This is because surface area plays a crucial role in determining body temperature.
Kids have larger surface areas relative to their bodies’ weight. This means that their rate of metabolism is significantly higher. That’s why you will find that Newborns have an average body temperature of 99.5 degrees F.
What Is a Fever?
Fever is a condition that causes a temporary increase in your body’s temperature. It’s often caused by an underlying medical issue that could be a bacterial or viral infection. Clinically, a forehead, ear, or rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees F or higher is an indicator of fever. Generally, this condition is supposed to naturally subside within a few days. Common symptoms of fever include:
- Chills and shivering
- Muscle aches
- General weakness
- Loss of appetite
Besides that, an adult may also experience other symptoms. For instance, you may end up with:
- An unusual skin rash
- Persistent vomiting
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Convulsions and seizures
Fever Can Help You Protect from an Infection
Is it possible for a fever to protect your body from a severe infection? Well, it could be true. One of the unusual facts about body temperature concerning fever is that it can help your immune system to fight some infections.
How does this happen?
Well, for starters, a higher body temperature usually means that the metabolism is higher. So, this ends up speeding up how the body cells function, including fighting diseases. As a result, the body cells can respond to foreign substances much faster.
Secondly, high body temperatures make it harder for the virus and bacteria to thrive in the body. However, you may still need to use a prescription antibiotic to lower the fever because it’s ideally not good for the body.
What Body Temperature Should You Look Out for With Coronavirus?
One of the core symptoms of coronavirus is fever which causes an increase in body temperature. If you suspect that you have this viral disease, then it’s generally advisable for you to keep an eye on the temperature. Anything that starts from 100.5F or higher should be a warning sign. However, you need to understand that the timing also matters. Some people usually experience fever but may fail to register high body temperatures in the morning but rater in the afternoon.
Seniors Usually Become Colder When It Comes to Body Heat
Have you ever wondered why seniors are always cold? Even though the external temperatures may be warmer, you will often find them in cardigans and jackets. Well, as we age, our bodies tend to become sensitive to cold temperatures. This happens typically due to the decrease in the overall rate of metabolism. Growing older means that an aging body isn’t fully capable of generating enough heat to maintain the average optimal temperature of 98.6 degrees F.
If you constantly feel that your body is cold, it could be related to your age, even in the summer months. One study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing indicates that the temperature of the elderly usually declines slightly. They did this after testing 133 residents of a nursing home.
This study established that the elderly, especially those over the age of 85, had the lowest body temperature of around 93.4 degrees F, even though this was done under normal circumstances. This actually means that a senior may experience fever, but their temperature will be much lower than that of a younger person.
Different Body Temperatures in Men and Women
Men and women are all human beings, so you would expect them to have the same body temperature. Clinically, both of them should have the same core body temperature, i.e., 37 degrees celsius. However, some studies have established that a female’s core temperature is usually slightly higher.
You might have a saying or phrase that states, “cold hands, warm heart.” well, one study done by researchers at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City established that women’s body temperature is around 0.4 degrees higher than that of men. However, the same study also established that women’s hands are around 2.8 degrees F colder than men, on average.
A Hat May Not Be Cause to Help You Keeps Body Heat
When you were young, your parent or caregiver probably told you to wear a hat when the outside gets cold. You probably still do this until today. Do you think that it’s because most of the body’s heat is usually lost through the head?
One of the interesting facts about body temperature is that this isn’t true. An article published in Medical Journal BMJ indicates no direct relationship between loss of body heat and your head. Generally, any part of your body that’s not covered will end up dispensing heat. This will lead to the body’s core losing heat proportionally.
Lying Can Cause Your Temperature to Change
Did you know that telling a lie can cause your temperature to change? Well, this is definitely one of the most interesting facts about body temperature. Well, fibbing can’t make your nose grow bigger but it will make it colder. According to researchers from the University of Grenada in Spain, this finding is known as the Pinocchio effect.
In the study reports which we published in the Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling in April 2018, the researchers used thermal imaging to effectively demonstrate how anxiety caused by lies will cause the nose’s temperature to decrease. On the other hand, temperatures around the forehead will increase.
Red Pepper Can Gets You Higher Body Heat
Much has been suspected about peppers and the increase in body temperature. If you have eaten peppery food, you know how you may end up feeling “hot.” Well, spicy foods that contain pepper are considered solid stimulants, incredibly if they hot. They work with the body’s endocannabinoid system to stimulate circulation and the general increase in body temperature. But how exactly does this happen? Well, it’s said that spicy foods usually enhance the body’s metabolic rate.
In one study published in Physiology and Behavior, the participants added around one gram of red pepper to their food. It was established that their core body temperatures increased. However, their skin temperature was much lower. According to the authors of this study, the body’s core increased in heat production and led to a decrease in appetite sensations. So, could red pepper be an effective remedy for those who want to lose excess body weight?
If your appetite sensations are significantly reduced, you will definitely end up eating less food. So, if you don’t eat spicy food and you try to incorporate pepper into your diet, you might probably end up losing weight.
A Cold Heart Can Take Care of Your Brain
Clinically, doctors will intentionally cool patients under cardiac arrest to 91 degrees F through a process known as therapeutic hypothermia. This process is usually done to slow down the body’s cellular reactions that can cause damage to the brain and other organs when the heart restarts.
When you suffer cardiac arrest and your heart starts to beat again, the healthcare providers have to use cooling devices to ensure that your body temperature isn’t less than 89 degrees F. This typically helps increase the patient’s chances of recovery.
Internal Temperature Helps to Specify the Time of Death
In case a body is discovered before its temperature comes into equilibrium with the ambient temperature, then forensic scientists can use this information to estimate the time of death. They usually do this by measuring the body’s core temperature. Understand that when a person dies, the body no longer produces heat. So, it will slowly cool down through a process known as algor mortis, i.e., the coldness of death.
Algor mortis is an effective process that forensic experts use to estimate when a person died based on the decrease in body temperature. However, this information isn’t usually 100% effective since several other factors can affect the body’s temperature.
Smoking Can Higher Your Body Heat
If you are a smoker, you know that you usually reach out to your cigarettes when it gets cold. Well, smoking cigarettes has always been known to trigger a spike in the body’s temperature. Generally, smoking a cigarette helps increase your oral temperature readings by about 0.2 degrees Celsius for around 30 minutes.
Well, how does this happen? Well, the temperature at the end of the cigarette is usually around 203 degrees Fahrenheit. So, when you breathe in the heated smoke, your body’s internal temperature will end up experiencing an increase. Often, the process of smoking usually makes the body lose its ability to cool its temperature. However, once you stop smoking, your body will take around 20 minutes to return to normal.
Increased Body Heat Level Meddles with Sleep
Is there a relationship between high body temperature and insomnia? In some instances, sleep maintenance insomnia has been linked to nocturnally high core body temperature and not the abnormal behavior of the circadian rhythm timing.
According to scientists from the Institute for Neuroscience in Amsterdam, Netherlands, body temperature can affect sleep quality. This study established that most people are highly likely to sleep better when the skin is incredible.
By surveying the participants and issuing them special suits that help lower the skin temperature, the participants were able to enjoy quality sleep. This study also displayed generally good results, especially among the elderly participants who were struggling with insomnia.
The Bottom Line
These interesting facts about body temperature show how the body behaves due to high temperatures. Generally, a high body temperature is a good indicator that things aren’t functioning optimally internally. That’s why an increase in body temperature should be taken seriously. Clinically, body temperature is one of the four vital signs that doctors use when determining your health state. But temporary and slight temperature fluctuations are usually normal because the body’s internal temperature also depends on what you eat and the external environment.