How cool are you?
Thursday, March 24, 2022
In the literal sense, this is about your body temperature. Does your body tend to run hot, or cold? To find out, take your temperature a few times when you’re well. Check your temperature in both the morning and evening. Body temperature can vary by as much as 1°F during the day. It’s helpful to know your average to gauge if you have a fever.
Before you take your temperature:
Wait at least 30 minutes after smoking, eating, or drinking a hot or cold liquid.
Wait at least an hour after strenuous exercise or a hot bath.
Body temperature is a measure of how well your body can make and get rid of heat. The body is very good at keeping its temperature within a safe range, even when temperatures outside the body change a lot.
When you’re too hot, the blood vessels in your skin widen to carry the excess heat to your skin's surface. You may start to sweat. As the sweat evaporates, it helps cool your body.
When you are too cold, your blood vessels narrow, which reduces blood flow to your skin to save body heat. You may start to shiver. When the muscles tremble this way, it helps to make more heat.
A fever is the body's normal and healthy reaction to infection and other illnesses, both minor and serious. It helps the body fight infection. A fever is a symptom, not a disease.
Comparing temperature types
Thermometers show body temperature in degrees Fahrenheit (°F). The average normal oral temperature is 98.6°F. Temperature readings vary depending on where you place the thermometer. The armpit and the forehead are usually 0.5 to 1°F lower than an oral temperature reading. An ear temperature is 0.5 to 1°F higher than a forehead temperature.
Glass thermometers that contain mercury aren't recommended. If you have a glass thermometer, contact your local health department to find out how to dispose of it safely. If you break a glass thermometer, call your local poison control center right away.
Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.