Body temperature is a measure of the body’s ability to produce and get rid of heat.

Understanding body temperature is very important to know your symptoms of serious illness. Know what your normal body temperature is and how to measure it. Also find out what abnormal body temperature is in anticipation of conditions that can be life-threatening.

Understanding Body Temperature and How to Measure it

What is the Normal Human Body Temperature?

During this time many people assume the normal human body temperature is at a point of 37 degrees Celsius. True, the average normal human body temperature is indeed in that range. But in reality normal body temperature is not always at the point 37 degrees Celsius. Normal body temperature can be between 36.5-37.2 degrees Celsius.

Normal body temperature can change throughout the day. Activities that you do everyday can also affect body temperature. Typically, temperatures will rise up to 0.6 degrees Celsius throughout the day. For example, when you exercise on a hot day your body temperature can rise by 0.6 degrees Celsius.

Normal body temperature can also be different, whether higher or lower, when a woman is ovulating or during the menstrual cycle.

Dangerous Low or High Body Temperature?

    Low body temperature

    Low body temperature can be called hypothermia. Body temperature that is too low can be life threatening because it slows down the nervous system and results in the failure of heart and respiratory organs and death.

    A person is said to have hypothermia if the body temperature is below 35 degrees Celsius, when the body loses heat faster than it produces. This condition occurs when a person is exposed to cold weather such as staying in a cold place for too long, not wearing warm clothes when in a cold place, or falling into very cold water.

    Also understand the symptoms of hypothermia. In adults, symptoms that will be felt include shivering, unclear speech, short and slow breathing, and slowly losing consciousness. While the symptoms that occur in infants are cold and red skin.

    If it’s cold, wear clothes that are thicker and warmer. Try to keep the body dry. Consumption of warm drinks that are sweet and do not contain alcohol or caffeine. If you suspect a person has hypothermia, immediately take it to the nearest hospital because this is an emergency condition.

    High body temperature

    Hyperthermia is a condition when body temperature is at a point of more than 40 degrees Celsius. Hyperthermia occurs when the body fails to regulate temperature so that body temperature continues to rise. The heat will be felt by people with hypertemia.

    Fever is different from hyperthermia. Someone is said to have a fever when his body temperature is above 37.5 degrees Celsius and can return to the normal temperature point when you are taking heat-lowering drugs, such as aspirin or paracetamol. Fever is an increase in body temperature in a level that is fully controlled by the body’s temperature regulation system, whereas hyperthermia is an increase in body temperature outside the control of the system.

    Heatstroke generally develops when a person is in a hot environment and the body is unable to cool itself effectively.

    High and sustained body temperature can cause severe dehydration and permanently damage organs, such as the brain. Therefore, this condition requires immediate medical treatment.

    Adults with a body temperature of 39.4 degrees Celsius and children with a body temperature of 38 degrees Celsius are advised to see a doctor.

    How to Measure Body Temperature

      Various ways can be done to measure body temperature. You can use a thermometer with various types as needed.

    • Ear thermometer. As the name implies, this small cone-shaped thermometer is used on the ear. Body temperature can be seen on a digital screen in seconds.
    • Electronic thermometer. Made of plastic and the edges resemble a pencil. This thermometer can be used in the armpits, mouth, or rectum (anus). This type is easy to use and read.
    • Forehead thermometer. This thermometer uses skin temperature to determine body temperature. The use of a thin-shaped thermometer is quite attached to the forehead.
    • Temporal artery thermometer. Can be used to measure body temperature on the forehead.
    • Disposable thermometer. This type can be used once in the mouth or rectum. It can also be used to measure temperature continuously for 48 hours on a baby’s skin. This thermometer is safe, but not as accurate as an electronic and ear thermometer.
    • Dot thermometer. Shaped like a baby pacifier. Simply place this thermometer in the baby’s mouth when measuring temperature. This thermometer is somewhat ineffective and efficient because it takes a long time to bring up the results plus the results are not as accurate as other types of thermometers.

    Inaccurate Causes of Thermometers

    • Do not use a thermometer on the right body part.
    • Too fast to lift the thermometer from the body.
    • Thermometer battery is weak or dead.
    • Do not follow the instructions to use a good and correct thermometer.
    • Open mouth when taking body temperature orally.
    • Intake of body temperature within one hour after strenuous exercise or after a hot shower.
    • Intake of body temperature orally within 20 minutes after smoking or drinking hot or cold liquids.

    Understanding body temperature is very important. So always provide a thermometer in your home as a first step to detect body temperature whether normal or abnormal.

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