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Low body temperature

by Hurkyl
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Hurkyl
#1
Jul9-06, 11:25 PM
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(By low, I mean a temperature in the 96's, or 97's)

Is this really something to worry about? I did a quick google search, and found some pages relating symptoms, but I have also heard in the past that a low body temperature isn't really something problematic.

In particular, one of the symptoms they list is that of feeling warm -- and for the past four or five years, I can be uncomfortably hot in a room while sitting right next to others that find the room uncomfortably cold.

(and when I say "others", I mean almost everyone)


I had never even thought this could be a problem until I realized my digital thermometer is consistently giving low temperatures. (I had first assumed it was just miscalibrated) I don't think I've ever seen it give a reading in the 98's or higher, except for one night when I had a fever of over 100. (It read something like 100.3, I think) I typically get readings in the upper 96's or low 97's... and if I immediately take my temperature a few more times, it might rise to the upper 97's.


At the moment, I don't have another reason to see the doctor, and I'm sort of wondering if asking him about this is reason enough to schedule an appointment.
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Janus
#2
Jul10-06, 12:09 AM
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You might just have a naturally low body temp. "Normal" body temperature varies from person to person. I consistantly run a body temp a degree or more below "normal".
larkspur
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Jul11-06, 05:26 PM
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Quote Quote by Hurkyl
(By low, I mean a temperature in the 96's, or 97's)

Is this really something to worry about? I did a quick google search, and found some pages relating symptoms, but I have also heard in the past that a low body temperature isn't really something problematic.

In particular, one of the symptoms they list is that of feeling warm -- and for the past four or five years, I can be uncomfortably hot in a room while sitting right next to others that find the room uncomfortably cold.

(and when I say "others", I mean almost everyone)


I had never even thought this could be a problem until I realized my digital thermometer is consistently giving low temperatures. (I had first assumed it was just miscalibrated) I don't think I've ever seen it give a reading in the 98's or higher, except for one night when I had a fever of over 100. (It read something like 100.3, I think) I typically get readings in the upper 96's or low 97's... and if I immediately take my temperature a few more times, it might rise to the upper 97's.


At the moment, I don't have another reason to see the doctor, and I'm sort of wondering if asking him about this is reason enough to schedule an appointment.
I have the same problem. My brother and several aunts and uncles are that way too. I have been tested for all the other things that can make you feel hot when everyone else is comfortable/cold but all the labs have been normal.

larkspur
#4
Jul11-06, 05:28 PM
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Low body temperature

Quote Quote by Hurkyl
(By low, I mean a temperature in the 96's, or 97's)

Is this really something to worry about? I did a quick google search, and found some pages relating symptoms, but I have also heard in the past that a low body temperature isn't really something problematic.

In particular, one of the symptoms they list is that of feeling warm -- and for the past four or five years, I can be uncomfortably hot in a room while sitting right next to others that find the room uncomfortably cold.

(and when I say "others", I mean almost everyone)


I had never even thought this could be a problem until I realized my digital thermometer is consistently giving low temperatures. (I had first assumed it was just miscalibrated) I don't think I've ever seen it give a reading in the 98's or higher, except for one night when I had a fever of over 100. (It read something like 100.3, I think) I typically get readings in the upper 96's or low 97's... and if I immediately take my temperature a few more times, it might rise to the upper 97's.


At the moment, I don't have another reason to see the doctor, and I'm sort of wondering if asking him about this is reason enough to schedule an appointment.
I have the same problem. My brother and several aunts and uncles are that way too. I have been tested for all the other things that can make you feel hot when everyone else is comfortable or cold but all the labs have been normal.
DaveC426913
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Jul11-06, 05:59 PM
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I haven't measured myself in years but I believe I run a little hot.

98.6 is just an average.
Astronuc
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Jul11-06, 07:00 PM
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Quote Quote by Hurkyl
(By low, I mean a temperature in the 96's, or 97's)

I had never even thought this could be a problem until I realized my digital thermometer is consistently giving low temperatures. (I had first assumed it was just miscalibrated) I don't think I've ever seen it give a reading in the 98's or higher, except for one night when I had a fever of over 100. (It read something like 100.3, I think) I typically get readings in the upper 96's or low 97's... and if I immediately take my temperature a few more times, it might rise to the upper 97's.
Where are you taking the temperature? Normally one puts the end of a thermometer under the tongue for about 30 sec - 1 minute (after keeping mouth closed for a minute or so), or possibly under arm (in the armpit). Now digital (infrared-sensitive) thermometers can be used in the ear canal.

Temperature will vary according to location.
Hurkyl
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Jul11-06, 07:08 PM
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Always under the tongue.
Moonbear
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Jul12-06, 07:00 PM
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Temperature measured under the tongue can be a bit lower than actual core body temperature, and if you've eaten recently, that can affect that temperature reading too.

Look for the table mid-way through this site comparing normal temperature ranges for different locations of measurement:
http://www.cps.ca/ENGLISH/statements/CP/cp00-01.htm
FallenAngel24x
#9
Dec4-07, 04:05 PM
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Yeah, I was wondering the same thing because my body temp is quite low. 96.0 - 97.8, Sometimes I reach 95. My hands are cold all the time and when they're not they're red because they are warm. The usual color of my hands is purple/red/white/blue. It's kinda creepy. Anyways, I have homework and I have to go, so I'll talk to you later bye.
t-money
#10
Dec4-07, 10:06 PM
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Quote Quote by FallenAngel24x View Post
Yeah, I was wondering the same thing because my body temp is quite low. 96.0 - 97.8, Sometimes I reach 95. My hands are cold all the time and when they're not they're red because they are warm. The usual color of my hands is purple/red/white/blue. It's kinda creepy. Anyways, I have homework and I have to go, so I'll talk to you later bye.
If your hands turn blue you should get that checked out, that is a sign of bad circulation, blood is not reaching you cappillaries which provide your cells with the necessarry nutrients.
Invictious
#11
Dec5-07, 02:58 AM
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As t-money said, your skin should take on a healthy tinge, having it purple/red/blue not good. It's a typical sign of circulation problem. I'd recommend checking with your doctor.

While then, I wouldn't recommend doing vigorous activites. Just making sure and being safe here.
Evo
#12
Dec5-07, 09:27 AM
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Quote Quote by Hurkyl View Post
(By low, I mean a temperature in the 96's, or 97's)

Is this really something to worry about? I did a quick google search, and found some pages relating symptoms, but I have also heard in the past that a low body temperature isn't really something problematic.

In particular, one of the symptoms they list is that of feeling warm -- and for the past four or five years, I can be uncomfortably hot in a room while sitting right next to others that find the room uncomfortably cold.

(and when I say "others", I mean almost everyone)
My "normal" body temperature is 97.2 and I always feel hot as in "the room feels hot", but I am ice cold to the touch, I also have poor circulation in my hands and feet.
ShawnD
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Dec5-07, 09:37 AM
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Quote Quote by Hurkyl View Post
In particular, one of the symptoms they list is that of feeling warm -- and for the past four or five years, I can be uncomfortably hot in a room while sitting right next to others that find the room uncomfortably cold.
Are you overweight by any chance? Everyone I know who feels hot all the time is overweight. The opposite seems to be true as well, where skinny people feel cold all the time.
What's interesting is that "hot" fat people will often to feel cold to the touch, while "cold" skinny people feel very hot. The temperature of their skin is an indicator of how much heat they are losing, so the skinny guy feels cold because he is losing heat at a very high rate. A fat guy's skin will feel cold because his rate of heat loss is very low.
DaveC426913
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Dec5-07, 12:37 PM
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Quote Quote by ShawnD View Post
Are you overweight by any chance? Everyone I know who feels hot all the time is overweight. The opposite seems to be true as well, where skinny people feel cold all the time.
What's interesting is that "hot" fat people will often to feel cold to the touch, while "cold" skinny people feel very hot.
Hm.

I am usually hot. I attribute this to the fact that a sphere is the most efficient shape for retaining heat per given body mass, I am slightly more spherical than average.

Quote Quote by ShawnD View Post
The temperature of their skin is an indicator of how much heat they are losing, so the skinny guy feels cold because he is losing heat at a very high rate. A fat guy's skin will feel cold because his rate of heat loss is very low.
I question this logic. It doesn't make sense to say that an overweight person's heat loss is slow therefore their skin will feel warmer. On a per-square-inch basis, his heat loss should be the same as a thin person since, once the heat reaches the skin it will get dumped just as fast.

All other things being equal, their skin temp. should be the same - unless the body underneath the skin is doing something different.

The key difference is that the overweight guy is producing more heat faster than he can dump it.

I suspect the factor being overlooked is that the bodies are actively controlling heat loss. In a thin person, the body is trying to keep the heat in because it never held much heat, whereas overweight guy has his heat floodgates open.

To reiterate, it's not that o.w.g.'s heat loss is less, it's that his heat loss is greater but has to try harder to keep up with his heat generation.
ShawnD
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Dec5-07, 01:45 PM
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Quote Quote by DaveC426913 View Post
I question this logic. It doesn't make sense to say that an overweight person's heat loss is slow therefore their skin will feel warmer. On a per-square-inch basis, his heat loss should be the same as a thin person since, once the heat reaches the skin it will get dumped just as fast.
Insulation, aka lower thermal conductivity, allows for a greater temperature difference to exist between either end of the material you are looking at. If you take a block of wood and hold a blow torch to it, you can put your finger on the other side of the wood and it will still feel cold for quite a while. If you try that same thing with a piece of copper, you'll notice that heat very quickly moves from one side to the other.
Fat is an insulator, and fat people have a thicker layer of fat under their skin. If you assumed that the inside of the body is warm (true), assumed the skin and fat created no heat of their own (false), and assumed that fat acted as insulation (true), you would expect a fat person to have colder skin while maintaining the same core temperature.


The key difference is that the overweight guy is producing more heat faster than he can dump it.
The producing part is not always true. Boys in their teens often have incredibly high metabolisms, but they can still feel uncomfortably cold while an older person with a little more body fat feels just fine. If you took two people from the same age group and level of activity, then yeah the fat person probably does produce a lot more heat.

edit: There's a lot more to this than insulation and normal heat production. One guy I know is overweight, but contrary to my theory, his skin is also very warm. He's pretty much sweating all the time and he wore shorts well into November of this year. Personally, I think he's hot because he's a smoker who drinks 6 cans of coke per day. Article: Acute thermogenic effects of nicotine combined with caffeine during light physical activity. Thermogenic effect is when your metabolism goes way up and you start producing a lot of heat. It's common in a lot of stimulants; usually nicotine, caffeine, amphetamines, or a combination of these. This effect is actually why a lot of people die from strokes when using reacreational or weight loss drugs.
jim mcnamara
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Dec5-07, 02:33 PM
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IF fat were not an insulative, then marine mammals would have a fatal heat budget - which is what you are talking about heat budgets. They apply to animals as well as ecosystems. I think this might clarify what you are discussing:

http://utci.org/cost/publications/IC...nvironment.doc
It's a review paper for undergrads in Biophysics, I presume.
captaincabo
#17
Dec8-07, 12:01 PM
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Your Body Temperature Is Different On Everyone By A Degree Or Two...nothing To Worry About.
Moonbear
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Dec8-07, 02:19 PM
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I don't know why, but this thread seems to be attracting crackpots to come crawling out of the woodwork (deleted posts, not referring to the currently visible content), so since it's rather old already, I'm going to lock it.


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