Talking about normal human body temperature is complicated as there are different factors like diet, stress, and emotions that make it vary slightly. Likewise, gender also influences, as well as the ability to sweat, age or even the time of day, or night can make your temperature vary.
What Is Normal Body Temperature?
That said, a normal temperature is one that is between 36.6 degrees and 37 degrees. If you do not meet this temperature, do not be scared because it can vary grade up or grade down. Likewise, if the body temperature is exceeded, it does not always have to be a fever, since it can be considered a low-grade fever, that is, a moderate temperature rise.
Types of Fever
When the body temperature rises beyond 38 degrees, it is important to distinguish between fever, which is a physiological reaction, and hyperthermia, which is always pathological. In the case of hyperthermia, the heat stroke is the most severe, with multi organ repercussion.
When Is Better To Measure The Body Temperature?
- The time of the day in which the measurement is made: + 0.5ºC between 6 and 18 hours.
- The season: slightly higher in winter than in summer.
- Age: the range of variation during the day is weaker, between 0.2 and 0.3ºC.
- Sex: in the female population, the temperature is 0.2 degrees C higher than the male population, but varies according to genital activity, with an increase of around 0.5ºC in the second part of the cycle, As well as at the beginning of pregnancy.
- The position during measurement: in decubitus and seated position, the temperature, in general, is lower in 0.3ºC to 0,4ºC to the measurement in standing position.
- Food, stress, excitement, and anger can raise the temperature a maximum of 0.5 degrees.
- Ingestion of alcohol can cause variations in the two directions according to the time interval between ingestion and temperature measurement, and according to the amount ingested.
- Physical exercise, which tends to increase the temperature.
What Method To Use To Measure The Body Temperature And Know If We Have A Fever?
In the document, the department of Alfonso Alonso has also analyzed the different methods used to measure temperature. In this sense, warns that putting the thermometer in the armpit is the method that “provides the worst evaluation of the internal temperature,” because “it can be affected by environmental conditions.
They also recognize that the rectal measurement also has “certain limits” on the temperature in that area changes slowly concerning the variation of the internal temperature and can remain elevated “even after the patient’s temperature has started to go down.”
1. Rectal thermometry.
Rectal thermometry has always been considered as the standard for measuring temperature, but numerous recent studies have shown certain limits. The rectal temperature slowly changes concerning the variation of the internal temperature and has been shown to remain elevated, even after the patient’s internal temperature has started to go down and vice versa.
In addition, it warns that rectal perforations have been produced, and without adequate sterilization technique, this rectal thermometry can propagate contaminants contained in feces
2. Axillary thermometry.
Although it is effortless to measure the axillary temperature (compared to the oral or rectal measurements), it has been shown to provide the worst evaluation of internal temperature.
To take this type of temperature, it is necessary to place a traditional mercury thermometer just above the axillary artery, and the measurement can be affected by environmental conditions.
3. Oral thermometry.
The sublingual space is easily accessible and provides the lingual artery temperature. However, oral temperature is easily altered by recent ingestion of food or beverages and by mouth breathing.
To measure mouth temperature it is necessary to keep the mouth closed and the tongue extended for 3 to 4 minutes, a task often difficult to achieve.
4. Atrial thermometry.
Atrial thermometry is easy to use and has fewer risks, but is less sensitive to fever detection.