Body Temperature/Sickness

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Master Gunner
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Body Temperature/Sickness

Postby Master Gunner » Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:22 pm UTC

I'm fairly sick at the moment (symptoms are: queasiness, nausea, and dry throat no matter how much I drink), and I've noticed some strange things when I was checking my temperature. When I first checked it this morning (about 6 hours ago), it was 33C (91F), which to me seems to be quite low, even though I didn't feel cold at all. I checked it again a few minutes ago, and am feeling rather feverish, however according to the probe it was 37C (98.6F), which as I recall is close to what body temperature is supposed to be. So why was I feeling fine temperature-wise earlier when it was low, but now that it's closer to normal I feel feverish? Is it something to do with whatever bug I've caught, or could I just naturally have a low body temperature?

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Re: Body Temperature/Sickness

Postby You, sir, name? » Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:24 pm UTC

Have you considered the possibility of your thermometer being broken?
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Re: Body Temperature/Sickness

Postby jaap » Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:40 pm UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:Have you considered the possibility of your thermometer being broken?

Or not kept in long enough.

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Re: Body Temperature/Sickness

Postby Macbi » Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:42 pm UTC

A body temperature of 33C is (probably) not accurate, but I doubt it's just a zero-error since 43C isn't that likely either. I'd suggest getting a new thermometer. Or checking that you're using it right.
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Re: Body Temperature/Sickness

Postby Charlie! » Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:43 pm UTC

Or, if you drink a cool, refreshing beverage within about 10 minutes before putting the thermometer in, it will throw off the reading.
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Re: Body Temperature/Sickness

Postby Master Gunner » Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:54 pm UTC

the thermometer has a built-in timer, so it's in for long enough, and I have stayed well clear of beverages before using it, so I doubt it's that either. It's always possible that the thermometer is broken, so I'll look into getting a new one, but it's worked reliably thus far. Also, my temperature has since stabilized to around 35.7-36.0, of course, if the thermometer is broken and returning lower numbers, that may well be meaningless.

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Re: Body Temperature/Sickness

Postby The Ethos » Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:04 pm UTC

Digital oral thermometers suck as a rule. Compare how tiny that probe is with where you put it in your mouth. If you imagine your tongue as a triangle (point out), there are different zones where different temps are 'normal'. Ear, armpit, and rectal give some of more accurate (but less comfortable) readings.

If you're serious about it, get an ear one or even if you have an IR thermometer for work, even they work better. Most medical centers use the long (BLUE!) probe type, I've never been in one with a 25 buck tongue one. (Ah, the mercury ones worked SO well...)
Generally speaking, if you feel feverish, you probably are. Lay low, drink plenty of fluids, and get some sleep.

Oh, and feel better soon.
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Re: Body Temperature/Sickness

Postby Bobber » Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:40 pm UTC

I remember having an all-around-the-body digital thermometer once, where it said in the instructions that you had to add an amount of degrees to the display depending on where you used it. Maybe there is something like that with your thermometer too. I think the amounts were 0 degres for anus, 1 degree for mouth, and 2 degrees for armpit.
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Re: Body Temperature/Sickness

Postby Swordfish » Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:47 am UTC

It might be worth adding that, if you took your temperature in the morning, shortly after you woke up, it might still be low because I believe that your body temperature drops when you sleep. But if you're feeling feverish and it's reading a normal temperature, I'm gona go with the "You've got a broken thermometer," or "You're not quite using it right."
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Re: Body Temperature/Sickness

Postby Kabann » Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:46 am UTC

I second the 'low morning temperature' thought - most people do indeed drop a few degrees in body temp while they sleep.

I recently was sick as well, and bought a digital thermometer. They aren't the greatest things in the world. When I felt my most feverish my temp was reading somewhere between 96 and 99 degrees, and it was probably a little higher. One thing I found is that with those timed digital jobbies, if you open your mouth at all during the measuring time, you may easily throw off the reading by a few degrees.

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Re: Body Temperature/Sickness

Postby evilbeanfiend » Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:19 am UTC

you could always try to calibrate your thermometer by comparing it against some known temperatures (ice and boiling water will probably get you within a degree) of course if its digital it won't be linear outside its operating range so you will need to check that it can cope with those temperatures.
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Re: Body Temperature/Sickness

Postby zenten » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:41 pm UTC

Yeah, you're probably measuring wrong. You should be having a nasty case of hypothermia if your core body temperature was actually that low.

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Re: Body Temperature/Sickness

Postby Simbera » Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:24 pm UTC

I second the 'low morning temperature' thought - most people do indeed drop a few degrees in body temp while they sleep.


Sorry to hijack the thread but - would this cause me to feel really hot when I wake up, but a few minutes later (without the room changing temperature or anything like that) feeling normal? As in, the body temperature drop makes normal temperatures seem hot by comparison?

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Re: Body Temperature/Sickness

Postby zenten » Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:47 pm UTC

Simbera wrote:
I second the 'low morning temperature' thought - most people do indeed drop a few degrees in body temp while they sleep.


Sorry to hijack the thread but - would this cause me to feel really hot when I wake up, but a few minutes later (without the room changing temperature or anything like that) feeling normal? As in, the body temperature drop makes normal temperatures seem hot by comparison?

<^>


It would cause you to feel chilly soon after waking up.

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Re: Body Temperature/Sickness

Postby The Ethos » Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:10 pm UTC

evilbeanfiend wrote:you could always try to calibrate your thermometer by comparing it against some known temperatures (ice and boiling water will probably get you within a degree) of course if its digital it won't be linear outside its operating range so you will need to check that it can cope with those temperatures.


Find me a medical thermometer that measures outside of 90-106 degrees F and I'll buy you a coke. They typically have to have 0.2 F scaling, so they just don't have that type of a range. (Basal temp thermometers for determining ovulation usually have 0.1 degree markings.)
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Re: Body Temperature/Sickness

Postby Nebulae » Sat Apr 12, 2008 2:27 am UTC

zenten wrote:
Simbera wrote:
I second the 'low morning temperature' thought - most people do indeed drop a few degrees in body temp while they sleep.


Sorry to hijack the thread but - would this cause me to feel really hot when I wake up, but a few minutes later (without the room changing temperature or anything like that) feeling normal? As in, the body temperature drop makes normal temperatures seem hot by comparison?

<^>


It would cause you to feel chilly soon after waking up.

Not necessarily true. I mean, during a fever, you often feel cold.

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Re: Body Temperature/Sickness

Postby zenten » Sat Apr 12, 2008 9:13 am UTC

Nebulae wrote:
zenten wrote:
Simbera wrote:
I second the 'low morning temperature' thought - most people do indeed drop a few degrees in body temp while they sleep.


Sorry to hijack the thread but - would this cause me to feel really hot when I wake up, but a few minutes later (without the room changing temperature or anything like that) feeling normal? As in, the body temperature drop makes normal temperatures seem hot by comparison?

<^>


It would cause you to feel chilly soon after waking up.

Not necessarily true. I mean, during a fever, you often feel cold.


Yes, for the same reason.

Think of your body when you're sleeping as having your thermostat turned down bellow normal. When you wake up it soon gets turned up to normally. However, your body temperature is still low, so you feel cold.

When you have a fever your thermostat gets turned up. But your body may not be actually as warm as it wants to be. So you feel cold.

Make sense?

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Re: Body Temperature/Sickness

Postby Nebulae » Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:12 am UTC

Yes, it makes perfect sense, but I think that you may oversimplifying the situation (in thinking that the only reason we feel hot/cold is because of a "perceived difference" between the temperature we WANT to feel, and the core temperature our body is actually AT.) Can you by any chance give some citations or further reading?

As in, I've always thought that we have two layers of temperature sensing. One from changes in core temperature, and one due to the differential temperature gradient between the core and peripheral temperature sensing neurons. Consider hypothermia, where at first feel cold because of a giant differential between the outer and inner neurons, but as we continue losing heat, and our core temperature drops, the differential decreases, and it may be that we start feeling warm because of this. In the same manner, if you wake up in a warm environment, your skin temperature will be nearer to your core temperature than it normally would be. Thus, you might feel a "hot flash" right after waking, and then "normal," once your core temperature acclimates.

Anyway, this is kinda fuzzy for me, I've forgotten a lot of this stuff, and maybe it's all conjecture on my part. Who knows. Yeah, I really need to read more into this. And actually learn neuroscience. Yeah, that would be good.


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