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Normal body temperature


The observation of body temperature is essential to measure the thermal oscillations of our body. The decrease in heat is constantly produced through the skin by approximately 80% and, to a lesser extent, through respiration and evacuation. The stability of the temperature has a direct impact on the harmony and vital balance.

The body responsible for temperature control is the hypothalamus, which regulates the internal conditions of metabolism and defends it against external phenomena produced by body or environmental activity and, in addition, adjusts the anomalies caused by the body itself. It acts as a thermostat to maintain proper body temperature.

What is body temperature

It is the system of quantification or relative physical measurement that is carried out on the body according to the concept of cold or heat. It is linked to the internal energy that our metabolism generates.

When it comes to body temperature, it refers to the physical method of measuring the cold or heat that our body generates, taking into account the internal movement it performs.

Keep in mind that normal body temperature varies depending on the characteristics of each person. Temperature changes are subject to a series of factors such as: age, sex, type of physical activity, solid or liquid food eaten and the environment, among others.

What is normal body temperature

The general norm among most physicians determines a calculation that ranges between 36.5ºC and 37.2ºC. Average normal body temperature is set at 37 ° C for adults. In the case of babies, there can be a difference between 34.7ºC and 37.7ºC.

The temperature that exceeds 38 ° C, in most cases, alerts us to an infection or disease, and is detected by fever .

However, it is necessary to specify some variants in approximate degrees and subordinate to the different areas where the thermometer is placed, according to the following rules:

The rectal temperature is higher than oral between 0.3 ° and 0.6 °.

The ear temperature is higher than oral between 0.3 ° C and 0.6 ° C .

The axillary temperature is usually lower than the oral between 0.3 ° C and 0.6 ° C .

The exact correspondence of the temperature figures depends on other factors such as the way of measuring, the time of day, etc., or, as in the case of women, the body temperature can be altered by the menstrual period. In children older than 6 months, the temperature can vary from 1 to 2 degrees.

How to measure body temperature

The temperature is measured with a thermometer on which a gradual scale from 35 to 42 ºC appears. It contains mercury which, when dilated, indicates body temperature.

In other times, to know the body temperature, the glass thermometer was used. However, its use is inadvisable because glass has the possibility of fracturing and mercury has a high degree of toxicity.

Currently, the electronic thermometer is the most recommended for its precision. They are equipped with a digital reader where we can see the temperature. It can be placed in the armpit, mouth, or rectum. Its use is very widespread to take the temperature of the ear.

With regard to plastic strip thermometers, indicate that their system is the least accurate. The temperature is indicated by a color change and the strip is placed on the forehead. After a minute we obtain the result of the temperature. Note that in this case it refers to the external temperature because it is carried out on the skin.

To control body temperature, it is recommended to do it three times a day: in the morning, in the afternoon (between 4 and 6 p.m.) and at night, considering that, in this case, the temperature is usually higher.

If the variation goes beyond a degree, it is estimated as a bodily irregularity. This situation involves uncomfortable sensations.

Where is body temperature measured

There are three body areas where body temperature is taken:

Rectal thermometry

It is the most accurate area to know the real temperature of the metabolism. Although it can be uncomfortable, it is considered the most suitable for children under 6 years of age, and it is not advisable in case of surgery or rectal difficulties. The thermometer should be well lubricated and removed after three minutes.

Oral thermometry

It is the most frequently used method. Taking an oral temperature is easy, comfortable and reliable. The thermometer is placed under the tongue for about four minutes. It is not recommended for use in children under 6 years of age because their movements are unpredictable and in people with nasal breathing difficulties, mental confusion, ailments in the mouth and throat.

Axillary thermometry

It is a less precise method because the measurement is external, although it is comfortable and safe. The thermometer is placed in the armpit for five minutes, pressing the arm against the body. This practice is recommended in adults and in children from 6 years of age.

Other information on temperature

It should be noted that when the temperature fluctuates between 39 and 40 ºC, symptoms such as headaches, a feeling of vertigo and sweating may appear. In the case of reaching 41 or 42 ºC the organism collapses, appearing all kinds of hallucinations. This is a serious situation in which urgent medical attention is required. If 42 ºC is reached, the possibility of going into a coma is very high. And finally, when it reaches 43ºC, the consequences can be irreversible.

On the other hand, when the temperature drops below 37 ºC, it is called hypothermia, the effects of which are usually tremors, stiff muscles and a change in the tone of the skin, between bluish or gray. If the temperature drops to 26 or 24 ºC, death will almost certainly occur.


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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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