All of us have had our temperature taken at least a few times, and it most likely occurred when we weren’t feeling our best. After all, our body’s temperature is a good indicator of if we are healthy or not. The average temperature of a human being is commonly accepted to be 98.6°F (37°C). Although, some studies have shown normal body temperatures to range from 97°F (36.1°C) to 99°F (37.2°C) (via MedlinePlus).
Of course, our temperatures don’t stay the same all day. They can be affected by how active we are, what we’ve had to eat and drink, and, for us ladies, even our menstrual cycles (per WebMD). It’s perhaps more commonly known what it means when we have a high temperature, or a fever. Hello sick days, extra fluids, and pajamas all day! But what does it mean if our bodies have a low temperature?
Hypothermia can be mild, serious, or even fatal
The simplest explanation for having a low body temperature can be because you were outside in cold weather (via Cigna). We are familiar with the signs when that happens: freezing limbs, chattering teeth, and, most likely, the dissipation of a jolly mood. When it gets more serious is when hypothermia sets in. “Hypothermia” is a term used to describe when the body loses too much warmth. It can be mild, serious, or even fatal. You are considered to be suffering from hypothermia if your body temperature dips below 95°F (35°C)(per WebMD).
Common signs of hypothermia include slowed breathing, clumsiness, stumbling, and confusion. In severe cases, doctors treat a hypothermia patients with warm saline injected into the veins. They will also do a procedure to rewarm a patient’s blood which involves blood withdrawal, warming it up, and then returning it to the body (via Healthline).
So the next time we have our temperatures taken, we’ll keep in mind what Goldilocks was after: not too high, not too low, but “just right.”
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