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What Is Your Body Temperature? Rethinking 98.6

Discussion in 'Autonomic, Cardiovascular, and Respiratory' started by leelaplay, Dec 29, 2009.


What is your average body temperature?

  1. Above 99.2 (37.3 C) - I have high fevers most of the time

    10 vote(s)
  2. 98.6-99.2 (37-37.3 C) - I tend to run a low grade fever

    31 vote(s)
  3. 98.2-98.6 (36.8-37 C) - My body temperature is in the normal range

    13 vote(s)
  4. 96.2-98.2 (35.7-36.8 C) - I tend to have a slightly lower body temperature

    199 vote(s)
  5. Below 96.2 (35.7 C) - Brrrrrrrr!!!!

    22 vote(s)
  6. My temperature fluctuates throughout the day &/or changes daily

    32 vote(s)
  1. flybro

    flybro Senior Member

    My temp tends to fluctuate between the 2nd 3rd and 4th options, so I have'nt voted.
  2. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

    My average temperature fluctuates between about 96.3ish and 97.4. But then I have times when my temperature plunges as low as 95.2 degrees without any provocation (even in a very warm room). I generally don't realize I'm that cold until either I happen to notice that my fingernails are blue or I feel overwhelmingly, unbearably warm to the point of being desperate to cool myself down any way I can. I take my temperature and sure enough it has plunged. A long, hot shower is the only thing that fixes the problem until the next time it plunges.

    When my temperature does rise above my normal it will often go to a "perfect" 98.6. Even though I feel feverish I have to wonder if that isn't good for my body, even if it's uncomfortable for me, if my body is trying to get back to healthy. So for me I consider 98.6 a "possible fever" and then anything above it an actual fever. It is fairly rare for me to get anything above 98.6 but when I do it really knocks me out.
  3. coxy

    coxy Senior Member

    Mine tends to be very low, if it go's over 36.5 i would consider that i've got a fever. It often goes well below 35.5. Mine has been low since the beginning and was one of the first signs to frighten the life out of me when realizing i might have me, as both my children had very low temps. Looking back 7 yrs, i remember, i don't remember much these days, but i vividly remember a nurse taking my daughters temp when we'd been sent to hospital when doctors didn't know what was wrong with her. She thought her thermometer wasn't working as it was so low, oh if i knew then what i know now!!
  4. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    My usual temp is 36.4 centigrade (although it varies during the day - I think lowest it's ever been was 35.9) - normal is 37.00 centigrade by the way.

    A trip to the local hospital ER (after severe symptoms at work) revealed a body temp of 37.7 (high for me). The ER Dr said they don't consider you have a problem unless it's over 38.00, and to take a Panadol, go home, rest & drink plenty of fluids.

    ER doctors don't really think I have problems (unless I complain about severe chest pain LOL).

    By the way, I've found that's the quickest way to get seen at a hospital emergency dept - "severe chest Pain" - they worry you're having a heart attack & treat you very seriously.
  5. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

    New England
    Mine has been low since I was young, which has been troublesome because I would be very sick and my body could only make 99, tops.

    Normally it is between 95 and 96. Once recent day I checked repeatedly and got 93. This is all with a good thermometer pressing it down into the mouth where you are supposed to for a min or more.

    I am on some thyroid medication now but it doesn't change my temperature at all.

  6. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

    PA, USA
    I've actually gone to the ER with a temperature of 92, shaking my tail off with cold from it. And they acted like it was no big deal.

    For me, a fever is 98.6, the "normal" temperature. I can feel like I have a hundred and ten fever when it's "normal".
  7. bigmama2


    FL, PA
    my temp is normally on the low side. about 97.5. has been for years and years. sometimes 97. for me a fever is 98.6 and up. my daily temp can fluctuate alot.

    i have a delightful fever right now. its only like 98.6 but feels like 101! just took some tylenol!!
  8. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

    Long Beach, CA
    It can be frustrating. My "normal" temp is about 96.4 - 96.8, but try telling a doctor you've got a fever when it's 100.4. My doc insisted that wasn't a fever because it was within 1 degree of normal. Not MY normal. I'd been having chills & sweats, freezing under 2 blankets in 90 degree weather. So I just started referring to it as a "pseudo fever" or "feverish feeling" and that seemed to pacify the doc. The funny thing is that when I have a "pseudo fever" of, say, 99, I am hot to the touch. I've had friends hug me and say "You're hot, you're running a fever," and my husband can read my fever with a hand to my forehead.
  9. tymewarp#9


    Central California
    First off, I have three thermometers and they ALL show a different temp by up to a degree difference (such great quality control). Anyhow, I'm usually somewhat below normal. But a while back, I felt 'up'; my mind felt unusually clear, I had more energy than usual, and on a hunch, I took my temp: it showed 99.-something. I've tried to keep a regular log of my temp, but all of you know how it can be: a molehill for normal people is a mountain for us; I've not gotten enough into the habit of regular temp-taking to see a pattern. I'll post it, if I can gather any patterns in the future. And I'm sure I'm not alone in the experience of: the more feverish/crappy I feel, the lower my actual body temp is. The lower temp may be because of lower activity (physical) from feeling sick, but I wonder if it's that simple...
  10. wahaneebelly

    wahaneebelly Guest

    I have measured mine as low as's very rare I even get up to 98.6. When I have a fever it's a big deal.
  11. coxy

    coxy Senior Member

    mine scarely went down to 34.4 this morning! It has scared the life out of me as i've been feeling a lot better after the LP, but my symptoms have been increasingly returning lately. The low temperature issue has been with me since the beginning of my illness, and my children with ME suffer in the same way. My palms go very white and blotchy and my fingers seem to die and go all squidgy as though there's no blood running through them, has anyone got any clues as to what these symptoms are caused by?
  12. _Kim_

    _Kim_ Guest

    Hi coxy, I was wondering if any of your other ME symptoms had changed after doing the LP. Thanks for letting us know about the temperature thing.

    Your hand symptoms sound like Reynauds Syndrome to me. Not uncommon in our population.

    Good to see you are still with us.

  13. MEKoan

    MEKoan Senior Member

    My temp used to be lower than normal but I can't remember what it was.

    I have no idea what it is now because I used the thermometer on the wee dog and, well, you never look at it quite the same way again after that. :mask:
  14. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

    Hi, all.

    For what it's worth, there is a published study in the literature in which the actual core temperature (deep inside) was measured in PWCs, and it came out normal.

    The lower temperatures observed in the mouth, or especially in the armpit, in CFS, reflect a lower than normal metabolic rate in the peripheral tissues, such as the skeletal muscles.

    Also, for what it's worth, my hypothesis is that this lower metabolic rate is a consequence of mitochondrial dysfunction in the cells in these tissues (which has been shown by testing at Acumen Lab in the UK), and that that in turn results from glutathione depletion, which is tied to the partial block in the methylation cycle that characterizes CFS.

    Best regards,

  15. _Kim_

    _Kim_ Guest

    Hi Rich,

    Do you remember anything more about this article? Author? Title? I'd love to read it.

  16. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

    Hi, Kim.

    Here's the abstract:

    Biol Psychiatry. 1998 Feb 15;43(4):293-302.
    Core body temperature is normal in chronic fatigue syndrome.

    Hamilos DL, Nutter D, Gershtenson J, Redmond DP, Clementi JD, Schmaling KB, Make BJ, Jones JF.

    National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Denver, Colorado, USA.

    BACKGROUND: Subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) frequently report symptoms of subnormal body temperature and low-grade fever. We conducted a study to determine whether CFS subjects manifest any abnormality of core body temperature (CBT) that might help explain their fatigue. METHODS: Continuous 24-hour recordings of CBT measured every 5 min were performed in 7 subjects meeting the Centers for Disease Control definition of CFS. Three additional groups were studied: normal controls, subjects with seasonal allergy, and subjects with major depression. Subjects (n = 7) in each group were age-, sex-, and weight-matched to the CFS group and had normal basal metabolic rates, thyroid function, and 24-hour urinary free cortisol excretions. CBT was measured with an ingestible radio frequency transmitter pill and a belt-worn receiver-logger. Each pill was factory-calibrated to +/- 0.1 degree C and field-calibrated with a water bath calibration prior to use. RESULTS: The 24-hour mean calibration-adjusted CBTs of each group were not significantly different (control: 37.00 +/- 0.17 degrees C; CFS: 37.04 +/- 0.31 degrees C; allergy: 37.15 +/- 0.18 degrees C; depression: 37.16 +/- 0.18 degrees C). Similarly, the mean peak and trough circadian temperatures were not statistically different. The mean 24-hour profile of CBT for each group showed a similar circadian rhythm. In simultaneously collected blood samples, each group showed a similar circadian profile of serum cortisol with a peak occurring at 08:00. CONCLUSIONS: Subjects with CFS have normal CBT despite frequent self-reports of subnormal body temperature and low-grade fever.

    PMID: 9513740 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

  17. gracenote

    gracenote All shall be well . . .

    Santa Rosa, CA
    Interesting article.

    (We just can't get away from CBT. :Retro wink: )
  18. sunlady

    sunlady Guest

    It would be interesting to know how long the test subjects had had ME/CFS.

    Things change the longer you are ill.

    I have had ME for more than 35 years and had no thyroid or endocrine issues before I was ill. My body temp was 98.6 and my blood pressure was normal at 120/80.

    During the course of this illness I have developed problems with my thyroid, adrenal and pituitary glands.

    My worst blood pressure reading was 65/40, pulse 40 and no body temperature reading.

    The thyroid medication gives me a body temperature of about 95.7 and BP of 90/60.

    At times I feel as though I am running a low grade fever and my body temp is 97.4!!

    I have tested my temp using an electronic thermometer in the ear as well as the usual sublingual and underarm positions and the readings are all low, whilst my stomach and torso can be burning hot.

    I believe that we have a lower metabolic rate in our peripheral tissue which is exacerbated over time, but what is happening at our core?

    If long term ME/CFS patients were tested I wonder if the results would be different.
  19. lucy

    lucy Senior Member

    My normal t appears to be 36.4, but for the last year, I usually have 36.8-37.4. 500 mg of vit C keeps it 0.2 C lower, but it is almost never my normal temperature. And I know it from the difference in feeling, when I have normal temperature, I stop having that persistant feeling that sth is wrong. There was a theory that microcirculation is shut down when body is short of energy so the body does not sweat and cool anymore. I have also noticed that sometimes, even if I had 36.6-36.8 it felt like very hot temperature (I call it the wall of fire), so I think these are hot flashes and they persist for days.
  20. Calico13


    I overheat very easily. If I am in a warm room or outside during the summer, my temperature can hit 99.6+ degrees. My body has a hard time keeping cool and my temperature regulation is messed up.

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