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Crazy(?) fluctuations in body temperature

Messages
61
Hi Phoenix!

I'm hoping to get some expert help from you guys on a symptom I recently discovered. I've been battling undiagnosed moderate chronic fatigue, which I've always assumed is ME, for 15 years ish. I'm in my late 20's now.

Recently I've made a new discovery about myself that I have never previously thought to check on a regular basis, ridiculously enough. As the coronavirus started spreading in my country around Feb-March I've been forced to take my temperature more often due to working in a sensitive job sector. My normal temperature has always been 36.8 °C (98.24 °F). The first time I checked my temperature this February due to having developed a slight cough I realized I had a fever. My temp was about 37.7 °C, despite not feeling feverish at all. I stayed at home for two weeks as per the recommendations. The cough went away. All was good. Or so I thought.

Since then I've taken my temperature several times and noticed a strange pattern. First of all my temperature seems to be, most of the time, chronically elevated to around 37.4 °C. But it fluctuates like crazy over the day. It can go from 36.9 to 37.8 within an hour. Today I tested my temperature before cleaning my house and it was 36.8 °C (98.24 °F) when I started out. After cleaning I tested it again and it had gone up to 38 °C (100.4 °F). Early on in this temperature journey I started suspecting that my medical thermometer was broken so I replaced it. Two times. But no, my body temperature just fluctuates like mad.

Earlier in my life any temperature above 37 °C has meant that I have a fever. A temperature above 37 would have made me felt hot and with all the common cold symptoms you could imagine. When my temperature is high nowadays I don't even feel much different. But since I have ME I always feel lousy, of course. Always ill. Always achy. Always without energy. So it's really difficult to differentiate between bad and extra bad sometimes.

Does anyone have an idea what's up here? It seems so unreasonable that my temp can be all over the place like this. As said, this has been going on since February and it's almost June now. It probably has been going on for even longer, but I've just now noticed. I've tried searching for possible causes but I don't know what to search for really, what keywords to use. Any help would be appreciated. What's your take on this rapid fluctuation in body temp? Is that common with ME or should I suspect something else?

Best,
Space
 
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Messages
61
This might be just a normal reaction to exerting yourself.

Hmm, thank you andyguitar. But this was light house work. Not a full body workout. I have never in my life before raised my temperature to 38 °C (100.4 °F) even from a proper work out. That would be a high fever for me. I called and asked my parents to keep track of their temperature during this same period, to have something to compare with, after activity, in the morning and in the evening (if possible), and they don't go above 36.x either way, for the full day. This is not common for me. They didn't think so either.
 
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Messages
61
I’ve had variations of 2 degrees celcius in temperature on the same day. Normal temperature varies for everyone. Mine ranges from about 35C to 37C.

That's not my experience. 37 and above has always been fever for me. I know they say the body temperature generally fluctuates, but I can have 37.7 despite resting for the full day. That has never previously been the case without actually having a fever/cold. Thanks though Dechi!
 
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Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,855
Location
Alberta
ME might be messing up your internal thermostat. I think that's just a cluster of specialized neurons, and ME does mess up neurons, so that might explain it.

When I had a type IV food sensitivity, my temperature would rise several tenths, up to a full degree, over the space of minutes, and then drop back again about as fast. That was probably a response to cytokines from t-cells. Maybe the controls on your immune system are messed up from the earlier viral infection, and all sorts of factors are causing the 'thermostat' to swing around wildly. Another possibility: the virus isn't wiped out, and there's still a battle raging back and forth with your immune system, putting you into a fever state, which hampers the virus, and then your immune system backs off too much and the virus starts up again. Just some possibilities to think about.
 

lenora

Senior Member
Messages
4,992
Hi Space 8....I was hospitalized in January and again in April, and had my vital signs checked regularly. My temp. tends to run all over the place and, personally, after having this for so long (30++ years) I've come to the conclusion that our vital signs just aren't reliable and we can expect them to be all over the place. The same with blood pressure...mine used to be incredibly low prior to menopause; after it's high in the late afternoon, evening and falls to a low by morning. I don't even worry about these things any longer b/c they're such a part of me and how my body reacts.

I don't like having regular BP taken b/c it causes stress for me. My doctors realize this and don't push for it...what am I going to get anyway, one more tablet? I'm on about 3 now and I know they'll keep changing. I'm presently recovering from congestive heart failure...and it's taking much longer than I thought it would. Yours, Lenora
 
Messages
61
ME might be messing up your internal thermostat. I think that's just a cluster of specialized neurons, and ME does mess up neurons, so that might explain it.

When I had a type IV food sensitivity, my temperature would rise several tenths, up to a full degree, over the space of minutes, and then drop back again about as fast. That was probably a response to cytokines from t-cells. Maybe the controls on your immune system are messed up from the earlier viral infection, and all sorts of factors are causing the 'thermostat' to swing around wildly. Another possibility: the virus isn't wiped out, and there's still a battle raging back and forth with your immune system, putting you into a fever state, which hampers the virus, and then your immune system backs off too much and the virus starts up again. Just some possibilities to think about.

Thank you so much, Wishful! The temperature issues have been continuing since I wrote this post. I think your explanation sounds very plausible.

I've noticed any physical activity tend to raise my temperature rapidly and greatly. I took a walk today and had 38.3 °C when I got back. Yesterday I had 37.7 °C from doing nothing. I've noticed my temperature is the lowest around 11 P.M. and that's also when I feel the best. I often feel run down during the days and better at late evenings and nights. So I see a correlation between my temperature and the way I feel physically - that was actually quite the eureka moment for me.

I think I'll try a general check-up before ascribing it all to ME, such as getting my ESR, THS and liver enzymes checked again. I haven't gotten a health check for awhile. The only two tests I've gotten back that was bad in the past (except TSH during a couple of months years ago) is unconjugated bile acids in serum (elevated) and 7α-Hydroxy-4-cholesten-3-one (too low) which are both connected to bile acids, the liver and/or possibly SIBO. But I want to make sure nothing has gone awry in that department. I still don't know why those tests came back off.

Your post was really great though, thank you so much for trying to help!
 
Messages
61
Hi Space 8....I was hospitalized in January and again in April, and had my vital signs checked regularly. My temp. tends to run all over the place and, personally, after having this for so long (30++ years) I've come to the conclusion that our vital signs just aren't reliable and we can expect them to be all over the place. The same with blood pressure...mine used to be incredibly low prior to menopause; after it's high in the late afternoon, evening and falls to a low by morning. I don't even worry about these things any longer b/c they're such a part of me and how my body reacts.

I don't like having regular BP taken b/c it causes stress for me. My doctors realize this and don't push for it...what am I going to get anyway, one more tablet? I'm on about 3 now and I know they'll keep changing. I'm presently recovering from congestive heart failure...and it's taking much longer than I thought it would. Yours, Lenora

Thank you, Lenora!

I suppose you're right about the fact that "our vital signs just aren't reliable and we can expect them to be all over the place". My body doesn't seem to know what it's doing ... I will however, as I wrote to Wishful, try to do a general check-up, just to make sure nothing out of the ordinary is up.

I'm very sorry to hear about your heart problems, but I do hope you're feeling alright (as well as one can feel with ME and other illnesses of course. A "Get well soon" doesn't really cut it with ME, since that's sadly rarely the reality for anyone suffering from a chronic illness). However, take care - to the best of your ability!
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,855
Location
Alberta
If this were a car engine with rpm's fluctuating like that, I'd suspect a loose bolt, or an object loose in the fuel or air lines. Our bodies lack convenient access plates. :grumpy:
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,855
Location
Alberta
I came across this news item: https://newatlas.com/medical/mysterious-immune-cell-energy-beige-fat/

What caught my eye was this part: "“Brown fat, on the other hand, can burn off energy, generating heat in a process called thermogenesis." So, your body's mechanism for switching on fat-burning could possibly be involved. You can add that to your list of possible temperature fluctuation mechanisms. You can also try to see if your fluctuations are stronger after a high-fat meal, or after physical exertion that lasts long enough to switch from glucose-burning to fat-burning.
 
Messages
61
I came across this news item: https://newatlas.com/medical/mysterious-immune-cell-energy-beige-fat/

What caught my eye was this part: "“Brown fat, on the other hand, can burn off energy, generating heat in a process called thermogenesis." So, your body's mechanism for switching on fat-burning could possibly be involved. You can add that to your list of possible temperature fluctuation mechanisms. You can also try to see if your fluctuations are stronger after a high-fat meal, or after physical exertion that lasts long enough to switch from glucose-burning to fat-burning.

Interesting article, Wishful! Thank you so much! I'll try to see if there's some correlation between body temperature and how I eat/exercise (not that I do much of the latter, but still).

I had another interesting discovery in the last couple of days. Last week I had taken a nap (or well, I crashed) in the afternoon after work and was thus up late in the evening/night since I wasn't tired yet due to day sleeping, and between 00-01 A.M. I started feeling really good. Moving felt easy and light for a change. I wasn't in pain. My head clear. I thought I'd take my temperature and it was at 36.3 °C. So there's definitely a connection between my body temperature and the way I'm feeling, which also seems to be connected to my circadian rhythm in some way, possibly. 36.3 °C is a little on the low side though, according to me.

I'm kind of relieved there's at least one slight biomarker for how I'm feeling. That's a new one ... The silly thing is that I've, for the last couple of years, been really against taking my temperature even when I noticeably have a fever since I've been a believer in trusting how you feel (if you feel bad you must rest and if you feel good go ahead and do whatever). So before the coronavirus entered the scene I hadn't taken my temperature in forever. Now I'm glad I did. It's a teeny-tiny clue at least :oops:
 
Messages
61
Could be part of autonomic instability, which occurs to many if not most with CFS
Thank you so much! I read up on Dysautonomia and according to Wiki it's correlated to fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome. All of which I have to some degree. (Even though I've ascribed my IBS to a completely wiped out gut flora. I had one of those bacteria tests done through a private lab and I had no growth of the most common beneficial bacteria strains Bifidobacterium/Lactobacillus e.g. I've also participated in a clinical trial for patients with IBS in which I had a FMT done, which greatly improved my gut issues and my ME symptoms - I'm not fully healthy though, but it allowed me to participate in "normal activities" again from not even being able to walk up the stairs).

I wonder if it would be worth pursuing the diagnosis of dysautonomia, or if it's another dead end in which you know something's wrong, but not specifically what (again). I'm going to read up on the topic some more at least. Thanks again!
 
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