What Is Your Body Temperature? Rethinking 98.6

What is your average body temperature?

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

    Votes: 11 3.5%
  • 98.6-99.2 (37-37.3 C) - I tend to run a low grade fever

    Votes: 31 9.7%
  • 98.2-98.6 (36.8-37 C) - My body temperature is in the normal range

    Votes: 15 4.7%
  • 96.2-98.2 (35.7-36.8 C) - I tend to have a slightly lower body temperature

    Votes: 206 64.8%
  • Below 96.2 (35.7 C) - Brrrrrrrr!!!!

    Votes: 22 6.9%
  • My temperature fluctuates throughout the day &/or changes daily

    Votes: 33 10.4%

  • Total voters
BTW to save a new reader delving through the previous 5 pages here, body temperature is far more complicated than people think. The normally-quoted 98.6F/37C is highly-misleading as that will vary by time of day (I vary by 1.3F/0.7C), gender (particularly as a woman's temperature varies substantially over her menstrual cycle), and age, even before we consider the issue of what is a normal range around the average.

So, for the 296 people who have ME/CFS, joined this site, read this thread and answered the survey, their body temperature is normally lower than the accepted norm. Even allowing for the self-selection involved, this suggests to me that there is some link, either because people with a low body temperature are more vulnerable to ME/CFS or because ME/CFS produces a lower body temperature.

My waking oral body temperature is typically 96.7F/35.9C and averages 1.6F/0.9C lower than published detailed averages at any time of day, which seems to fit the pattern here. At one time I thought this was significant as a lot of articles suggested that low temperature was as sure sign of thyroid problems; however, my blood tests were well within accepted ranges, albeit away from the average (higher TSH, lower T3, lower T4), and I noticed no difference to how I felt and my body temperature after self-medicating with Thyroid S for 2 months.

For the want of any evidence to the contrary, I've pencilled in low body temperature as a symptom of ME/CFS rather than a symptom of something else that causes or contributes to it.


Senior Member
New England
Most of the time I take my temperature, it runs from 94.5 to 97.4. I think this is part of the pattern of "low and slow" in this illness. In me (ME), everything seems to run low and slow--temperature, immune system, energy, thought and memory, recovery--you name it.
My body temperature was for years high around 37.6° and sometimes more, meanwhile it is dropping and mostly around ~36.8°.
I am surprised about the poll results. I was always thinking most CFS/ME sufferers have fever all the time, but it seems still a low percentage did have such issues.