Is There One Specific Body Temperature?

2 June 2016, 15:26

If someone asked you what the human body temperature should be, you would probably say 37 degrees Celsius. You would be right in a sense, because this is the correct figure. However, this is an average, and it is definitely right to say that not everyone has this exact figure, which works out to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some people will be slightly higher than this on a regular basis, while others may be slightly below this temperature. This is the internal temperature, and even if yours is usually slightly above or below this, it won’t be the same throughout the day. Lots of things can determine whether a body temperature is above or below this level.

In reality, it would be perfectly normal for you to be around one degree Fahrenheit (equivalent to 0.6 degrees Celsius) above or below this typical reading. Furthermore, there are several places on the body where the temperature can be taken. Taking it in one spot, for example the ear, might produce a higher temperature than one taken elsewhere, i.e. under the tongue.

Most people will have experienced a fever at one point or another. It might feel as though you are ‘burning up’, and indeed it is often referred to as such. However, in reality, the temperature difference in someone who has a fever is actually quite slight. In an adult, a fever is diagnosed when the temperature is above 101 degrees Fahrenheit, which equates to 38.3 degrees Celsius. In a child, the temperature will be slightly lower to give the same diagnosis. This would be 100.4 Fahrenheit, which works out to 38 degrees Celsius.

Yet even though the temperature difference may seem slight, in terms of the body and our health, it can be quite pronounced. In most cases, where a fever occurs as a symptom of an infection, it will resolve itself as the body fights off the infection that has caused it. Some tablets will help reduce temperature and the associated symptoms the person might feel. If nothing happens and the temperature doesn’t start to reduce, medical attention may have to be sought.

If someone does have a temperature, they may become delirious, not make sense and not be able to have a proper conversation. In most instances, this doesn’t last long, but seeking medical advice – especially in the case of a child – can be a good idea. Keeping an eye on someone’s temperature when they have a fever is a good idea, because this will allow you to tell when it starts to reduce.

As you can see, body temperature can vary between people, and when healthy or when you have an infection or illness. As such, it pays to know what is normal and what isn’t, as this can help you know what to expect.