When is Your Body Heat Something to be Concerned About?

By Martha Michael

Anxiety and Your Body

If you’re one of those extreme overachievers, the kind who always does things by the book, you may be the type who reacts with alarm any time the thermometer reads anything except 98.6 on the nose.

Ironically, the more you fret about your temperature being a degree off the norm, the greater the possibility it’s going to rise.

The truth is, there is a range of thermal readings that signal to a person that his/her health is just fine. Anywhere from 97.8 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit is acceptable, says an article in Everyday Health. The climate we’re in, as well as our activity level, determines a rise or fall in body temperature -- but when is your body heat something to be concerned about?

Fever

As any of us who have caught a virus know, a low-grade fever may mean you’re fighting an illness. If your temperature is in the 102-103 degrees range, it’s too high and can be dangerous if you don’t seek medical help.

Some of the common symptoms that coexist with a spiking fever include:

  • Muscle ache
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Weakness
  • Dehydration
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite

There’s a range of “normal” when it comes to how our individual bodies function. The best way to monitor changes in overall wellness, which signals potential problems, is to have a permanent place on your weekly schedule to see your chiropractor.

With access to an ongoing health record, things you don’t realize are happening to your body are recorded, which can be useful. Plus, your relationship with your chiropractor paves the way for productive discussions about your health, so you learn more about wellness management while gaining diagnostics from a knowledgeable practitioner.

What Heats It Up

Your body temperature drops when you sleep, and when you exercise it rises. Those reactions certainly make sense, but other aspects of your environment can affect the body’s warmth also.

Your biological clock impacts your temperature, so you automatically cool down at night when you lie down to rest. And during daylight hours, if you’re active and your lifestyle takes you dashing from place to place, your temperature likely reflects it.

Some of the conditions that have an effect on your body heat include:

  • Gender
  • Pregnancy
  • Age
  • Hormones

While those are generally unavoidable components, an article posted by Anxiety Centre in Canada talks about other factors that you do have some control over that can also cause a change in body temperature:

  • Weight Alcohol Drug use Exposure to cold Medications

Emotional Causes

Stress and anxiety can have a strong effect on how your body feels -- both hot and cold.

“Since both can increase the body’s metabolism, and the byproduct of increased metabolism is heat, being stressed and/or anxious can also increase body temperature,” the article says. “It's also common for episodes of increased stress and anxiety to cause a person to feel cold or chilly because of the restricted blood flow to the skin due to the constriction of blood vessels caused by the stress response. When we feel cold or chilly, the body wants to increase its body temperature because it is dropping toward the low end within the normal range.”

Knowing this, you can predict when to expect slight changes in your body’s temperature: while test-taking, lying, disobeying rules, and when you’re worried about a loved one.

Whatever you do, don’t lie to your chiropractor. It’s a great place for honest feedback about your body’s health status, and any signs that something’s not working in relationship to your other internal systems.

If you were the kid who obsessively/dutifully waited through two complete choruses of “Happy Birthday” before you considered your hands clean, you’re likely to be exacting, which may mean your temp runs high.

Put those strengths to work by being vigilant about your health, including routine chiropractic visits. But if you find you’re still checking your temperature twice a day, it may be time to cool it.

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