Body temperature is different in different people. Your age, how you feel and what time of day it is can affect your body temperature. The body can both generate heat and emit heat. It is needed for you to be able to keep your body temperature at an even level.
BODY TEMPERATURE VARIES
The internal body temperature in both children and adults is usually between 36 and 37.8 degrees. The temperature varies from person to person. The temperature of the skin can be both higher and lower depending on how cold or hot it is in the environment.
Reasons why your internal body temperature changes
The temperature can also vary depending on different things:
The time of day. At night the temperature often drops. In the afternoon the temperature is always a little higher than in the morning.
Age. Older people who have dementia or have a great need for help in everyday life may have lower body temperature than others.
Physical activity. Physical exertion raises the temperature. For example in sports or play.
You who are ovulating can have about half a degree higher body temperature from ovulation until menstruation. After menopause, the temperature drops slightly.
In hyperthyroidism, for example, body temperature rises slowly for several weeks as the production of the thyroid hormone thyroxine increases. Diseases can also cause you to get a fever.
Stress and anxiety increase the metabolism in the body. This can increase the body temperature.
BODY TEMPERATURE IS CONTROLLED BY THE BRAIN
Body temperature is controlled by the temperature center located in the brain. In the skin and further into the body there are nerves that feel heat and cold. They are called sensory bodies. The sensory bodies provide information to the temperature center in the brain about the temperature of the body. The temperature center then controls the body temperature with the help of the nervous system and the hormonal system.
The body can change its temperature, partly because the body generates heat and partly because the body emits heat.
The body generates heat when the body temperature becomes too low
The liver, muscles and brain help to generate heat when your body is at rest. Sometimes your body temperature can get too low and you get cold and freeze. Then the body must generate more heat.
THE MOVEMENTS OF THE MUSCLES GENERATE HEAT
One way for the body to generate heat is to increase muscle activity. It happens when you freeze. Then the muscles become tense and small movements occur. It’s called shivering.
MOVEMENT INCREASES BODY TEMPERATURE
The body can also generate heat by moving. For example, you can run a distance or move your arms back and forth quickly. The blood heats up as it flows through the working muscles.
Body heat can also increase by increasing metabolism. This means that the processes in the body go faster. This causes heat to form. Hormone hormones can, for example, increase metabolism.
Young kids have a special kind of fat. It’s called brown fat. Brown fat forms large amounts of heat. Brown fat cells contain especially many mitochondria. The task of the mitochondria is to generate energy for the body’s processes. Therefore, more heat is formed in brown fat than in ordinary fat cells.
THE BODY SAVES HEAT BY REDUCING BLOOD CIRCULATION IN THE SKIN
At low body temperature, blood circulation in the skin decreases. Then the body emits less heat and the skin fades because it does not contain as much blood.
The body emits heat when the body temperature becomes too high
The body constantly emits heat. This is to avoid overheating. At rest, the body’s temperature would rise by about one degree per hour if all the heat generated by the body were to remain. When moving, the temperature would rise even more.
The most important way for the body to give off heat is to change the temperature of the skin.
THE BODY EMITS HEAT BY INCREASING BLOOD CIRCULATION IN THE SKIN
The blood vessels in the skin dilate when you get hot. The blood is directed to the skin. Then the skin becomes red and warm. The blood cools if the temperature surrounding the body is lower. The cooling is faster if you fan something.
YOU GIVE OFF HEAT WHEN YOU SWEAT
There are many sweat glands in the skin. They are activated when you get hot. Then the sweat glands secrete a fluid on the skin surface. The liquid consists of water and salt. Then the water evaporates. It cools the blood that flows in the blood vessels of the skin.
WHEN THE BODY GETS TOO HOT
Sometimes you can get too hot, for example if you play sports hard in hot weather or sit in a car without air conditioning when it is hot outside. It can cause you to get heat stroke.
You need more fluid when it is hot. Pay attention if you urinate less than usual, as this is a sign that you need to get more fluid.
WHEN THE BODY GETS TOO COLD
Your body can be damaged if you get too cold. This can happen if you are exposed to low temperatures or a cold and humid environment for a long time. Sometimes, when someone is drowning or if a person is found unconscious outdoors, the body temperature can be so low that it seems as if the person is dead. Then the activity of the heart is very slow. Breathing is also slow. There is a great risk that the heart rhythm will be irregular due to the low temperature, and at a really low temperature the heart stops completely.
WHEN THE BODY GETS TOO COLD Your body can be damaged if you get too cold