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Time to redefine normal body temperature?
- By Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
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Does the body temperature rise during exercise, after running, or for female during their menstrual cycle.?
Thank you for this timely information. I too have a low normal body temperature leading health care workers to delay treatment or concern. I have had to really learn to push and be my own advocate. I’ve had meningitis, pneumonia, and sepsis all with no (apparent) fever. I’ve been refused strep-tests because I wasn’t febrile and now have permanent damage to two heart valves because of untreated prolonged bouts of streptococcus. I am a very active and healthy 47 year old woman and this has been pretty consistent my entire adult life (ha, well, not the 47 year old part). Of course I am currently concerned at being turned away from covid-19 testing, if the time comes, because my febrile temperature is lower that what they are taught to use as guideline.
I too have a lower body temperature around 96.7 a.m. and 97.6 or so p.m. I am healthy, and have had a lower body temperature all my life. I was a very active child and throughout my adult life. Even when I had the Hong Kong flu in 1968 my temperature only went to 100.2 or so; Therefore I was considered as having a mild case – it was not mild. Although I am rarely ill, when I am it’s under diagnosed because my body doesn’t react with fever. I certainly not alone in this body type.
Good article. I’m a 56 yo male, overweight, with hypothyroidism. My body temp averages 95.6 and my heart rate baseline is 49. For some individuals like me, clinicians may often very easily miss a diagnosis of infection because a high temp is closer to 98, not 100. The implication is that proper treatment is not prescribed due to over-caution in antibiotic stewardship because there is no “fever”.
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