Normal body temperature varies based on many factors, such as a person’s age, gender, and activity levels. The normal for an adult is around 37 ° C, but everyone’s body temperature is slightly different and can be consistently a little higher or lower.
Body temperature readings also vary depending on where a person takes it on the body. Rectal readings are higher than oral readings, while underarm readings tend to be lower.
Factors that can cause the temperature to vary
- The age and sex of a person.
- The time of day, which is usually lowest in the early morning and highest in the late afternoon.
- High or low activity levels.
- Intake of food and liquids.
- For women, the stage of their menstrual cycle.
- The method of measurement, such as oral, rectal, or underarm readings.
Normal temperature in adults
According to him General Hospital of Catalonia, a body temperature above 38 ° C in adults indicates fever. A normal body temperature for an adult, when taken orally, can range from 35.8 to 37.4 ° C, although different sources may give slightly different figures.
In adults, the following temperatures suggest someone has a fever:
- At least 38 ° C is a fever.
- Above 39.5 ° C it is a high fever.
- Above 41 ° C it is a very high fever.
When to go to the doctor
- A temperature between 38 and 40.5ºC caused by short-term illnesses should not cause harm significant in healthy adults. However, a moderate fever may be more of a concern for a person with existing heart or lung problems.
- Call a doctor or emergency room immediately for temperatures above 40.5ºC or below 35 ° Cespecially if there are other warning signs, such as confusion, headaches, or shortness of breath. Temperatures above 41 can cause organ failure.
- Doctors define hypothermia as a temperature that falls below 35 °, and it can be dangerous if not treated quickly.
- If a temperature reading is unusually high or low, take another after about 5 to 10 minutes. If someone is not sure if the reading is correct, they can take it with a different thermometer.
Doctors consider fever to be a body temperature that reaches or exceeds 38ºC. Other symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle pains.