'Normal' human body temperatures

A couple of days ago, as I had a slight headache I took my temperature. It was 35.7. Now as far as I know normal is between about 36.5 and 37.5 and below 35 is hypothermia country.

Today I took it again, about the same. Then I took my wife’s. She is very thin, eats little, spends a lot of time in bed, walks with difficulty and has had 3 mini strokes. Hers was 34.6.

She felt a little chilly, but then she always does, but is not shivering, so no different today. Neither of us want to go to the doctor or hospital so I gave her a choice, into the living room (she usually inhabits the kitchen) where I could turn up the air heater or sit in the south facing veranda covered with a large warm blanket folded 4 times.

I am going to take her temperature again in a few minutes but should we be worried? Not sure I can impose the answer on her, whatever it is.

Temperatures are lower as people get older.Although your wife’s in particular seems very low, but if she is very immobile etc it may be her normal. I’d suggest taking both of your temps at diffferent times of the day over a few days to establish yoru baselines. Also some thermometers can be a little out.
Here is an article that explains what is normal and the aging issue:

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The first question is what sort of thermometer are you using?

While “normal” is usually quoted as 37°C that refers to core body temperature - if that genuinely was 34.6° it would, indeed be hypothermia but there is a wide variation in measurements and each type of thermometer has specific considerations. A 34.6° reading on a thermometer would not necessarily be a cause for concern if they are clearly healthy.

Thanks Tory, an interesting article once I had sorted out old money from new… :wink:

I think this bit is reassuring:

Several factors can lead to a lower body temperature in older people. For instance, as you age, you lose fat under the skin in your extremities and your skin becomes drier; both of these changes cause loss of body heat. Metabolism, which also generates heat, tends to slow as you age.

She has almost no fat weighing in at at around 37 kgs, but I will take her temp and keep a sharp eye. I have a feeling that it is normal for her though. :slightly_smiling_face:

It is a digital, Peter, she is clearly not healthy, but has been that way for a long time now, this is not news, the only difference today is that, because I was checking myself, I checked her too.

I have taken my own temperature several times since C-19 arrived and it is always on the low side of what is supposed to be normal, so maybe it is the thermometer.

Mine has been under 36 for about 15 years now…

Is there any way your wife could be encouraged to do some chair exercises to help her circulation? There are some quite fun videos if she likes music?

My temp rarely goes over 36 often 35.5/6. Over the last couple of months my temp has been taken at hospitals, dentists and always showed 35.?
Stay well and make sure you have plenty of fluids.

Just about everything is these days.

What I was thinking is - is it one of the in-ear ones which can read low if they do not get a clear view of the eardrum or one of the forehead IR ones which can read low if you aim them at the wrong bit of the body or if the skin is cold because the air is cold.

Errr, it’s Paul.

That will be why, she’s underweight (unless she is 4’ 7" or less) which tends to slow metabolism and cause hypothermia.

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Could it be type 1 diabetes?

Could be but I suspect unlikely - I don’t think David has stated his age in posts but I don’t get the impression that he is a youngster and therefore his wife, by educated guesswork, is probably not in the age group that presentation of type 1 is common, although it can present at any age and there is a condition called LADA ( latent autoimmune diabetes of adulthood) which acts like type 1 and presents in later life.

Well lots of useful replies there, thank you all (especially Paul :roll_eyes: :confused:).

We are both 77 and will be 78 around the turn of the year.
Fran is about 5’ 4"
The thermo is for under the tongue (or up the dog’s bum :roll_eyes:)
Encouraging news from Jane and Lily, if you see what I mean, that being 35 something is not a death sentence, but I seriously doubt that she could be persuaded to do any exercises.
As regards diabetes or sudden hypothermia, I doubt it because she has been this way, always feels the cold and immobile, for some years now, and our regular 3 monthly visits to the doctor for prescriptions would have turned up such things I am sure. He weighs her on an old fashioned cast iron thing that involves moving a pointer along a bar., and makes a big thing about recording it every time. The heaviest she has been in 10 years or so was probably 42 kgs. , down from about 57 when she was fit and healthy, dancing and chasing kids around.
Lastly when I checked her again after about 3 hours when the sun went down and the veranda began to lose heat but she had been well wrapped in a very warm blanket, she was up to 36.7. Seems one helluva gain to me and I am beginning to doubt the thermometre.
Especially as she has just recorded 35.8 after spending most of the last 4 hours in the warmer living room with me.
After reading the new lockdown rules, if it isn’t forbidden, I think we will both go to the Doctor tomorrow morning bringing forward our planned renewal visit from next Tuesday.

Many thanks again for all for your advice. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Finger crossed for you both



Thank you both. :slightly_smiling_face: