Your body temperature is regulated by your brain. Chemical reactions caused by your metabolism generate heat, which warms the body. The brain regulates metabolism and manages other functions to keep your body temperature within a normal range. But the brain can only do so much, and a host of outside factors can affect your body temperature. Controlling and managing these outside factors is key to maintaining a normal body temperature.
Ways to Keep Your Body Temperature Normal
Avoid illnesses by getting plenty of rest, eating a balanced diet and washing your hands often. Many viruses, like colds, the flu and stomach bugs, and bacterial illnesses like pneumonia, bronchitis and strep throat can cause a fever. Some fungal infections can also cause a fever.
Avoid overexertion. Strenuous exercise can cause people to become overheated and spike a high fever, a condition called hyperthermia. When exercising drink plenty of fluids and stop and rest if you feel dizzy, weak or get severe cramps. Hyperthermia can be exacerbated by the use of certain drugs like diuretics, which can cause dehydration.
Avoid extreme temperatures. Extreme heat, like exercise, can cause the body to overheat, resulting in hyperthermia. Conversely, exposure to extreme cold can cause the body's temperature to drop, a condition called hypothermia. Both of these can be fatal if normal body temperature is not restored immediately. In either case, the person needs to be immediately removed from the hot or cold environment.
Contact your doctor if there seems to be no reason for your low body temperature. An underactive thyroid, a condition called hypothyroidism, can lead to chronic low body temperature. Once diagnosed by a doctor, this condition is easily treatable and involves taking a synthetic hormone in pill form.
Avoid drugs that cause fevers in a variety of ways. One of the most common is allergic reaction. Some medications can cause an increase in metabolism, which can lead to a rise in body temperature. Vaccines can also cause a mild fever because they trigger the body's immune response. According to emedicinehealth.com, drugs that can cause a fever include some antibiotics, heart and seizure medicines, aspirin, antihistamines, antidepressants, cocaine and amphetamines.
Though the standard for normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, temperature varies by person, age, level of activity and time of day. The medical standard for a fever is usually a temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Any major variance in body temperature that lasts more than a few days, especially a fever, needs to be checked out by a doctor.