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Toucanna
01-25-2012, 03:03 PM
First, the three disclaimers:

1) You are not my doctor.
2) I am not seeking a medical diagnosis.
3) If my condition persists for more than 24 hours, I will seek professional, state-licensed, medical attention.

I think I caught a bug or something. Coughing, no appetite, alternating feeling cold then warm, tired, a little dizzy, headache.

I took my temperature this morning, without having had anything to drink or smoke. It registered a little above 95 deg F. This has happened before, and usually turns into a garden-variety cold (minor upper respiratory infection) that runs its course in about 10 days.

When this happened in the past, when the nurse or PA took my temperature, they didn't believe I had a fever because of the low reading. So, what are the possible reasons for my temperature to be below the average "normal" 98.6 deg F when I got sick, and not above?

dublos
01-25-2012, 03:26 PM
Is your temperature low on a normal day to day basis when you are not ill?

How soon after waking up did you take your temperature?

TriPolar
01-25-2012, 03:31 PM
Did you ever check your temperature when you weren't sick? In the morning before you had anything to drink or smoke? Ever try a different thermometer?

If a little above 95 isn't your normal temperature, and your thermometer is accurate, somehow your metabolism has slowed down, or your body has become less conductive where ever you're sticking that thermometer. That might be a reaction to an infection.

mnemosyne
01-25-2012, 03:35 PM
I have no ides for medical reasons but when it comes to the measurement itself:

98.6F is an average, which means that there are people who have a higher normal body temperature, and also some with a lower one. Using wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_human_body_temperature)as a cite, the observed range for oral temperature reading is anywhere between 92-101 F. Without knowing your particular baseline, this data point isn't particularly meaningful: you might simply be someone whose normal temperature is low, and you are measuring that value and not a fever or anything due to medical issues. OTOH, you might indeed have a fever if the value is more than a couple of degrees above your baseline!

Alternatively, your thermometer might not be calibrated and it might have a bias towards reading lower values than actual. You'd have to compare to a calibrated thermometer to know, and just correct for the bias. I don't know how likely this is, and you say that you've had low temperature readings before using another thermometer, so it seems less likely. It's still possible, though!

Toucanna
01-25-2012, 03:47 PM
Thanks for the quick replies!

Is your temperature low on a normal day to day basis when you are not ill?
No, typically it is 99 deg F.
How soon after waking up did you take your temperature?
About 10 minutes.
Did you ever check your temperature when you weren't sick? In the morning before you had anything to drink or smoke? Ever try a different thermometer?
Yes. Yes. Yes--at the doctor's office. ETA: oops, misunderstood that part. Should have answered "No."
...where ever you're sticking that thermometer...
Old-school oral mercury thermometer in mouth, under tongue, for 5 minutes.
{snip} Alternatively, your thermometer might not be calibrated and it might have a bias towards reading lower values than actual. {snip}
Completely possible; but the low readings also occur at the doctor's office, where I assume (well, hope!) their electronic thermometers are calibrated correctly.

I'm so :confused: ...

MLS
01-25-2012, 04:14 PM
IANAD. One's temperature is often low first thing in the morning. Try again a few hours later and it's probably higher.

A long time ago my then very young daughter was ill, and her temperature was below what was normal for her. She used to get ear infections and strep throats rather easily back then, so we had a trip to the pediatrician. He said not to be at all concerned about the low temperature reading. It can be a part of the body's attempt to fight off a virus or infection.

Rachellelogram
01-25-2012, 06:45 PM
He said not to be at all concerned about the low temperature reading. It can be a part of the body's attempt to fight off a virus or infection.
By what mechanism? I've always heard that fever is the body's attempt to rid itself a virus or infection. What purpose would a revef (reverse fever) have?

TriPolar
01-25-2012, 07:01 PM
By what mechanism? I've always heard that fever is the body's attempt to rid itself a virus or infection. What purpose would a revef (reverse fever) have?

The same thing. Your body isn't thinking about what to do. These are reactions to infections that are built into our genes because people with these reactions reproduce more successfully than those with other reactions. The change in temperature may have an affect on the bacteria or virus, or may be a side effect of the body's immune system reacting to it in other ways.

This may have nothing to with an overall body temperature though. The area under Toucanna's tongue may be a little colder due to decreased circulation as the blood supply is concentrated somewhere else. Measured from, let's say a different location, Toucanna might seem to be running a fever.

Toucanna
01-26-2012, 03:30 PM
Some updates:

When I woke up this morning I felt very cold, even though I was wearing a wool sweater over a cotton sweatshirt, and wool socks. Took my temperature about 10-15 minutes after I got up: 96.6*. Realized I had mis-read my temperature from yesterday morning. It was closer to 96.6 than ~95.

Reading about 2 hours after I got up: 98.2.

Reading from right now: 98.4.

Headache has not abated. Occasionally light-headed/woozy. Although I'm wearing four layers of clothing--including a hooded rain coat--I still feel cold; as though I'm carrying a bag of ice across my shoulders.

Will see doctor but, earliest appt available is tomorrow afternoon. If things get worse before appt., will go to an after-hours clinic or ER.

Still would like to know why I have temperature inversion syndrome/disorder. Did I just make that up? ::wanders off to Google:: Nope. Not a medical term.

----------
*All temperatures are in "degrees Farenheit". My apologies to all the folks in those rational countries that use the metric system.

WhyNot
01-26-2012, 03:37 PM
Are you a mouth-breather? I don't mean that in a rude way, but a literal one. People who breathe through their mouths, whether it's all the time or because their nose is stuffed up with a cold, tend to read lower.

Drinking a cold beverage will make you read lower for about 15 minutes afterward.

Immunocompromised people may never get a fever or may have reduced body temperatures during infections. But I assume you'd have mentioned if you're HIV+, undergoing chemotherapy, taking steroids or otherwise immunocompromised.

Elderly people tend to be cooler than younger people.

It's entirely possible the thermometer is inaccurate, too. I hate those things. Either the batteries run out, the patient can't get it in the right spot under the tongue or I can't find my probe covers... I threw out the one work gave me (well, not really, but it's in my closet somewhere) and bought my own temporal one, instead. Still sometimes has errors, but not nearly so many.

ETA: 96.6 is within "norms". 95 would have me finding another thermometer and calling the doctor if it was right and it was the first time it happened for a patient. But people have been recorded with "normal" body temperatures of 92...normal for them, that is.

Toucanna
01-26-2012, 03:49 PM
Are you a mouth-breather?
Nope, and no offense was taken. :)
Drinking a cold beverage will make you read lower for about 15 minutes afterward.
Haven't been drinking cold beverages.
Immunocompromised people may never get a fever or may have reduced body temperatures during infections.
I did not know that. Thanks!
But I assume you'd have mentioned if you're...immunocompromised.
As far as I know, I'm not. Maybe I developed that recently? Will bring that up with dr.
Elderly people tend to be cooler than younger people.
Will be 51 this year. Don't know if that qualifies as elderly for the purposes of this discussion. I guess it's a moot point, as my "normal" body temp is higher than average (99 deg F).
It's entirely possible the thermometer is inaccurate, too. I hate those things. Either the batteries run out...
I'm using an older mercury thermometer. I'll take it with me to the appt and see if it reads the same as the dr.'s.

monavis
01-27-2012, 08:09 AM
First, the three disclaimers:

1) You are not my doctor.
2) I am not seeking a medical diagnosis.
3) If my condition persists for more than 24 hours, I will seek professional, state-licensed, medical attention.

I think I caught a bug or something. Coughing, no appetite, alternating feeling cold then warm, tired, a little dizzy, headache.

I took my temperature this morning, without having had anything to drink or smoke. It registered a little above 95 deg F. This has happened before, and usually turns into a garden-variety cold (minor upper respiratory infection) that runs its course in about 10 days.

When this happened in the past, when the nurse or PA took my temperature, they didn't believe I had a fever because of the low reading. So, what are the possible reasons for my temperature to be below the average "normal" 98.6 deg F when I got sick, and not above?

I don't know the reason, but I have had a low tempeture all my adult life, I have also had a slow heart rate. Used to also have low blood pressure until i started taking drops for my eyes and the sid eeffects were high BP. I am in my 80's so I guess it hasn't harmed me!

thelabdude
01-27-2012, 12:47 PM
Good luck with the doctor. I complained to mine about being cold and tired all the time. He said wear more clothes. I have had numerous blood tests and everything comes up normal. I get told you can't be sick because you don't have a fever.

Musicat
01-27-2012, 12:54 PM
Are you taking any medication?

monavis
01-28-2012, 07:54 AM
Good luck with the doctor. I complained to mine about being cold and tired all the time. He said wear more clothes. I have had numerous blood tests and everything comes up normal. I get told you can't be sick because you don't have a fever.


If you are a female it could be hormonal. My doctor said (since I am cold even in summer) it was hormonal and they don't give hormones to a person over 70,because it causes more harm to them than good.

Farmer Jane
01-28-2012, 12:34 PM
Mine is usually 96-97. For a few days last week, it was 95.2...all day, off and on a few tenths of a degree. When it went up to 98., I thought I'd die. I felt like crap the whole time.

Taomist
01-28-2012, 02:10 PM
For what it's worth, mine is normally low also, 96 or so. So when it raises to even barely above 'average', for me that's a raging fever. The doc doesn't consider anything under 100 to be noteworthy, so I have been having various tests to figure out why I feel like crap since I obviously don't have the flu 'cause I 'don't have a fever'.

Oh well, free x-rays, yay. Also had my first ekg which was normal, so that's cool.

I have to wonder why docs bother with temperature readings at all if they're just going to go by what's 'standard'. By the time you have a 'standard' fever, it's obvious in so many other ways that the thermometer seems pointless.

Taomist
01-28-2012, 02:21 PM
I don't know the reason, but I have had a low tempeture all my adult life, I have also had a slow heart rate. Used to also have low blood pressure until...

Same, except I hit 38 and within a 6 month period I gained the first weight of my life and my bp went up. I was told I was getting old, end of story. Also was told that low bp is due to the body not regulating right, kind of like a broken car thermostat, so many people with low bp will 'flip' and have high bp for no other reason than something wasn't working right in the first place.

But who knows, doctors all seem to say different things. My bp has been absolutely 'normal' lately, for the first time in my life. And I don't know why. :dubious:

FrillyNettles
01-28-2012, 02:42 PM
I don't know the reason, but I have had a low tempeture all my adult life, I have also had a slow heart rate. Used to also have low blood pressure until i started taking drops for my eyes and the sid eeffects were high BP. I am in my 80's so I guess it hasn't harmed me!

Have you ever been tested for hypothyroidism?

WhyNot
01-28-2012, 03:12 PM
Mine is usually 96-97. For a few days last week, it was 95.2...all day, off and on a few tenths of a degree. When it went up to 98., I thought I'd die. I felt like crap the whole time.

I swear, there's a virus going around causing this. I've seen no news accounts or studies or anything, but your post just reminded me, I had 1/3 of my patients and my SO who just felt "off" a few weeks ago, and all had lower than normal temps. I thought it must be a problem with my thermometer, but fresh batteries and a back up thermometer all revealed the same thing. Lasted 3 days or so and then spontaneously resolved.

I just looked up their temps in my records: 96.3, 96.2, 96.9, 96.8, 96.2 and 97.1. None of them quite into red flag territory given the particular patients' health histories, so I didn't remember it until now, but all unusually low.

Taomist
01-28-2012, 03:17 PM
Immunocompromised people may never get a fever or may have reduced body temperatures during infections. But I assume you'd have mentioned if you're HIV+, undergoing chemotherapy, taking steroids or otherwise immunocompromised.




I somehow missed this bit. I have had chronic psoriasis for about 30 years, and I always tell the doctors that, but they don't seem to realize that it's an immune system thing. I've always attributed my lack of fevers to that, since the last one I had was during the chicken pox I had that triggered the psoriasis in the first place, but I'm not sure that registers on a gp's radar. I also seem to get whatever flu or cold is going around, but usually minus all the obvious symptoms; just feel like total and utter CRAP. I've always assumed that was my immune system too busy fighting stuff off to bother with the symptoms. It's a joke in my family, who all but my dad have psoriasis in one form or another, that we are remarkably healthy, we just have overactive immune systems that don't know when to stop fighting.

picunurse
01-28-2012, 03:37 PM
98.6F is a mean, many people run higher or lower. Very few people have a normal temp of 98.6F.
The air temperature will change body temp. If the room is cool, an oral temp will be lower. ear temps are more accurate. Rectal* temps are most accurate for at home readings.

Low temperatures are not indicitive of illness. If your temp is below normal and you're sick it's a coincidence.




*NEVER use a mercury thermometer rectally. If using a digital, get a second one for oral use. (Hopefully, this goes without saying. :) )

Farmer Jane
01-28-2012, 05:35 PM
I swear, there's a virus going around causing this. I've seen no news accounts or studies or anything, but your post just reminded me, I had 1/3 of my patients and my SO who just felt "off" a few weeks ago, and all had lower than normal temps. I thought it must be a problem with my thermometer, but fresh batteries and a back up thermometer all revealed the same thing. Lasted 3 days or so and then spontaneously resolved.

I just looked up their temps in my records: 96.3, 96.2, 96.9, 96.8, 96.2 and 97.1. None of them quite into red flag territory given the particular patients' health histories, so I didn't remember it until now, but all unusually low.

Heh! I'm pregnant (er, temporarily) as well, so I thought the doc may be concerned, but she was more concerned about 'raging fever' than 'low body temp and chills'. I told her about the chills and freezing extremities, but it still wasn't enough of a 'flag' for her to admit me or anything. She just said to let me know if it gets worse. (What? Hypothermia?)

monavis
01-29-2012, 08:30 AM
Have you ever been tested for hypothyroidism?

Yes, I have had more tests than one can shake a stick at,It did come near border line, but not enough for medication. that is why my doctor said it was hormonal. I feel good and my tests came out better than most 60 years olds. I am very physically active, I still shovel snow, help cut down trees with my husband and help him haul them to the trailer, He is 85 and still does a lot of physical work, but has arthritis of the spine. 3 years ago he put steel siding on our barn so we wouldn't have to paint anymore.

I found that if I feel tired I do some physical work or walk the treadmill that seems to stimulate me and the tiredness leaves, I know everyone is different and it may not work for others as it does for me.

Toucanna
01-30-2012, 09:42 PM
Follow-up: My health care professional said I have a virus and an incipient sinus infection. I'll be going for blood work in a couple of weeks so she can have a baseline.
ETA: My temp at the time was 98.8. And I felt freezing cold.
I swear, there's a virus going around causing this. I've seen no news accounts or studies or anything...{snip}
There's another thread on this board about folks getting sick and they have symptoms similar to mine. Danged if I can find it, though...sorry.
Found it: http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showthread.php?t=639973

FWIW, the friend I was visiting on Tuesday (when I first felt unwell) has developed a sinus infection.

Biggirl
01-30-2012, 10:12 PM
98.6F is a mean, many people run higher or lower. Very few people have a normal temp of 98.6F.
The air temperature will change body temp. If the room is cool, an oral temp will be lower. ear temps are more accurate. Rectal* temps are most accurate for at home readings.

Low temperatures are not indicitive of illness. If your temp is below normal and you're sick it's a coincidence.




*NEVER use a mercury thermometer rectally. If using a digital, get a second one for oral use. (Hopefully, this goes without saying. :) )

Reminds me of a joke. What's the difference between an oral and re tap thermometer?

The taste.

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