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When is a high body temperature considered serious?

In the human Body the temperature range considered normal is 35.8 ºC and 37.2 ºC.

To maintain this figure it is necessary to adapt to the environmental conditions. However, when there is an alteration in the loss and production of heat, the Temperature increases.

If the person has high temperature the blood vessels dilate to transport the excess heat to the surface.

Thus, the body secretes sweat in order to evaporate and generate cold.

However, when the body is exposed to cold temperatures, the blood vessels contract. In that case the flow of blood is reduced and the muscles tremble, in order to generate heat.

Thus, the temperature is regulated by means of 3 mechanisms:

  • Thermoreceptors: they are found in the skin and in the center of the hypothalamus.
  • Thermoregulatory effects: sweating and increased blood flow.
  • Control from the brain.

How to know if it is a fever?

The temperature of the body is controlled by the hypothalamus and its mechanisms, balancing the production of heat.

It is identified that  the temperature is high when it exceeds 38 ºC  but, in addition, the patient presents other symptoms. It is of an urgent nature when the patient’s life is put at risk.

Among the signs that indicate that the temperature is higher than recommended, we find:

  • The measurement in the oral cavity is higher than 38 ° C.
  • In the rectum or ear is higher than 38.3 ° C.
  • In the axillary area is greater than 36.7 ° C.

Signs and symptoms

  • Body temperature greater than 38 ° C
  • Tachycardia
  • Shaking chills
  • Sweating
  • Muscle pain
  • Lack of appetite
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Vertigo
  • Sickness

Risk factor’s

  • Infection: It is a reaction of the immune system that indicates that a foreign substance is attacking the organism.
  • Medications: Antibiotics, narcotics or antihistamines, among others, cause drug fever, as these substances raise body temperature.
  • Injuries: Undergoing trauma to the body can be the trigger of fever. It can be from a heart attack, stroke, burn or heat stroke.
  • Other diseases that can also predispose to this are arthritis, hyperthyroidism and even cancer.

Meanwhile, the temperature rise below 38 ° C may be due to simpler causes such as stress, hormonal changes of the woman, an excess of exercise or a high ambient temperature.

What is hyperthermia?

It happens when the thermoregulation exceeds the production of heat, that is, the body temperature rises above normal ranges.

It can be detected when the thermometer marks above 41 ° C. Among its main symptoms are:

  • Bleeding
  • Dark tone in the urine
  • Muscle pain
  • Fainting
  • Disorientation


  • Cerebral stroke
  • Tumors
  • Encephalitis
  • Bleeding
  • Sequelae by neurosurgery


When the patient does not take care of the hyperthermia in time it is possible that the degrees increase for two hours in a row.

This can be dangerous, since thermoregulation mechanisms can fail .

Thus, it is essential to lower the temperature to save the life of the affected because it is possible that a seizure will occur. 


Treatment should be given immediately. Aggressive cooling measures must be initiated along with hyperventilation with 100% oxygen.

  • Immediate cooling of the skin with the help of hypothermia blankets.
  • Immerse the patient in ice water.
  • Use of fans.
  • Gastric lavages with ice serum.
  • If this fails, hemodialysis is performed to help eliminate the toxic substances in the blood

How to prevent?

  • Avoid exposing yourself to the sun for long periods, especially if you are going to engage in physical activity.
  • It uses a blocker to protect you from burns, as they make it difficult to dissipate heat.
  • It is important that you drink at least 2 liters of water a day to keep you hydrated.
  • If you are exercising and you feel that the temperature increases or you experience a sensation of humidity, it stops the activity.
  • It reduces the consumption of alcoholic beverages, since they favor the dehydration.
  • In warm season, wear light clothing and bright colors.
  • Do not forget to ventilate your home and consume electrolytes. 

It is very important that you understand the difference between fever and hyperthermia.

In addition to a high rise in temperature, in hyperthermia you can not reduce the temperature at home.

So do not waste time and go to the doctor immediately, especially in the case of children and adults.

This post first appeared on Green Health Tips - Health & Fitness News, please read the originial post: here

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When is a high body temperature considered serious?


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