With the arrival of autumn, the season of cold, rain, snowfall and other phenomena that cause the temperature of our body to drop is approaching. In addition, temperature changes bring flu, pneumonia, colds and other conditions that are usually accompanied by fever. In both cases, one of the most frequently asked questions is what is the normal threshold for body temperature. Although, more specifically, it is generally unknown at what temperature hypothermia occurs (below normal).
body temperatureIt allows evaluating the efficiency of thermal regulation that occurs in the human body as a function of changes in environmental temperature and the intensity of the activity carried out. Hypothermia is defined as a drop in body temperature below 35ºC , at which point the body’s compensatory mechanisms to maintain body temperature begin to fail.
From there the muscular and cerebral functions do not work properly. This is because prolonged exposure to cold will use, over time, all the stored energy of your body. Here we tell you what its causes are, its symptoms, the degrees of alarm and what is the normal temperature in adults and children.
-The most common causes of hypothermia are accidental , when people are exposed to environmental cold or immersion in a body of cold water. But it can also be caused by:
-Hypoglycemia: low blood glucose levels are also a relatively common cause because when you have low blood glucose, it also decreases in the brain and alters our body’s thermostat (the hypothalamus).
Alcohol consumption is another of the most common causes of hypothermia. Alcoholic beverages affect the central nervous system, that is, they ”numb” the brain and make it not realize that you are cold.
-Certain drugs(some anesthetics, for example) and some drugs (heroin) that produce the same reaction.
The first obvious symptom of hypothermia is severe tremor that cannot be stopped voluntarily. It is a reaction of the body to counteract the cooling, since the tremor can multiply by up to five the production of heat by the muscles.
Likewise, other symptoms of hypothermia , which already imply greater seriousness and require urgent medical attention, are:
Reddening of the skin and brightness (especially in babies).
Babble when speaking.
Breathe more slowly than normal.
Lack of coordination.
Lack of energy.
loss of consciousness
Hypothermia can also lead to more serious health complications, such as freezing of body tissues and even death from the interruption of blood flow.
Upon reaching grade 2 hypothermia, between 28 and 32 degrees, the person stops shivering. It should not be misconstrued as an improvement, as the reason is that the muscles have depleted the glucose stores needed to contract. The risk of cardiac arrest increases as the temperature drops. Serious disturbances of consciousness appearwhich can include apathy, confusion and delirium, and irrational behaviors, such as taking off clothes despite the cold. Coordination becomes very poor and the person instinctively assumes a fetal position to conserve heat.
As the body continues to cool down, it enters a semiconscious state, its pupils dilate, and its heart becomes arrhythmias.In grade 3 hypothermia , between 24 and 28 degrees, the person is already unconscious, breathing and heart rate become erratic, and there is a high risk of death from cardiorespiratory failure.In grade 4 hypothermia , the person is in a state of apparent death, with no vital signs.
Body temperature in adults
A body temperature of 35.4 – 35.5 – 35.6 is close to acceptable temperature averages but care should be taken as it is a bit low and may be a symptom of hypothermia. The normal body temperature of adult humans varies between 36.5-37.5 or more. General rules:
Hypothermia , when the temperature is less than 36 or less.
Febricula , when the temperature is between 37.1-37.9.
Hyperthermia or fever , when the temperature is equal to or greater than 38.
Body temperature in children
A body temperature35.4 – 35.5 – 35.6 in children is not normal and you should see your doctor quickly or follow the necessary instructions to raise your body temperature. Children must have a minimum temperature of 36 degrees.
Between 35 °C and 36 °C is a range in which we consider that it may be a symptom of some pathology but also that there are people with that temperature without anything serious happening to them. But below 35 °C it is already considered pathological, we speak of hypothermia.