Why is My Tempertature So Low?! Am I Cold-Blooded?

Most of us ususally only check our tempertures when we’re sick. But now with Covid, we’re getting temperature checks regulary. Recently, I noticed that my temperature was lower than it once was and worried…is this normal?! Am I cold-blooded? So asked Dr. Karen Latimer to explain:

Dr. Karen Latimer: Yes, it is normal! Adult body temperatures are now about one degree lower. A recent study showed that the normal body temperature of humans has dropped. Established as the norm, based on the temperatures of 25,000 people about 150 years ago, we all think of 37 degrees Celsius or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit as our basal body temperature. Men now run at an average of 36.6 C (97.9 F) and women at 36.7 C (98.0 F.) It isn’t a lot, so what’s the big deal? Nothing really for the average person, but for scientists, it is interesting because it tells us that we have physiologically changed and evolved over just the past fifteen decades. Perhaps it is because of changes in our environment and how we have modern ways to keep ourselves heated and cooled. It could be the foods we eat and the microorganisms we are exposed to, or perhaps it is indicative of a drop in overall inflammation.

I’ll leave it to the experts to tell us if it is good news or bad news, but at first pass, I can see it both ways. It means our metabolic rate is probably lower. If that’s because of decreased inflammation, great. If it is just because of lifestyle, it may help to explain the obesity epidemic. Are we burning fewer calories at rest? Does the fact that we are changing at a reasonably rapid rate mean future generations will adapt more smoothly to our changing environment; that we can worry less about our great grandchildren?

For certain, this will raise a lot of questions, and I look forward to more research. For now, make sure you have a thermometer at home, and don’t think you have cold blood if your temp is a little lower than expected.

Originally posted January 2020

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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."