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Body temperature

Body temperature is one of the main physiological constants of the body, ensuring the optimal level of biological processes in it.

It is necessary to distinguish the temperature of the internal environment of the body and the temperature of its skin. The temperature of the internal environment remains fairly constant.

Each organ of the body has its own temperature, the value of which depends on the intensity of the redox processes occurring in it. The highest temperature of the liver (39 °), slightly lower - the temperature of the stomach, kidneys, etc., internal organs.

The temperature of human skin is highest in the armpit, slightly lower than the temperature of the skin of the neck, face, torso, limbs. The lowest is the temperature of the skin of the hands and feet (24-28 ° C at normal room temperature). Higher than in the armpit, the temperature in the mouth and in the rectum .


Body temperature and temperature of various organs depends on many factors. Changes in the normal physiological activity of the internal organs are accompanied by fluctuations in their temperature within fractions of a degree. During intensive muscular work, the body temperature rises by 1-2 °, and the contracting muscles, up to 7 °. The temperature of the skin depends on the ambient temperature, its humidity, speed of movement, the nature of the clothes, the purity and moisture of the skin, etc. Under extremely adverse external conditions, cooling (see) or overheating of the body occurs (see). There are known physiological fluctuations in body temperature during the day: the difference between morning and evening body temperature reaches 0.3–0.5 °. In the elderly and senile age, body temperature may be slightly lower than in middle-aged people. In healthy people, a normal increase or decrease in body temperature by about 0.5 ° can be observed as well as the so-called constitutional asymmetry of body temperature, at which a different temperature is observed in the left and right axillary hollows.

Changes in normal body temperature are observed in various diseases or on the basis of thermoregulation disorders (see). With most inflammatory diseases, body temperature rises, with a characteristic pattern of changes in body temperature (see Fever). Lowering body temperature below 36 ° - hypothermia - can occur with poisoning curare, nicotine, alcohol, ether , uremic and diabetic coma, myxedema, severe debilitating diseases. The state of artificial hypothermia (see) is used in some operations.

See also body thermometry.

  • Body temperature in children