Normal body temperature for any individual is 98.6 ºF or 37 ºC. A temperature which is 1º above or below this is also considered normal. This 1º rise and fall in the temperature can take place any time during the day and it depends upon many factors like how active is the person, the time of the day, hormone levels in the body, etc. If the temperature dips or rises more than this level, then it may indicate some problem. Medically, any temperature above 100 ºF or 37.8 ºC is considered to be fever.
A digital thermometer is used to check the body temperature. It can be taken from various parts of the body and hence the reading varies with the place. Rectal temperature will be 0.5 ºF to 1 ºF more than the actual reading whereas armpit temperature will show 0.5 ºF to 1 ºF lower temperature.
Rise in Body Temperature During Fever
Following table will help you to understand the different levels of temperature rise and what conditions they reflect.
|98.6 ºF (37 ºC)||Normal|
|Till 100 ºF (37.8 ºC)||Very mild fever or normal|
|100 ºF to 103 ºF (37.8º to 39.4 ºC)||Low-grade fever|
|103 ºF to 106 ºF (39.4º to 41.1 ºC)||High fever|
|Above 106 ºF (41.1 ºC)||Extreme fever (rarely found)|
When the body temperature increases above the mark of 100 ºF, it is considered as low-grade fever. This fever may be caused due to many reasons and can be cured with the help of some medications. Allergy, bacterial infection, viral infection, fungal, tuberculosis, urinary tract infection, pelvic inflammatory disease, appendicitis, lymphoma, etc. are some of the causes behind low-grade fever. The temperature above 103 ºF can be very dangerous. It is considered as high fever and can be caused due to strep throat infection, pneumonia, chickenpox, tissue injuries, tumors, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Very few people survive above 106 ºF temperature as the person may undergo brain damage and possibly die. But there are few cases where people have survived up to 110 ºF.
How to Control the Rising Body Temperature
Signs and symptoms of fever can be easily observed. The most common symptoms of fever is chills. The body starts shivering as the internal body temperature rises. Seizures, fatigue, body ache, rapid pulse, confusion, etc., are some of the other symptoms of fever. Once these symptoms are observed, the person should find out the body temperature and get it treated according to the cause. Some home remedies which can bring down the temperature may also be helpful. Sponge bath or bathing with water of 29.4 °C to 32.2 °C temperature may be helpful. You can also take some drugs like aspirin and acetaminophen which can bring down the body temperature considerable. But consult a doctor before taking the medicine. Drink lots of water, healthy fluids, juices etc., to keep your body hydrated. Low-grade fever can be treated with home remedies but high body temperature needs medical assistance.
Apart from the ill effects of increasing body temperature or fever, there are many benefits of fever too. As it is a result of the body's immune system, the body produces white blood cells to kill the bacteria and viruses that are responsible for the infection. This rise in temperature may also help in killing the tumor cells. In children, consult your doctor even in case of low-grade fever but in case of adults you can try to bring the temperature to normal and consult the doctor if the temperature enters the high fever level. But if you observe low-grade fever for more than 3 days then consult a doctor immediately as it may indicate towards a serious cause.