What is a high body temperature in adults?

Have you ever felt like you were on fire? Like your body was the hottest commodity in town? Well, my friend, that might be because you have a high body temperature. But what exactly does that mean? And how high is too high? Let’s dive into this hot topic (pun intended).

The Basics: What is Body Temperature?

Before we can talk about high body temperature, let’s establish what constitutes as normal. According to [insert reliable source here], the average adult human body temperature falls between 97.5°F – 98.9°F (36.4°C – 37.2°C).

Fun fact: Did you know that our beloved dinosaurs had an internal body temperature of around 104°F (40°C)? No wonder they’re extinct.

Anyway, your core body temperature (i.e., the innermost part of your torso) remains fairly constant throughout the day and night due to a nifty thing called homeostasis –– basically your bod’s way of maintaining equilibrium.

So when things get too hot or cold inside or outside us, our bodies work tirelessly (and thanklessly) to regulate that internal temp back within its normal range.

When Does a High Body Temperature Become an Issue?

Good question! It all depends on how “high” we’re talking here.

While everyone is slightly different and some may experience minor fluctuations throughout their day ([insert expert scientific claim]), generally speaking any core temp above 100.4°F(38 °C) would qualify as having a fever (officially known as ‘pyrexia’ but nobody outside medical professionals uses it).

Feverish symptoms include feeling warm/hot/flustered/wobbly/chilled, sweating or shivering profusely for no apparent reason , muscle pain,headache, fatigue etc

Fun Fact:

A mild fever isn’t always a bad thing –– it’s your body’s way of fighting off illness, so you should actually embrace those high temps (but not too high).

But Why Do We Get Fevers?

Your elevated temperature may be a sign that something funky and foreign is going on inside your bod. aka an infection – which can be caused by bacteria/virus/foreign particle etc.

Insert Big Fancy Word: what basically happens is our immune system releases chemicals called pyrogens in response to the presence of these invaders. These pyrogens trigger the hypothalamus “thermostat” in your brain (not literally) and tell it to raise your core temp as part of its defense mechanism.

This rise in temperature helps increase blood flow throughout your body therefore allowing white blood cells fight off any nasty intruders while also doing a wonderful job deactivating some viruses (though might make us feel weak.)

When Should You Worry About Your High Body Temperature?

Well, my friend, it all depends on how long you’ve been feeling feverish, how severe the symptom(s) are and whether there are other symptoms present such as shortness of breath / difficulty breathing , rashes ,bleeding from nose or mouth

Here are some circumstances where seeking medical help would be wise-

  • Persistent fever over 2-3 days.
  • Core temp above 104°F(40°C)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dehydration/muscle ache/no relief with standard medication

Important Note:

If someone around you appears delirious/having fits/nose bleeds or struggling for conscious state due to spiking/increasingly worsening fever they could have hyperthermia which calls for immediate emergency assistance.

So What Can Cause Such High Temperatures? Signs and Symptoms

Pls Consult doctor for detailed information but here goes… Generally speaking having infections is the most common

  • Viral : Flu/ fever or as a symptom of Covid.
  • Bacterial: urinary track infection / streptococcus/pneumonia
  • Blood borne infections like sepsis
    Other non-infection causes:
  • Heatstroke and overexposure to sun/humidity (aka. being stupid)
  • tumors/cancers specifically with regard to leukemias & lymphomas
    sometimes due some types of medication phew

Even after successful treatment, there remains a small chance(0.2%) that the fever would reappear which is known as remitting.

Common symptoms include:

  • chills, shuddering and trembling
  • fatigue/muscle ache/soreness/joint pains/backache
  • headache and dizziness
  • loss of appetite/prostration/nausea/vomiting

Diagnosing High Body Temperatures

If you’ve been bitten by an infected zombie (hey, it’s possible) Then your doctor may use a variety of tests to identify any nasty intruders lurking in your body such as blood testurine tests . Your medical professional may also conduct image scans including x-ray/MRI etc.. or take swabs from places where baddies are suspected.


Short answer: Get plenty of rest/fluids and wait for meds prescribed by Medical Professional(TM).

There are many standard medications available designed to lower fevers – aka anti-pyretics – often these contain Paracetamol/ Acetaminophen whereas antipyretic syrups contains ibuprofen. Antibiotics could be suggested if bacterial infections are identified. 

But don’t sweat it –– high body temperatures will typically subside on their own within a few days (providing that you’re taking care of yourself) Just sit tight/nibble light foods/stay in bed and let your body do the fighting for you.


While it may be tempting to tough it out at home, it’s important to know when enough is enough. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist and/or worsen or other severe signs/symptoms rise up/more pronounced

After all, feverishly insisting on self-diagnostics can land yourself..let us say not so pretty pictures. 


In general, prevention involves not becoming infected by any baddies! But especially concerning high body temperatures:

  • Wash your hands.
  • Vaccinations (like those yearly Flu shots)
  • As pandemic woes sets most area still into lock-downs crowds might pose a threat
    but maintaining social distance/avoiding unnecessary trips outside/ wearing masks could work wonders.

You’re now an expert on what constitutes a high body temperature in adults –– congratulations! Remember: take care of yourself, be observant ,maintain basic hygiene precautions as much as possible,and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if things become too hot to handle (pun intended again- told you I’m funny…or was that dumb?)