Feeling cold and shivering? Your body temperature may have dropped below its normal range. A low body temperature, also known as hypothermia, can have adverse effects on your health. In this article, we will discuss what causes low body temperature, its symptoms, and what you can do about it.
What Causes Low Body Temperature?
If your body temperature drops below 95℉, it’s considered to be hypothermia. Some of the common reasons for low body temperature include:
- Exposure to cold weather
- Wearing wet clothes for an extended period
- Immersion in cold water
- Medical conditions like hypothyroidism, diabetes, and Addison’s disease
- Medications like blood pressure pills, Sedatives, and antidepressants
- Alcohol and drug abuse
Being aware of the causes can help you prevent the condition from happening and can help you make the necessary lifestyle modifications.
Symptoms of Low Body Temperature
Low body temperature affects different people differently; it can result in a range of symptoms, including:
- Shivering and chills
- Confusion and slurred speech
- Fatigue and drowsiness
- Weak pulse, shallow breathing, and possible unconsciousness
- Blue lips and nails
- Low blood pressure and heart rate
The symptoms can worsen and lead to severe health problems, especially if not treated timely.
Diagnosing Low Body Temperature
Your doctor will conduct a physical exam and suggest blood tests or imaging tests to evaluate the underlying cause of hypothermia. The diagnosis will depend on your symptoms and medical history.
Treating Low Body Temperature
Treatment for hypothermia is aimed at raising the body temperature to normal levels; the bodies’ natural physiological response can support the recovery process. The treatment procedure will depend on the severity of hypothermia, and these are some treatment options:
- Move to warm shelter and remove any wet clothing and replace with dry clothes.
- Warm beverages like tea or soup can help to raise your body temperature.
- Warm blankets or heating pads can also help to increase body temperature.
- In severe cases, your doctor may recommend dialysis or invasive rewarming techniques like warm intravenous fluids, gastric or bladder lavage, or pleural lavage to increase body temperature.
Preventing Low Body Temperature
You can prevent low body temperature by making some changes to your lifestyle. Here are some tips you can follow:
- Dress appropriately for the weather conditions and avoid wearing wet clothes or shoes.
- Stay hydrated, drink plenty of fluids.
- Avoid alcohol or drug abuse as it affects the body’s natural response to cold temperatures.
- Symptoms like confusion and disorientation are warning signs; take them seriously and seek medical attention.
Low body temperature or hypothermia is a common condition that can occur when the body’s temperature drops below 95℉. It can cause a range of symptoms, from mild shivering to severe respiratory and cardiovascular problems. By following the tips mentioned in this article, you can prevent it from happening and lead a healthy life.
Q1. What should I do if my body temperature is lower than normal?
If your body temperature is lower than normal, move to a warm shelter, and remove any wet clothing. Drink warm beverages, and use warm blankets or heating pads to increase your body temperature. If your symptoms worsen, seek medical attention immediately.
Q2. Can low body temperature make you feel tired all the time?
Yes, low body temperature can cause fatigue and drowsiness.
Q3. What are the long-term effects of hypothermia?
If left untreated, hypothermia can lead to severe health problems like respiratory and cardiovascular problems, and in some cases, it can also be fatal.
Q4. How can hypothermia be prevented?
You can prevent hypothermia by dressing appropriately for the weather conditions, keeping yourself hydrated, and being mindful of alcohol and drug abuse.
Q5. Which medical conditions can lead to hypothermia?
Medical conditions like hypothyroidism, diabetes, and Addison’s disease can lead to hypothermia.