Hypothalamus and body temperature: factors that cause variations in body temperature

#37 Hypothalamus and body temperature: factors that cause variations in body temperature


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As we’ve learned, the hypothalamus controls different portions of our body and one of them is that it regulates our body temperature. Our body temperature depends on when, where, and in whom it is measured, and it fluctuates about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit in a 24 hour cycle. (Saldin 2021 pg.999) For instance, in the early mornings, our body temperature tends to be at it lowest, while in the late afternoon, our temperature is a little higher.

The most essential body temperature are core and the shell temperature. The core temerature are the organs in the cranial, thoracic, and abdominal cavities. The best estimate of core temperature is obtainable with ease is the rectal; this is usually between 99-99.7 degrees Fahrenheit, but it can reach as high as 101 degrees Fahrenheit in active children and some adults. (Saldin 2021 pg. 999) The shell temperature is closer to the surface, mainly on the skin and oral temperature. Shell temperature also fluctuates as a result of processes that serve to maintain a stable core temperature. For example, heat that is loss from the body, the temperature would be slightly lower than a rectal. Adult oral temperatue ranges between 97.9-98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but the highest could go to 104 degrees Fahrenheit during hard exercise.

Bood circulation is also crucial to thermoregulation in that we depend on blood flow to carry metabolic heat from the body core to the shell; this leads to where it can be dissipated into the environment. If this process did not happen, we would die of hyperthermia as metabolic heat raises the core temperature beyond survivable range. (Saldin 2021 pg. 999)

Critical thinking:

Since most of my family members are in the medical field, they have taught me that in situations when a person is running a high temperature or a fevor, this would indicate that our body is fighting an infection that weakens the virus, and at the same time stimulates the immune response. When the immune system detects a presence of a virus in our body, it signals the hypothalamus to turn up the heat, and as a result this leads to a person experiencing a fever. It is crucial in those moments to montior our body temperature that way it does not spread to others or the infection worsens.

W.C 384


Saldin, Kenneth. Anatomy and Physiology:The Unit of Form and Function. 9th Edition. McGraw Hill.