You might have one friend in your circle whose body temperature happens to remain above average. And he seems perfectly fine. While it’s unusual, it’s not very uncommon.
Our body has a mechanism to maintain an optimum core temperature. While each person’s body metabolism and mechanism are unique, the average human body temperature remains in the range of 97.8ºF – 99ºF.
The common cause of a higher body temperature is fever; however, several other factors like weather, physical activity, dehydration can cause an elevated body temperature.
So, how to reduce body temperature? Well, we will be discussing that in this article, including some common causes and effects of having a more than average body temperature.
What Does Elevated Body Temperature Mean?
Excess heat production by the body and unable to dispose of the heat lead to an elevated body temperature. And there are several reasons behind that; we will get to that in a bit.
Most often, a temperature above average indicates either fever or heat stress. Let’s see what these conditions are and how they are produced.
Hot weather, high humidity, intense physical activities, overexposure to heat sources contribute to heat stress. In this condition, your body becomes incapable of losing all the extra heat, leading to a rise in temperature.
Heat stress can lead to some severe disorders like heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat rash, and heat cramps.
When there is a bacterial or viral infection, your immune system is alerted and releases chemicals to fight off germs and foreign bodies. And the immune system’s activity causes your brain’s hypothalamus to reset the body temperature above normal.
And the body responds accordingly by raising the temperature, which helps fight off the inflammation.
Reasons for an Elevated Body Temperature
An elevated body temperature is often referred to as heat stress. While the consequences of the problem are not dire, missing the signs and failing to understand the causes may make it so.
Let’s look at some of the most common causes behind an increased temperature.
1. Intense Physical Activity
Intense physical activity increases blood supply to your brain; blood pressure rises for constriction of blood vessels, and your energy system is triggered. And there is an increase in heat production due to increased blood circulation and active muscles.
After finishing the exercise, your body returns to a resting state as soon as possible; that is, temperature and blood pressure returns to normal. However, sometimes the body can’t get rid of the excess hit produced due to hot weather or other factors, resulting in an increased body temperature.
2. Exposure to Hot Weather
Our body disposes of heat in different ways like conduction, convection, and radiation. While conduction requires your body to be in touch with a cooler object, convection continuously occurs as heat is being exchanged with the surrounding air.
But, when air is too hot, the body cannot expel the extra heat, and the temperature remains higher than usual.
Profound sweating can cause our body to get rid of much heat, provided evaporation is quick. Our body cools down relatively faster through sweating.
However, lack of body fluid can reduce sweat and make your body unable to maintain the normal temperature.
Hyperthyroidism is a medical condition where the thyroid is overactive, and your thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. The condition can occur due to pregnancy, infection, surgery, or other illness.
And along with other symptoms of the condition like agitation, nausea, pain, a very high temperature is prevalent.
Alcohol and caffeine have a similar effect when it comes to body temperature. Both the drinks increase blood flow to extremities and skin, making you feel warm. And due to increased temperature, you sweat.
Although in reality, the core temperature gets reduced after the drink.
Fever is a sign which indicates that something happening inside our body is not usual. When there is a germ inflammation in the blood, the immune system is alerted, and the active functioning of the immune cell causes body temperature to rise.
How to Reduce Body Temperature?
Higher body temperature doesn’t always indicate a severe medical condition. And in some instances, you can use some effective home remedies to lower your body heat.
1. Drink Enough Water
Keeping your body hydrated is probably the most effective immediate technique to achieve a cooling effect. Having room temperature or cold water cools the body internally within a short period. To keep your core temperature within normal, you should drink plenty of water.
2. Cold Drinks
Apart from water, some drinks like chilled buttermilk, coconut water, iced tea help you lower the body heat. Coconut water is a natural drink that fill-ups the water deficiency, and the electrolyte, minerals, and vitamins in the drink helps in heat neutralization.
Traditional buttermilk, packed with probiotics and minerals, improves your metabolism by keeping the digestive tracts healthy. A chilled glass with honey and yogurt can help you relax and lower the heat stress.
And if you have neither of the drinks around, have a cup of iced tea after prolonged exposure to sunlight. It will energize the mind and refresh the body.
3. Cold Shower
A cold shower or getting into the water helps in two ways; first, it removes the sweat from your body, which is your body’s way of heat disposal. And secondly, being surrounded by cold water, your body loses heat by conduction.
A quick cold shower after getting into the home or giving yourself a cold foot bath helps reduce core temperature and gives you a relaxing and soothing effect.
4. Reduced Physical Activity
The body produces heat with physical activity. In order for the core temperature to decrease, movement and physical activities should be limited. So, avoid any heavy lifting and do not exercise on hot days, as the weather makes it harder for the body to dispose of heat.
5. Apply a Cold Compress to Key Body Points
Certain areas of our body tend to produce more sweat to reduce the core temperature. These hot spots are the neck, groin, back, and armpits. Again, there are some pressure points like the chest, wrist, neck, and temples, where the veins run close to the skin surface.
Applying ice packs on the key points can help you cool down from inside.
6. Get in Cooler Spaces
Getting into a cooler space helps you relax when you are facing terrible heat stress. In fact, most often, experts recommend getting into cooler space as soon as possible to avoid heatstroke or other heat-related difficulties.
So, try getting into an air conditioning space or have a fan directed towards you. It will help in sweat evaporation, relieving you of discomforts and reducing core body temperature.
7. Hydrating Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables like cucumber, watermelon, strawberry, cauliflower, tori, and celery are rich in water content. Having those incorporated into your daily diet will help your body stay cool and calm throughout the day.
Watermelon, with 92% water content, is excellent to have in the morning, and for lunch, a salad made of cucumber, cauliflower, zucchini, and others will serve the best. And on hot days, you can have fruit or vegetable smoothies to enjoy a more chilling effect.
8. Vitamin C Rich Fruits and Vegetables
Vitamin C is crucial for the body as it boosts the immune system. However, the problem is, Vitamin C is not stored in the body like other minerals and fats. Thus, you need to incorporate at least a little Vitamin C in your daily diet.
It improves blood circulation and metabolism and thus aids in the maintenance of your ideal body temperature.
Other Effects of Heat Stress
A part of the brain called the hypothalamus sets the body’s normal temperature. And the body mechanisms are designed to maintain the optimum temperature. So, whenever body temperature rises or experiences heat stress, it triggers a series of activities within to get the temperature back to normal.
Such activities include rushing of blood toward the extremities and skin and sweating to dispose of the excess heat. Therefore, the other mental and physical activities suffer.
And as maintaining the temperature balance somewhat reduces the body’s capacity to efficiently function, people start experiencing irritation, decreased concentration, and make more mistakes while working.
So, anything that causes the body to store heat initiates a series of mental errors in humans, which can lead to further sickness or even fainting.
Some Tips to Stay Healthy
By far, you have known what heat stress causes to the human body. While learning how to reduce body temperature is essential, you should also adopt a healthy lifestyle. So, here goes some tips for that.
Avoid Junk and Spicy Foods
Junk foods contain a lot of fat, and as the fat gets accumulated in body cells, it traps heat, elevating the temperature.
And the elements in spicy foods are naturally responsible for increasing body heat. So, for a healthy lifestyle, try avoiding these food types.
Regular exercise improves your metabolism, increasing the body’s capacity to get rid of heat. Also, physical activities make you sweat, which is another way of the body’s heat disposal.
However, on hot days, avoid extreme physical activities, and you can adopt some yoga techniques or breathing exercises to help your body relax.
Wear Comfortable, Loose-fitting Dresses
Dark or black colors absorb heat, and light colors naturally reflect most of the heat and sunlight. So, it’s not wise to get out on a hot sunny day wearing a black dress.
Also, loose-fitting dresses maintain the airflow to the skin and let your skin release heat.
Indeed, it’s true when people say, “health is wealth.”; because the slightest deviation from the normal condition can be harmful or fatal if ignored.
We tried to be as detailed as possible to help you understand the simple home remedies of how to reduce body temperature. Read thoroughly; it includes all valuable information about heat stress, its causes, and its effects.