Temperature regulation

Heat produced by muscular activity, assimilation of food and all vital metabolic processes contributing to the basal metabolic rate.

Heat is lost by radiation, conduction and vaporization of water from the respiratory airways and from the skin.

Small amounts of heat are lost via passage of stool and urine.

The body temperature is determined by a balance between the production of heat and its loss.

Required because the speed of chemical reactions is related to body temperature and enzyme systems that function at narrow temperature ranges, normal function depends on a relatively constant body temperature.

Traditional oral value for the oral temperature is 37°C-98.6F.

Parts of the body vary in temperature and the magnitude of different temperatures varies with the environmental temperature.

Extremities are generally cooler than the rest of the body.

The scrotum is maintained at 32°C.

Rectal temperatures are representative of the core body temperature and is least variable with environmental temperature.

Oral temperatures is usually 0.5°C less than the rectal temperature.

Oral temperature may be affected by ingestion of hot or cold fluids, mouth breathing, smoking or gum chewing.

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