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Lowered Body Temperature?

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  • Lowered Body Temperature?

    TLC/Discovery Health just re-ran "Paralyzed and Pregnant" for the umpteenth time, and seeing it again reminded me of a question I've had since the program first aired.

    In the show, when the quad who's pregnant develops a UTI, she talks about how her SCI has effectively lowered her standard body temperature. She claims that her doctor told her because of her SCI, running a fever of 99.5 is, for her, the equivalent of an AB person running a fever of about 102.

    My experience tells me that there is some merit to this. Since I've been using a chair, my fevers almost always hover in the 99.5-99.9 degree range, even with raging infections going on -- in the BC (before chair) era, I would typically experience fevers of 102 when a serious infection was present.

    Has anyone else experienced this/heard this from their doctors? Is there any literature out there to support this adjusted body temp theory?

    Thanks in advance for your replies.

    It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.

    ~Julius Caesar

  • #2
    My temp is always low too.


    • #3
      I am lower than normal too. Normal for me is 35.5C and I run a fever at 37C. In all my papers when I have utis it is written I have no fever even if I know I have.
      TH 12, 43 years post


      • #4

        Impaired body temperature is caused from changes in the sympathetic nervous system.
        I agree that many sCI folks do have a lowered body temperature. You should record your temperature at a time when you are well and establish a normal for you and
        an elevation of 2-3 degrees would signal a fever for you.
        If your body temperature goes significantly lower than your norm, among other things, it could be a sign of a blood stream infection or sepsis.

        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


        • #5
          My post-SCI baseline temperature is about a half a degree cooler, so approx. 98.0*F.

          I guess a fever would be anything above that... say 99*F up past 104*F. About 25 years ago I got a really bad UTI and was so sick I didn't feel like driving to the ER. Had a fever of over 105*F for over a week. I think I was kinda comatose part of the time.

          Once you know what your SCI baseline temperature is just figure it into your calculation.

          "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria


          • #6
            Not just temp... Blood pressure tends to be lower too. I"ve recorded a baseline of both and my home nurse has signed off on it. It helps in the ER
            My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

            Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

            "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

            Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.


            • #7
              I tell my doctor that. He doesn't know anything about SCI anyway, but he believes what I tell him most of the times.
              TH 12, 43 years post


              • #8
                My husband is a c-5 c-7 incomplete spinal cord injury 10 yrs the last his normal body temp is 96.5 it has gone down to 89.1 and that is taking his temp by rectum he ends up hypertermia