Stay Healthy with A Body Temperature of 37 Degrees Celsius

What is hypothermia?
The human body has only a relatively narrow range of temperature that will sustain life. The normal body temperature is 37 degrees Celsius or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Our "core temperature" - that is, the deep internal temperature of the body - must be kept within a range of 96 to 101 degrees. Any temperature outside of that range spells trouble. And this is called hypothermia. Hypothermia can be life threatening.

Generally, life can be sustained only for a short time when the core temperature drops to 30.5 to 32.2 degrees Celsius (about 87 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit).

There is a misconception that the weather must be below freezing (32 degrees) for it to occur. However the truth is Hypothermia can develop without the environmental temperature falling below freezing. Moreover, there is a prevalent condition that many people, especially the elderly, are suffering from chronic hypothermia without knowing it. This chronic below-par body temperature might not pose immediate threat to the sufferer, however, it does have long-term adverse consequences.

As a matter of fact, various parts of human body have different temperatures. However, if the temperature is too high, it means that the specific part has inflammation or stressed; on the other hand, when the core body temperature falls below the normal range for an extended period, chronic degenerative diseases are slowly creeping in.

According the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), some people have cold constitution, they feel cold most of the time, their limbs are cold, lack of vitality and have various chronic symptoms: fatigue, stiff neck, shoulders and back; menopausal problems, strokes, diabetes, myocardial infarction, and hyperlipemia.

Self Test for Hypothermia
As estimated, almost 90% of the tropical city dwellers are having cold body constitution. Are you one of them?

Take the simple test below:
Do you frequently feel:

      1. Stiffness on shoulders
      2. Headache
      3. Giddiness
      4. Tinnitus
      5. Constipation
      6. Diarrhoea
      7. Pain on the back, waist and knees
      8. Irregular periods and cramps
      9. Depressed
      10. Overweight

If you answer “yes” to two of the above, your body constitution might be Cold; 3~4 answers are “yes” you’re definitely belonged to Cold constitution; if , all the 5 answers are “yes”, the coldness has already damaged your body, you should take immediate steps to improve the condition, if not, risk of degenerative diseases is very significant.

What is the ideal body core temperature?
36.5~37 degrees Celsius. Under this temperature, your immune system is strong and you’re emotionally stable and in good mood. When the body temperature falls to 36 degrees, the body would shiver to produce additional heat.

When it drops to 35.5 degrees, excretion function would start to go sluggish, autonomic nervous system would show signs of malfunction and a person become hypersensitive.

At 35 degrees, the body environment is conducive to cancer growth.

Below 35 degrees, death is imminent!

Children’s body core temperature is higher: at around 36.8~37degrees Celsius?

Hypothermia is a precursor of death. The death rate is usually highest in winter and between 3 to 5 am each day as the body's and ambient's temperature are at their lowest.

For those people with basal temperature of less than 36 degrees Celsius, they might be still feeling fine, but chronic diseases are a serious threat.

According the TCM researchers, illnesses are caused by poor chi (life energy), blood and fluid circulation. This means blood is thickened and in poor quality.

Different body constitutions result in different illnesses

Yang Constitution: These individuals feel warm at all times. Other typical traits include optimism, baldness and frequent perspiration. They also have surprisingly good appetites. Common diseases afflicting people with a yang constitution include hypertension, myocardial infarction, brain infarction, fatty liver, diabetes, gout, cancer affecting the lungs, colon, pancreas or prostate and gum problems.

Yin Constitution: These people feel chilly throughout the day. They often suffer from irregular periods, loss of appetite, the premature greying of hair and the inability to perspire or immoderate perspiration especially at night. Ailments bothering people with a yin consitution include hypotension, anemia, flu, pneumonia, tuberculosis, diarrhea, constipation, gastritis, cancer affecting the stomach, breasts, ovaries and cervix, depression, mental illnesses, suicidal tendencies, problems with the autonomic nervous system, hypersensitivity, rheumatism, edema, leukaemia, collagen disease and Graves’ exophthalmos.

How does the body's temperature fall below the expected range?

    1. Lack of or insufficient physical exercise: by simply walking for 30 minutes daily, the condition can be improved.
    2. Stress: do something different after work, spa, shopping, karaoke, chit chat to distress
    3. Soak Bath: when the weather is cold (or your office’s temperature is way too low), hot bath should help to raise the body temperature. You might want to consider the far infrared sauna, FIR.
    4. Eating Too Full:
    5. Drinking too much fluid or too little
    6. Alcohol. The body treats alcohol as a poison, which it preferentially must eliminate by burning as a priority reaction. As it does this, other pathways for generating body heat are reduced significantly. Burning alcohol cannot raise body temperature adequately.
    7. Taking too many drugs: except drugs for thyroid, most of the man-made drugs have the effect of lowering the body temperature.

How to Determine a Healthy Body:

The cephalic region should remain cool while the feet stay warm. When there is chilliness in the lower extremities, poor blood circulation is evident resulting in high blood pressure, chest discomfort and restlessness. Impeded blood flow (stagnant blood) would result in blood clots which are the primary cause of the “economy class symptom” or deep vein thrombosis.

Furthermore, if the blood clots fail to clear in time, it might promote the growth of tumor.

Kids are now more prone to lower body temperature

Research shows that children living in this modern day and age are indeed physically bigger, however they are more susceptible to allergies also. This is because about 50% of them are suffering from lower body temperature.

Types of Food Required to Improve Body Temperature

Besides aerobic exercises, consumption of the right food helps regulate body temperature

1. Do not over-eat. 70% satiation is adequate.
2. Stay away from refined food items such instant noodles and fast food. Consume nutritionally dense food instead.
3. Avoid cold water.
4. Consume food that warms the body. Food items that are warm in nature include temperate fruits (especially those grown from trees) and vegetables (usually the leafy variety), and salty food items. Food that cools the body should be eaten in moderation. Such examples include tropical fruits and vegetables (generally root vegetables), and sour food items.

Cooling Foods (Green, White and Soft)

  • Refined Sugar
  • Soft Drinks
  • Coffee
  • Green Teas
  • Snacks: all the refined and processed like cakes and soft foods are cooling
  • Beer
  • Whisky
  • Milks
  • Vinegars
  • Vegetable Oils
  • Curry
  • Tofu
  • Sprouts
  • Green Vegetable
  • Cucumber
  • Tropical fruits: bananas, pineapple, lemons and water melon.

Neutral Foods (Yellow)

  • Brown Rice Tea
  • Wholegrain Bread
  • Noodles
  • Black Sugars
  • Honey
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet Potato
  • Strawberry
  • Apples
  • Cherry
  • Grape
  • Soy
  • Red Mung Bean
  • Natto
  • Konjak

Warming Foods (Red, Black, Hard)

  • Sea Salts
  • Japanese Plum (ume)
  • Pickled foods: miso, carrot etc
  • Natural Soy Sauce
  • Cheese
  • Meats (esp red meats)
  • Fishes
  • Red Wine
  • Brown Rice
  • Garlic and Onion
  • Leek
  • Ginger
  • Roots: burdock, lotus, wild yam
  • Black Bean
  • Black Sesame
  • Red Tea
  • Goji, Wolfberry
  • Durian

Single Meal Fast (carrot or root vegetable juice fasting)

Drink 350~500cc carrot or root vegetable juices (Breuss juice is ideal) and sufficient quantity of pure filtered water in the morning everyday. It's effective against the following health problems:

Aches and pains, polycythemia vera - thickening of blood*, allergy, black spots, liver spots, eye problems, overweight, high blood pressure, diabetes, gout, hyperlipomia, fatty liver**, renal diseases and cancers.

* Polycythemia is a condition in which there is a net increase in the total number of red blood cells in the body. The overproduction of red blood cells may be due to a primary process in the bone marrow (a so-called myeloproliferative syndrome), or it may be a reaction to chronically low oxygen levels or, rarely, a malignancy.

** Fatty liver (also known as steatorrhoeic hepatosis or steatosis hepatitis) is a reversible condition where large vacuoles of triglyceride fat accumulate in liver cells via the process of steatosis. Despite having multiple causes, fatty liver disease (FLD) can be considered a single disease that occurs worldwide in those with excessive alcohol intake and those who are obese (with or without effects of insulin resistance). The condition is also associated with other diseases that influence fat metabolism. Besides, studies also showed that diet that is high in carbohydrate is also a contributing factor to this disease.

complied, edited and translated by Edwin Low