What is the reason for variation in body temperature?
Q: I am having a host of problems. I am a heart patient. Some time back I had fever in the range of 99-102 degree F (most of the time 99-100). The fever was accompanied by chills which continued even after my fever disappeared. I took paracetamol, cefran etc. Presently my temperature fluctuates from 95-98.6 depending on my entry and exit from air conditioned rooms and it is as if it changes with atmospheric temperature. I have no fever now but chills do not go away. I have to use blankets in a weather which till some time back I was myself finding unbearably hot (for a normal person the heat is unbearable). The peculiar thing is that after some time I can bear the A.C. and then I get chills again and then again I feel hot. All this is irregular, inconsistent and almost incomprehensible. I have gastrointestinal problems for which I am on anti spasmodics. Can this be the cause? Can Avil (recommended by a physician) help me?
A:Variations in the body's temperature and even a sense of chillinesss may result from a poorly defined and non-specific dysfunction of the temperature regulating center in the brain, the hypothalamus. Sometimes there is a fault in the autonomic nervous system such as dysautonomia. While there is no curative treatment, a course of daily vigorous exercise will help. Some patients benefit from anti-anxiety medications, while others respond to antihistamines. Demerol or ethidine has been used in severe cases, but this is not of general application. A physician may need to rule out serious disease such as AIDS (HIV), tuberculosis, brucellosis, lymphoma, or endocarditis, but there is usually clear evidence of such causes.