January 28th, 2009
10:33 AM ET

She’s hot; he’s cold - battling body temperatures

By Val Willingham
CNN Medical Producer

In February, my husband and I will celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary.  Many marriage experts will tell you, if a couple have survived that long, they’ve pretty much worked out the kinks in their relationship.  And for the most part, that’s true when it comes to my hubby and me; except for one thing.  We fight constantly over the temperature on our car’s thermostat.

I have always been one of those people who feel warm all the time. I can be out in 20-degree weather in Syracuse and I’m sweating.  My husband, on the other hand, is forever cold.  His feet, ears, hands, (everything but his heart) are always freezing.  A 90-degree day in Miami is comfy for him.  So whether we use the heater or the air conditioner in the car is always an issue. 

Why the difference?   It seems that each one of us has our own body temperature, regulated by the human thermostat, known as the hypothalamus.  This section of the brain controls our body temps.  The average temperature of the human body is 98.6 degrees. But according to doctors, many of us have body temperatures that can vary, plus or minus, within a few degrees of that number.  So what is a “normal” temperature for some is not always “normal” for others. And because we are mammals and not reptiles, our bodies adapt to cold and hot by either shivering or sweating, depending on our body temperature.

There are different factors that can affect whether our inner thermostats go up or down. Medication can cause our temps to change.  Certain blood-thinning meds, pills for blood pressure and thyroid medication can all make our body temperatures dip.  And illnesses including diabetes and hypothyroidism can cause us to become chilly.

Muscle mass is another factor.  A lot of people think fat can insulate the body, and for the most part it helps.  But lean muscle mass requires more energy to run and so increases the metabolic rate to process calories into usable fuel for muscle.  That keeps us toasty.  And water helps. Health experts say drinking water can regulate body temperatures and keep them level.

Our age also makes a difference. By the time we reach our 50s, the difference in body temperatures between men and women becomes apparent.  Ladies begin to feel the effects of menopause, and “hot flashes” can make them so uncomfortable that many want to participate in their local “Polar Bear” plunge sans bathing suit!  Men can begin to face circulation problems earlier than women. Bad circulation can keep blood from flowing to hands and feet, producing chilly extremities, which could drive even the most macho of men to wear mittens.

So the next time someone asks you why you’re driving around with the air conditioner on in the middle of January…or wearing a parka in May, say, “It’s not me, it’s my hypothalamus!!!”  At least that’s what I keep telling my husband. 

Are you always cold or warm?  What do you do to make yourself more comfortable?  We’d love to hear about it.

Editor’s Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.

Filed under: Cancer

soundoff (656 Responses)
  1. driving schools near me


    June 13, 2021 at 18:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. neurologist near me


    June 13, 2021 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. ross near me

    Howdy! This blog post couldnít be written much better! Going through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept preaching about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he'll have a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!


    June 14, 2021 at 04:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. moving companies near me


    June 14, 2021 at 04:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. laptop repair near me

    bookmarked!!, I love your website!


    June 14, 2021 at 05:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. rv storage near me

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post! It is the little changes that will make the most significant changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    June 14, 2021 at 05:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. dennys near me

    I like looking through a post that will make people think. Also, thank you for permitting me to comment!


    June 14, 2021 at 06:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. buy alaskan thunder online

    The Alaskan Thunder (ATF for short) strain originates from the
    Matanuska Valley in Alaska and its Sativa genetics are somewhat
    of a mystery. Being a Sativa, this strain really
    only affects your head and is a popular choice of medication for medical marijuana patients suffering from chronic migraines,
    PTSD, sleep disorders, and more.

    Contact Us
    Phone: +1 (213) 262-7391‬
    Email: sales@weedforsaleshop.com

    June 14, 2021 at 07:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. pet stores near me


    June 14, 2021 at 07:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. whole foods near me

    Good info. Lucky me I discovered your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I've book marked it for later!


    June 14, 2021 at 07:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. physical therapy near me

    This is a topic that is near to my heart... Thank you! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    June 14, 2021 at 10:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. barnes and noble near me

    I used to be able to find good info from your articles.


    June 14, 2021 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. smiths near me

    Hi there! This post could not be written any better! Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept preaching about this. I'll forward this article to him. Pretty sure he'll have a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!


    June 14, 2021 at 11:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. rv sales near me


    June 14, 2021 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. asiapoker99

    This post will assist the internet visitors for creating new blog or even a blog from start to end.

    June 14, 2021 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. sattaking

    Can you tell us more about this? I'd care to find out more details.

    June 14, 2021 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RV Repair Orange County

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article! It's the little changes that produce the most important changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    June 14, 2021 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Camper Repair Near Me


    June 14, 2021 at 21:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. mia khalifa

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe that this site needs a great deal more attention. I'll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the

    June 15, 2021 at 00:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    Spot on with this write-up, I really believe that this amazing site needs a great deal more attention. Iíll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the advice!


    June 15, 2021 at 01:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me


    June 15, 2021 at 03:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Repair Orange County


    June 15, 2021 at 04:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Sprinter Repair Near Me

    You are so interesting! I don't believe I've truly read something like that before. So wonderful to discover someone with some unique thoughts on this subject. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This website is one thing that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality!


    June 15, 2021 at 04:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    When I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Kudos!


    June 15, 2021 at 05:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Repair Shops Nearby

    I could not resist commenting. Very well written!


    June 15, 2021 at 05:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Repair San Clemente California


    June 15, 2021 at 08:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Repair Shops Near Me


    June 15, 2021 at 09:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Repair Seal Beach

    I love looking through a post that can make men and women think. Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!


    June 15, 2021 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Camper Repair Shop Near Me


    June 15, 2021 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Nearby RV Repairs


    June 15, 2021 at 13:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Sprinter Repair Near Me


    June 15, 2021 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Repair Places Near Me

    Very good article. I certainly love this website. Continue the good work!


    June 15, 2021 at 20:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. w88

    These are in fact impressive ideas in about
    blogging. You have touched some nice points here.
    Any way keep up wrinting.

    June 15, 2021 at 21:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Nearby RV Repairs


    June 15, 2021 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. RV Repair Places Near Me


    June 16, 2021 at 02:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. 핸드폰결제

    When someone writes an article he/she maintains the thought of a
    user in his/her brain that how a user can understand it.
    Therefore that's why this piece of writing is perfect. Thanks!

    June 16, 2021 at 04:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Taobao delivery agency

    Great article.

    June 16, 2021 at 06:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Repair Fountain Valley


    June 16, 2021 at 07:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Repair Shop

    Very good post! We will be linking to this great article on our site. Keep up the great writing.


    June 16, 2021 at 07:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Repair Near My Location

    I really like reading through a post that can make people think. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!


    June 16, 2021 at 07:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RV Repair Nearby

    This site really has all the info I wanted concerning this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    June 16, 2021 at 09:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Repair Nearby

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I do think that you need to write more on this subject, it might not be a taboo matter but usually people don't speak about these subjects. To the next! Many thanks!!


    June 16, 2021 at 10:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. RV Repair

    You are so cool! I do not think I've truly read something like this before. So great to find someone with unique thoughts on this subject matter. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that is required on the web, someone with a little originality!


    June 16, 2021 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. colleges near me

    Iím impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog thatís both educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The issue is something not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I came across this during my search for something concerning this.


    June 16, 2021 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. diners near me


    June 16, 2021 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. laundry near me


    June 16, 2021 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. food near me open

    Good information. Lucky me I came across your site by accident (stumbleupon). I have saved it for later!


    June 16, 2021 at 19:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Repair Nearby

    I truly love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you make this web site yourself? Please reply back as Iím planning to create my own personal website and would like to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Cheers!


    June 16, 2021 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. rite aid near me


    June 16, 2021 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. businesses near me

    Itís nearly impossible to find knowledgeable people about this subject, but you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 16, 2021 at 22:50 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Leave a Reply to RV Repair San Clemente California


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.