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. Digital Marketing Business

    I want to to thank you for this great read!! I certainly enjoyed every little bit of it. I've got you book-marked to look at new stuff you post…


    May 20, 2021 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Social Media Marketing Consultant

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Many thanks, However I am having difficulties with your RSS. I don’t understand why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting identical RSS issues? Anyone who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    May 20, 2021 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Internet Marketing Firms

    I wanted to thank you for this good read!! I certainly loved every bit of it. I have got you book-marked to check out new things you post…


    May 20, 2021 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Local Marketing Companies


    May 20, 2021 at 12:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. vinyl wraps for rv


    May 20, 2021 at 13:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. redtube store

    Hey there! I just want to give you a huge thumbs up for the excellent info you have got right here on this post. I am coming back to your site for more soon.


    May 20, 2021 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Remodel California

    Very nice article. I definitely love this website. Thanks!


    May 20, 2021 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. rv parks orange county california


    May 20, 2021 at 18:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Conversion Van Interior Repair


    May 20, 2021 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. 2500 Sprinter Van Repair

    I need to to thank you for this wonderful read!! I certainly enjoyed every little bit of it. I have you saved as a favorite to look at new things you post…


    May 20, 2021 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Renovation Near Me


    May 20, 2021 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Frame Los Angeles


    May 20, 2021 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. oc towing mission viejo

    Having read this I believed it was extremely enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this information together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    May 20, 2021 at 23:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Leak Near Me


    May 21, 2021 at 00:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. how to repair a slide out on a travel trailer

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you've put in penning this site. I am hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own site now 😉


    May 21, 2021 at 06:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. custom fleet and auto body


    May 21, 2021 at 08:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RV Flooring Riverside


    May 21, 2021 at 11:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. camper van near me


    May 21, 2021 at 12:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Digital Marketing Firms


    May 21, 2021 at 13:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. RV Maintenance Near Me


    May 21, 2021 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. leather repair orange county


    May 21, 2021 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. rv mattresses near me

    Excellent web site you have here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    May 21, 2021 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. xnxx shop


    May 22, 2021 at 04:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. toy hauler furniture


    May 22, 2021 at 06:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Content Marketing Service

    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after looking at a few of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely pleased I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!


    May 22, 2021 at 10:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. rv repair orange county california

    That is a good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very accurate info… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read post!


    May 22, 2021 at 14:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Digital Marketing Companies Near Me

    A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do believe that you ought to write more on this issue, it might not be a taboo matter but typically folks don't speak about these subjects. To the next! Many thanks!!


    May 22, 2021 at 18:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Internet Marketing Near Me

    Right here is the right website for everyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject that's been discussed for a long time. Excellent stuff, just excellent!


    May 22, 2021 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Content Marketing Consultant

    You have made some really good points there. I looked on the internet for more info about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.


    May 23, 2021 at 04:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Bedroom Near Me


    May 23, 2021 at 07:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. repair near me

    I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!


    May 23, 2021 at 13:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Local Marketing Companies


    May 23, 2021 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. คลิป

    My developer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he's tryiong none
    the less. I've been using WordPress on a variety of websites for
    about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform.
    I have heard excellent things about blogengine.net.
    Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

    May 24, 2021 at 03:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Shades Near Me

    May I just say what a comfort to discover somebody that truly understands what they are discussing over the internet. You definitely realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people need to look at this and understand this side of the story. I can't believe you're not more popular since you surely have the gift.


    May 24, 2021 at 20:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. xvideos t


    May 24, 2021 at 21:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. motorhome restoration interior


    May 24, 2021 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Local Marketing Experts

    You're so awesome! I do not believe I have read through anything like that before. So nice to discover someone with a few original thoughts on this topic. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that is needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!


    May 24, 2021 at 23:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. New Forklift Tires California


    May 25, 2021 at 02:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Forklift Parts Near Me


    May 25, 2021 at 04:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Forklift Cylinders

    Everything is very open with a very clear description of the issues. It was truly informative. Your site is useful. Thank you for sharing!


    May 25, 2021 at 04:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Internet Marketing Firms

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Very well written!


    May 25, 2021 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Content Marketing Company


    May 25, 2021 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Internet Marketing Agencies


    May 25, 2021 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Content Marketing Companies


    May 25, 2021 at 17:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Social Media Marketing Agency Near Me

    Good article! We are linking to this great article on our site. Keep up the good writing.


    May 25, 2021 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Internet Marketing Companies


    May 25, 2021 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. yorba linda dump

    An intriguing discussion is worth comment. There's no doubt that that you should write more on this subject matter, it might not be a taboo matter but generally folks don't speak about such subjects. To the next! Best wishes!!


    May 26, 2021 at 04:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. rv batteries near me


    May 26, 2021 at 05:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Bathroom California


    May 26, 2021 at 05:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. rv repair and service near me


    May 26, 2021 at 07:36 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Leave a Reply to Peterjsf56245afsdfsaf5621


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.