Why does your temperature fluctuate when you have a fever?
(Image source: Pixabay)
Question from Lauren Lancaster
When you have an infection, your body produces white blood cells to fight it. These affect your hypothalamus, the area of your brain that controls body temperature, causing you to heat up. In response your blood vessels tighten, causing your outer layer of skin to cool and your muscles to contract, making you shiver. Shivering produces more heat, raising your temperature again.
Later, the amount of heat you lose and make levels out and your body stays at a high temperature. When you’ve fought off the infection, your blood vessels open up and you sweat, cooling you down again.
Answered by Jo Stass for Brain Dump in How It Works issue 123.
For more science and technology articles, pick up the latest copy of How It Works from all good retailers or from our website now. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can also download the digital version onto your iOS or Android device. To make sure you never miss an issue of How It Works magazine, subscribe today!