Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What does it mean if I feel like I have a fever but my body temperature is normal?"
Whenever I get a cold I feel like I have a fever but every time my body temperature is always normal when I check it. Why do I feel like I have a fever if my temperature is normal?
When the body develops a fever, it is trying to change itself to be a worse host for the infecting bacteria or virus. The body does this by resetting its thermostat in the brain to allow the body to get hotter than it normally does. To do this, the body must make more heat. Often when someone is developing a fever they begin to shiver and feel very cold (called getting the chills). This often occurs even when the room is not cold at all. The person will shiver and often get under a blanket. The combination of these causes the fever. Now when you get cold (without an infection that can cause the fever), you body will shiver as well. This time it is to make heat and keep a normal body temperature in contrast to a higher than normal body temperature. When you get a cold (as in an upper respiratory tract infection), the infection itself can cause you to feel crummy and you may even run a slightly higher temperature than normal, but not a fever. This is also a normal reaction. The way you feel is just your body working to fight the infection. The best physician for you to speak to about this is your primary care physician. If you are feeling bad because of a cold, your doctor can help you out with symptom treatment.
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