Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"What does it mean if my temperature is slightly elevated all the time?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat does it mean if my temperature is slightly elevated all the time?


I thought I had a fever so I took my temperature, but it was only a little bit above normal. I've checked it everyday for like a week and a half and it stays the same, but is a little high. Is this okay? What would give me just a slightly higher temperature?


This depends on what you mean by slightly elevated. Although it is commonly thought that a normal temperature is 98.6 degrees, in reality the temperature can fluctuate around this level, so if your temperature is just a few tenths of a degree elevated about 98.6, that doesn't really mean that you have a fever. Furthermore, temperature is very commonly affected by when and how it is taken. For example if you are using a mouth thermometer and you have recently smoked or had a cup of warm liquid (such as coffee or tea) this can easily raise your temperature a little bit without meaning anything. On the other hand, if your temperature is in the range of 100 degrees for a few days, this is a 'low grade' temperature and it usually means that your body is fighting off a mild infection, such as a cold virus. You generally don't need to go see the doctor for this. However, if you notice that the temperature continues to rise or stays elevated, or if you have any other concerning symptoms such as sweats or chills, please see your primary care doctor quickly.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.