How is body temperature regulated and what is fever?
A healthy body functions best at an internal temperature of about 37°C (98.6°F). But everyone has their own individual "normal" body temperature, which may be slightly higher or lower. Our bodies also constantly adapt their temperature to environmental conditions. It goes up when we exercise, for instance. And it is lower at night, and higher in the afternoon than in the morning.
Our internal body temperature is regulated by a part of our brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus checks our current temperature and compares it with the normal temperature of about 37°C. If our temperature is too low, the hypothalamus makes sure that the body generates and maintains heat. If, on the other hand, our current body temperature is too high, heat is given off or sweat is produced to cool the skin.
Strictly speaking, body temperature refers to the temperature in the hypothalamus and in the vital internal organs. Because we cannot measure the temperature inside these organs, temperature is taken on parts of the body that are more accessible. But these measurements are always slightly inaccurate.