Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better!
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Body temperature

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I was slightly concerned recently in this cold weather that my body temperature might be low. Skiing a lot, and hiking up snow topped hills, prompted me to buy one of these

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Digital-LCD-Thermometer-Alarm-Medical-Body-Safe-Ear-Temperature-Oral-Baby-Adult/292406133085?epid=23013021219&hash=item4414c3815d:g:H1sAAOSwKwVaWPfB

Initially I could not work out how to use it, and thought it was faulty. Then I stuck it in my mouth, and it gave a reading as per the instructions on the web listing. (no instructions in packaging to save paper I guess). Reading was low. 35.8 C. Then I had a pot of green tea, sat on a heat mat, and got the room temperature up to 20C. Blood filled my fingers and toes, and the reading was 37C after I allowed time for my mouth to cool from the hot tea.

It made me think though, that many times I could have been almost hypothermic, and the only way I would know would be to get an accurate temperature reading. So I got one cheap, and I am calibrating it against my normal readings so that I can test what reading I get on mountains.

Such a low price, I thought I would mention it as a worthwhile tool!
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Bigtipper, Puzzled I would think those around you would know if you were hypothermic! I truly don't think a thermometer is necessary...
snow report     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@under a new name, I think Bigtipper is fond of measuring things.
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@under a new name, there are not always people around me, and there is no obvious symptom apart from when it is probably too late. For example I could make a decision to get off the mountain if it fell close to 35C
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Bigtipper, would be worth pointing out that the thermometer you've shown has a working temperature of 0-55degC so if you were on the mountain the thermometer itself may have been outside or close to the bottom end of its accurate range. Also bear in mind that you were only 1.2 (assuming accurate measurement) down from Normal, which is only just over half way to the hypothermic boarderline. Obviously getting enough symptoms to warrant you wanting to check on your own temperature so your 'warning signals' are getting through, and compus mentus enough to recognise it and do something about it. Bottom line, make sure you're not over or under heating and don't fret too much about it.
ski holidays     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I have a doctor with me at all times.....just in case I should fall ill. Well you can't be too careful Confused .
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Richard_Sideways, the tip of the thermometer goes under my tongue with my mouth shut.

My body fat is very low 11% roughly which for someone my age is really quite low. It means that cold can affect me more now than when I had a BMI over 30 and was living in a van in the Alps.

My blood pressure goes up in cold weather, due to vasoconstriction, and this as well as low body temperature can cause damage. I am older, fitter, but my body is less able to cope with extreme cold.

With all this knowledge, I need to find ways to stay warm, get out of the cold before I need to, and ways to warm up slowly when I am too cold.

Having a doctor with you who is hypothermic will not be of great assistance.@Gyro

Ultimately, you are responsible for your own health. Being prepared, and informed, is a very powerful weapon.
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
This is just commonsense if you feel really cold then you are potentially on the way to hypothermia but any sensible person on feeling really cold would take steps to get warm! Checking the temperature of small children who happen to be out on the mountain on a really cold day could be a good idea but generally if they are uncomfortably cold they will whinge and parents will solve the problem. I have a medical condition which is exacerbated by cold temperatures so I no longer ski in "real winter" but I continue to ski in Canada in April when the really low temperatures are generally over and when the sun shines high up the mountains it can be really quite warm. I am very conscious of my core temperature and also not allowing my fingers and toes nor indeed my face to get cold but I wouldnt resort to carrying a thermometer, I would know inherently if my core temperature were dropping and I would go in if this were the case.
snow report     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@FFIRMIN I am not as certain that I would know inherently what my core body termperature was. Given that it is normally lower than 37C in winter time, even when I feel warm, it would not take much exposure to cold to get it to 35C.

In fact when you actually get hypothermic, you tend to feel warmer, and there are lots of cases of people stipping clothes off when they are hypothermic because they feel too hot.

I get that you ski in April, which is when it is warmer. I also like it when there is low wind too, as this really makes me shiver.

I am not sure that a theremometer would be much practical use whilst skiing, but it is useful to get an idea of how I feel when my body temperature is at a certain temperature. Also I can plot blood pressure against body temperature to see if the relationship is linear or exponenial!
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Bigtipper wrote:

It made me think though, that many times I could have been almost hypothermic, and the only way I would know would be to get an accurate temperature reading. So I got one cheap, and I am calibrating it against my normal readings so that I can test what reading I get on mountains.


That's not how hypothermia works. I think you've read something and taken it far, far too literally. The temperatures for various levels of hypothermia are for guidance only. Also, you can't measure core temperature effectively without some proper equipment.

You really don't want to be messing around trying to take a temperature on someone on a mountain that's actually got hypothermia.
snow conditions     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I am a nurse and I take a lot of temperatures. It isn't that often you see people with a temp of 37c as their normal, most people tend to be in the 36c range.
In the theatre recovery I work in a patient has to have a temp above 36c to be transferred back to the ward.

The body shivers when cold to generate heat, when you stop shivering you are in trouble. I understand that once you start feeling hot and stripping off you are near death.

If hypothermic, rewarming should be gradual.
snow report     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/414703

A study here on blood pressure vs atmospheric temperature in the elderly. Not surpisingly it shows blood pressure tends to be higher in winter, particulaly systolic in elderly. Places with mild winters tend also to be places which have long life expectancy. Hong Kong, Japan, Iceland, Switzerland, Spain. Iceland appears to be the odd one out in this list, but it also has very cheap winter heating due to thermal waters from volanic rocks. People can afford cheap heating in cold winters in Iceland. Also they have a tendancy to go for winter dips in hot thermal waters, which can improve blood flow.

Some people reckon diet is the main factor in life expectancy. Fish seems the common food, and less meat in these countries. Of course wealth is also a common factor in high life expectancy. Spain perhaps being the odd one out here, although by no means a third world country.

Of course healthcare is a factor, but healthcare is a remedial effect. It is not the primary etiology of diseases of the cardiovascular system.
snow conditions     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Cinsha, does the method of taking the temperature vary by patient? In the ear might be how it is taken, but up the bum or in the mouth might give a different reading by different patients. (some might have cold ears, and warm bums).
latest report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Cinsha wrote:


The body shivers when cold to generate heat, when you stop shivering you are in trouble. I understand that once you start feeling hot and stripping off you are near death.

If hypothermic, rewarming should be gradual.


Shivering often isn't a great indicator of hypothermia (in the outdoor environment). People who are a bit cold shiver. People with hypothermia can skip shivering and go into severe hypothermia.

Rewarming should be gradual, how difficult that is depends on how severe the hypothermia is. People with moderate to severe hypothermia talk about not feeling warm again for many hours or even a day or so.

Since you can throw most written definitions of hypothermia out of the window all you can really use to diagnose hypothermia is how hard it is rewarm. If you can quickly get warm then you're a bit cold - jump up and down, rub your hands, get a drink. If that's not working your are, or are heading for, hypothermia. It's this decreasing ability to get warm again that tells you how severe things are and it's the only measure that really matters because it tells you how much help you need.
snow report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote from the conclusions of the above linked study into blood pressure versus atmospheric temperature:

" seasonal variations in blood pressure were inversely associated with BMI"

A low BMI suggests your blood pressure will be more volatile in cold weather, particularly in the elderly.
snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Yeah, Switzerland has really mild winters
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Bigtipper wrote:
...Such a low price, I thought I would mention it as a worthwhile tool!

If you feel cold, wear more clothing. I'd say that sticking a thermometer up your bottom would be a less useful but perhaps more entertaining approach. April 1, right?
snow conditions     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Problem is your clothing gets wet when climbing hills from sweat. Then you get cold. A recipie for disaster. Changing clothes in cold temperatures when you are wet and cold makes you even more cold. You really need to get out of the cold and wind before you change clothes in a warm hut of some sort.

Sure a lift would help as you would not get all wet from sweating. Carrying a complete change of undergarments might help. Granted a thermometer is not as much use. I always carry a lightweight foil blanket and a spare poncho both of which cost 50p. (never needed them, but in an emergency it could save your life if you can have extra warmth and protection from precipitation.)

I find a warm drink in a flask is usually a good warm up, particularly if you take thermometer readings in your mouth.
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Quote:

I find a warm drink in a flask is usually a good warm up, particularly if you take thermometer readings in your mouth.

Well yes..... it would be, wouldn't it. Taking your temperature after drinking a G & T with plenty of ice will make a big difference too.

However, if you are going to get serious about taking your core temperature up a mountain, I think trousers down, thermometer "up" is the only way. wink
latest report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Bigtipper wrote:

I always carry a lightweight foil blanket and a spare poncho both of which cost 50p. (never needed them, but in an emergency it could save your life if you can have extra warmth and protection from precipitation.)


Depends what you mean by foil blankets. Products like blizzard bags are highly effective while foil sheets just aren't.

The major claim for foil sheets is that they reflect back around 80% of evaporative heat loss which isn't going to be big deal with a hypothermic casualty. More dangerously, they instantly get cold and wet then conduct that back to wet clothing. They also rip apart pretty much instantly in any sort of weather. There's zero insulation provided so you can't insulate a casualty from the cold ground.

They are quite effective after marathons and similar events because the competitor is already warm and the specific danger is they'll rapidly cool. So in that usage, foil sheets do prevent hypothermia. You might also protect other casualties with a foil sheet, and you see ambulance crews and paramedics do this, to prevent heat loss after other injuries but they're too fragile to be any real use in an outdoor setting.

Really neither a foil sheet nor a thermometer are useful for the treatment or management of hypothermia in the outdoors. They're just taking up space in an outdoor first aid kit. What does work, and will be carried routinely by professionals, are light down layers (~400-450g), blizzard bags (~350g) and emergency shelters (~250-400g 2/pers).
snow conditions     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I wear minimal kit, tight softshell pants and jackets, it wicks sweat well and dries extremely quickly. If you have to stop then carry a synthetic belay jacket that is designed to go on last over all your other stuff.
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Bigtipper, Tympanic measurements of temp are routine. Temp values will of course vary according to where they are taken - per rectum, per oral, tympanic or axilla.

Values will vary for many reasons such as time of day, age or menstrual cycle.

If you show no signs of life after falling into an icy river for instance, you are not 'dead' until you are warm and dead.
latest report     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy