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What causes fluctuating body temperature after pneumonia?

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Posted on Tue, 23 Sep 2014
Question: my 92yr. old mother returned home a week ago. she has been slowly regaining her strength back.however i noticed this morning around 10;30 she had a temperature of 96.7. she said she felt good and had had a good breakfast earlier. i was concerned as this seemed low. i waited another 2 hrs.to take it again, it was 97.2. i did it again two more times. i got 98.1 and thelast at 5:30 p.m. was98.3. i forgot to mention she was hospitalized for 5 days for treatment of pneumonia previous to discharge last week.even though she is regaining strength her activity has been minimal. this temperature was taken from the ear. does it sound like this is something i should look further into.
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Answered by Dr. Prakash H Muddegowda (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
It could be normal variation.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Thanks for asking.
I am Dr. Prakash HM and I will be answering your query.

Looking at the medical history and query, my opinion is as follows:

1. Hypothermia or temperature below 98.3 degrees is some times alarming. However, if she is good, not to worry. Look for associated confusion, slow breathing or high irritability. If she has none of these, it is nothing to worry.

2. After you checked two more times, and its returning to normal is good.

3. The history of hospitalization and age are at present complicating factors. Do watch out for recurrent infection, as severe infection could rarely present with hypothermia.
4. The body has a cyclical rhythm and temperature variation is normal. Watch out for symptoms, i told you earlier like confusion, slow breathing or high irritability.

As, it has returned to normal. Nothing to worry at present. Keep her warm, by wrapping her well and giving hot soup, usual diet, and good amount of fluids.

Hope it helps.
Any further queries, happy to help again.
Dr. Prakash HM
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Prakash H Muddegowda

Geriatrics Specialist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 2138 Questions

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What causes fluctuating body temperature after pneumonia?

Brief Answer: It could be normal variation. Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for asking. I am Dr. Prakash HM and I will be answering your query. Looking at the medical history and query, my opinion is as follows: 1. Hypothermia or temperature below 98.3 degrees is some times alarming. However, if she is good, not to worry. Look for associated confusion, slow breathing or high irritability. If she has none of these, it is nothing to worry. 2. After you checked two more times, and its returning to normal is good. 3. The history of hospitalization and age are at present complicating factors. Do watch out for recurrent infection, as severe infection could rarely present with hypothermia. 4. The body has a cyclical rhythm and temperature variation is normal. Watch out for symptoms, i told you earlier like confusion, slow breathing or high irritability. As, it has returned to normal. Nothing to worry at present. Keep her warm, by wrapping her well and giving hot soup, usual diet, and good amount of fluids. Hope it helps. Any further queries, happy to help again. Dr. Prakash HM