HYPOTHERMIA: Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors

Here are the symptoms, causes, and risk factors of hypothermia

HYPOTHERMIA – This condition occurs when your the temperature of the body drops to 95 degrees Fahrenheit or 35 degrees Celcius from the normal temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 37 degrees Celcius.

The drop in temperature can be fatal as it affects your ability to think. Experiencing this condition could also decrease your natural promptings to ask for help, based on the article from Healthline.

Photo courtesy of More Than Just Surviving


  • excessive shivering
  • slowed breathing
  • slowed speech
  • clumsiness
  • stumbling
  • confusion

According to the article, those people who have excessive fatigue, a weak pulse, or unconscious can be hypothermic.


Cold weather
The body loses more heat than producing it when exposed to cold temperature. Inability to produce heat can impose danger as the body temperature can drop quickly and significantly. The same thing happens if you stay too long in cold water. In addition, when you are exposed to colder-than-normal temperatures, such as entering in an airconditioned room from being outside, can lead to hypothermia.


Infants and older adults are more likely to experience hypothermia. They have a lesser capacity to regulate their body temperature. That is why they are advised to wear proper wardrobe for cold weather.

Mental illness and dementia
People with mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and dementia, or memory loss, have greater risk to have this condition. Those who are mentally impaired cannot think appropriately what to wear for the cold weather. Instances also occur when they don’t realize that they are already exposed to the cold weather for too long.

Medical conditions
Here are the medical conditions that can also increase the risk of hypothermia:

  • hypothyroidism, which occurs when your thyroid gland produces too little hormone
  • arthritis
  • dehydration
  • diabetes
  • Parkinson’s disease

Meanwhile, here are other conditions that cause a lack of feeling in the body:

  • a stroke
  • spinal cord injuries
  • burns
  • malnutrition

Certain types of antidepressants, sedatives, and antipsychotic medications can be a risk factor also as these affect the ability of the body to regulate temperature.

Living in areas where the temperature frequently drops to very low can also increase the risk of hypothermia, according to the article.

Leave a Comment