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This review discusses human thermoregulation during exercise and the measurement of body temperature in clinical and exercise settings. The thermoregulatory mechanisms play important roles in maintaining physiological homeostasis during rest and physical exercise. Physical exertion poses a challenge to thermoregulation by causing a substantial increase in metabolic heat production. However, within a non-thermolytic range, the thermoregulatory mechanisms are capable of adapting to sustain physiological functions under these conditions. The central nervous system may also rely on hyperthermia to protect the body from "overheating." Hyperthermia may serve as a self-limiting signal that triggers central inhibition of exercise performance when a temperature threshold is achieved. Exposure to sub-lethal heat stress may also confer tolerance against higher doses of heat stress by inducing the production of heat shock proteins, which protect cells against the thermolytic effects of heat. Advances in body temperature measurement also contribute to research in thermoregulation. Current evidence supports the use of oral temperature measurement in the clinical setting, although it may not be as convenient as tympanic temperature measurement using the infrared temperature scanner. Rectal and oesophagus temperatures are widely accepted surrogate measurements of core temperature (Tc), but they cause discomfort and are less likely to be accepted by users. Gastrointestinal temperature measurement using the ingestible temperature sensor provides an acceptable level of accuracy as a surrogate measure of Tc without causing discomfort to the user. This form of Tc measurement also allows Tc to be measured continuously in the field and has gained wider acceptance in the last decade.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore

Publication Date

04/2008

Volume

37

Pages

347 - 353

Addresses

Military Physiology Laboratory, Defence Medical and Environmental Research Institute, DSO National Laboratories, Singapore. limcl@dso.org.sg

Keywords

Humans, Monitoring, Physiologic, Body Temperature, Exercise, Body Temperature Regulation