Temperature in your body is tightly regulated. Any shift in body temperature has been used as an indicator for health for millennia. But did you know that like your body, the temperature in your brain fluctuates? Each time it does, it can signal your state of health and how your body is reacting to it.
Study after study has shown that a regulated temperature in the human brain is essential. In fact, when we worry about temperature, we worry more about the brain than the body. A change in the temperature in the brain affects neuronal signaling. Signalling is a core function performed by the brain, telling your body what to do. To signal, your body produces proteins. A change in brain temperature can change the structure of these proteins.
A change of up to 3 Degrees Celsius can cause a seizure in your brain, rapid death of neurons and oxidative stress. It can cause calcium overload. We tend to think of calcium when we think of our bones. However, calcium in particular is a mineral that plays a vital role in your brain. Within the intracellular (between cells) space, the concentration of calcium affects memory. A disregulation of calcium can result in cellular death in the brain.
No wonder then, your body goes to great lengths to maintain its body temperature. Sweating and shivering but also vasodilation. Vasodilation is the widening of your blood vessels near the surface of your skin. The brain also has its own set of mechanisms. It has blood vessels located within its tissue. These blood vessels act like heat sinks by absorbing excess heat. During cooler periods, they release it through the surface of your head. Anything your body can do by way of shivering or sweating helps.