Borys Bradel's Blog

Importance of controlling body temperature

Tags: health August 2, 2009    

I was recently at a software engineering conference in Las Vegas. The most interesting statement made by anybody there is that the body is a control system with a simple feedback mechanism that needs to be kept in a good range of sound operating points.

The example the person gave (a man whose last name is Richfield) is the body's control of temperature. The body tries to keep temperature at a normal level. However, when the body keeps the temperature at a certain level it will stop using that level in the future if there is a negative external event, such as catching a disease or food poisoning. This is analogous to an operator of a control system noting down the inputs when something wrong happens, and from then on avoiding those inputs.

If there are enough such shocks, then the body will run out of normal temperature levels and will have to operate at more extreme levels where nothing bad happened. However, at extreme levels, long term damage accumulates. The example given is that all cancer patients have abnormal temperatures, usually on the slow side.

The solution given is to force the body back to a normal temperature level for extended periods of time, and allowing the body to figure out that nothing bad will happen to it at that level. Supposedly most ways of keeping the temperature constant would work, such as being in a room with a heater that can be adjusted based on body temperature, which is checked frequently. I think that this is a very interesting idea.

Copyright © 2009 Borys Bradel. All rights reserved. This post is only my possibly incorrect opinion.

Previous Next