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Temperature Regulation for Thyroid Testing

One of the ladies here sent me a wonderful article on Basal Temperature taking… I found some more info and wanted to share it with you…

Do you ever experience fatigue, depression, difficulty concentrating, difficulty getting up in the morning, cold hands and feet or intolerance to cold, constipation, loss of hair, fluid retention, dry skin, poor resistance to infection, high cholesterol, psoriasis, eczema, acne, premenstrual syndrome, loss of menstrual periods, painful or irregular menstrual periods, excessive menstrual bleeding, infertility (male or female), fibrocystic breast disease, or ovarian cysts? If so, you may have an underactive thyroid. It is often seen in people who suffer from multiple allergies, immune disorders and chronic fatigue.

Normal temperature regulation in the body is essential for enzyme functions and preservation of health. Whenever our molecular and immune defenses are stressed, three body organs take the brunt of the injury; the thyroid, pancreas and adrenal glands. The evaluation of the functional status of the thyroid gland — hypothyroidism or under-active thyroid gland — requires blood tests as well as temperature records.

There is considerable evidence, however, that blood tests fail to detect many cases of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). It appears that many individuals have “tissue resistance” to thyroid hormone. Therefore, their body may need more thyroid hormone, even though the amount in their blood is normal (or even on the high side of normal). A low axillary temperature suggests (but does not prove) hypothyroidism. Optimal temperature regulation is an essential aspect of holistic therapy for these disorders.

There is a simple way to test this. Simply follow the instructions below and bring your results to your next visit with the doctor.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Use any digital or mercury thermometer. Shake it down before going to bed to 96 degrees or less and put it by your bedside.

2. In the morning, as soon as you wake up, put the thermometer deep in your armpit for ten minutes and record the temperature. Do this before you get out of bed, have anything to eat or drink, or engage in any activity. This will measure your lowest temperature of the day, which correlates with thyroid gland function. The normal underarm temperature averages 97.8-98.2 degrees F. We frequently recommend treatment if the temperature averages 97.4 or less. The temperature should be taken for four days.

3. Each time you are taking your temperature, it is imperative that you take both axillary (underarm) and oral (mouth) temperatures. Both temperatures need to be taken upon waking up as well as three hours later and then six hours after that. It is important to do this for four days and to follow these instructions carefully in order to get accurate results.

4. For women, the temperature should be taken starting the second day of menstruation. The reason is because a considerable temperature rise may occur around the time of ovulation and give incorrect results. If you miss a day, that is okay, but be sure to finish the testing before ovulation. For men, and for postmenopausal women, it makes no difference when the temperatures are taken. However, do not do the test when you have an infection or any other condition which would raise your temperature.

Basal Body Temperature: This is a test of your core body temperature and is a very useful test to determine if your thyroid hormonal system is underactive (ie hypothyroid).

What does being hypothyroid have to do with cardiovascular disease?

Hypothyroidism causes abnormal lipid metabolism which results in accelerated cardiovascular disease. Cholesterol and other lipids can become elevated due to diminished function of lipid metabolism enzymes caused by the lower body temperatures. Many body enzymes are highly temperature dependent, malfunctioning at abnormally low or high temperatures. The more abnormal the temperature, the more malfunctional the enzyme. On a molecular basis, this is why we become listless as our body temperatures go out of the normal range and we die at temperature extremes.

Although the frequency of hypothyroidism has been hotly debated for many decades, I am convinced that hypothyroidism is common and often unrecognized. The official normal range of thyroid blood tests are virtually useless except for obvious hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. These blood tests are useful if much tighter normal ranges are used. Additionally, accurate assessments of thyroid function can be obtained with basal body temperatures.

Ideally body temperature is taken immediately upon awakening and while still in bed, but it can be taken during the day at least 15 minutes after eating or drinking and when you haven’t been exercising. Men and post-menopausal women can take their temperatures on any day but menstruating women have some restrictions. Their temperature fluctuates with their menstrual cycle, lowest at ovulation and highest just before menstrual flow. They can most accurately measure the temperature on the second and third day of the period after the flow begins. Normal temperatures are: Armpit 98.0 +/- 0.2, Oral 98.6 +/- 0.2, and Rectal 99.0 +/- 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another useful assessment is an exceedingly low-tech question, “Do you tend to be very hot or cold when most others are not”? Characteristically, hypothyroid patients are very “cold blooded” and are cold to their core even when wearing warm clothes. As a corollary, these patients rarely can create any significant sweat. As an aside, two other conditions that can cause low body temperature are adrenal exhaustion and profound hypoglycemia but these diagnoses are usually quite obvious.

melanie