Take your temp!
But your temperature can also be one of many clues of your metabolic health! As a hypothyroid patient, taking your temperature can be an important aspect in three other ways:
1) diagnosing hypothyroid
2) finding the right dose of natural desiccated thyroid or T3-only
3) assessing your adrenal status as well as finding the right amount of HC
HOW DOES MY TEMPERATURE DIAGNOSE HYPOTHYROIDISM? Generally, the average temperature of an adult with a healthy thyroid and a healthy metabolism is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.0 degrees Celsius, and that occurs around mid-afternoon or 3 pm. So if you take your mid-afternoon temp and find it in low 98′s or even in the 97′s, you have been given a strong clue that you may be hypothyroid. And a few report their mid-afternoon temp being in the 96′s. BRRRR.
Another temperature clue occurs first thing in the morning before you raise from your bed. Dr. Broda Barnes, a doctor who paid attention to clinical presentation and prescribed the pre-reformulated Armour, found that a healthy before-rising morning basal temp should be between 97.8 – 98.2. If it’s higher, you may be hyperthyroid, and if it’s lower, you are most likely hypothyroid. He also recommended under-the-arm temperature testing for ten minutes, but patients have found oral to be just as effective–at least 5 minutes. Add 1/2 degree to be the same as underarm temp taking.
HOW DOES MY TEMPERATURE HELP ME WITH RAISING MY THYROID MEDS? Once you are on natural desiccated thyroid or T3-only (the latter which is usually just to help you lower high RT3), and are consistently raising your doses, you will see your temps climb to healthy levels with increasing feel-good symptoms to match. In many patients, reaching the average temp around 98.6 can happen before you are even on your optimal amount of desiccated thyroid or T3.
WHAT IF MY TEMPERATURE IS ALL OVER THE MAP? It’s actually normal to have different individual temps throughout the day. Don’t fret about that. But when you are comparing your “daily averaged temperature” for five days (see the adrenal info page, Discovery Step Two, Test Four), and you find at least one of those daily averaged temps .2 to .3 higher than another, that could be a sign that you have adrenal dysfunction, a common condition with hypothyroid patients. Having an adrenal dysfunction means you aren’t producing enough cortisol for your needs. And for some folks, it takes doing the T3CM, or supplementing with low-dose Hydrocortisone or other adrenal support products to bring that stability in the temperature back.
Dr. Rind has an excellent temperature graph you can use to understand temps:
WHAT KIND OF THERMOMETER SHOULD I USE? Though Dr. Rind above doesn’t recommend the old-fashion oral mercury thermometers, we as thyroid patients have found them quite useful and accurate as compared to most digital thermometers, which tend to be off up to a degree one direction or the other. Yes, some digitals are definitely better than others. But when in doubt, use your Mercury thermometer. It’s also important to leave it under your tongue long enough, i.e. five minutes minimum. Where to find a Mercury thermometer? Ebay, or an antique store. A second alternative: a Geratherm, which is a liquid non-mercury thermometer. May be more accurate than digitals. Bulky.
WHAT IF MY TEMPERATURE IS HIGH, YET I HAVE HYPOTHYROID SYMPTOMS? This is a clue that you may have an antibodies attack on your thyroid, called Hashimotos Disease, making it wise to do the two antibodies tests to confirm or rule out Hashi’s. Don’t let your doc just test one! Do both! Or order you own here.
WHAT ABOUT MENSTRUATING OR OVULATING WOMEN? Your internal body temperature can be very reactive to your female hormonal state, making it lower or higher than normal. So knowing what it going on within is important to evaluating a temperature. Check your temps before days 19 – 22 of your cycle, with the first day being the day you started your period.
DO TEMPS CHANGE AS ONE AGES? Yes. They seem to lower. But that could be related to the slowing down of the thyroid in aging, and a potential need for thyroid treatment like desiccated thyroid.
So TAKE YOUR TEMP!!