Temperature and what it means
Body temperature is what brought a lot of us to the information on Thyroid and Adrenal function that's on the Internet.
Most doctors are in total denial, they will say "some people just have a low temperature, it doesn't mean anything" and "only a high temperature means anything".
In fact, as Broda Barnes established a long time ago, temperature, in particular the "basal temperature" is a very strong marker for low thyroid. Basal temp is one you take first thing in the AM before moving., when you first wake. It SHOULD be lower than your daytime temps. You can take basal temps orally or axially (under the arm, the thermometer needs 10 mins here and the reading is a little lower than oral).
Basal temperatures are also used by people trying to get pregnant (or trying not to get pregnant) as a marker of ovulation.
This is a classical article by Mary Shannon on body temperature and the female cycle plus the thyroid implications of temperature. I came across this in 1999 and it was one of the things that started me along a route to health
Oral temps are just that, temperatures taken at any time during the day by mouth. They
follow a cycle through the day with a peak in the afternoon to early evening before
falling again in preparation for sleep. Val's go like this when I she not hypo and
As you can see from that "healthy performance" there is a gentle drift up and down through the day which is very different to how people with cortisol or thyroid issues temperature patterns go.
Hypothyroid but Adrenals OK
People in this condition tend to have a low but steady temperature.
Adrenals low and possibly hypothyroid as well
This is a very dynamic condition. The temperature graphs done to the Dr Rind timing of averaged show significant variation from day to day as per the example in that link.
The actual temperatures are very dynamic and dependent on activity, these are a few recent questions that appeared on the Yahoo group about temperature and the interpretation of those effects:-
Q: So I wake up at 7 a.m., warm under my covers; I take my basal temp. and it's
a whopping 98.1! Woohoo! Then I go out to the kitchen, putter about, getting the kids
ready for school, and I'm feeling chilly; I check my temps again and it's 97.8.
A: You are doing temps correctly but you need more cortisol in the AM. This means your thyroid levels are just about there where they need to be, but once you get up and moving and going about your day is when you need cortisol for the stresses of everyday living, and it is not there so temps drop.
Q: Val, can you help me figure this out? I took my morning basal temp, it was
998.1, then about 15 minutes later it was 97.something. Now I took my son to school and
came home all hot from the walk, sweating. I sit down to take my temp and guess what? it's
95! And I'm sweating and hot! does this mean my thermometer is broken?
A: Because your temps dropped from using UP all available cortils it has nothing to do with what you are wearing or outside temps. This is an internal temp regulation thing and why the temp graph works. It shows these fluctuation as which mean you nerd more cortisol. When you have enough cortils they will stop doing this.
Q: So this topic highly interests me, especially because I also have the sensation of feeling hot and sweaty even though my temps are super low.
A: The hot and sweaty feeling when your temp is low is due to adrenaline - it kicks in when you have low cortisol.
Q: Sometimes my temperature drops and I feel very tired after I take a dose of T3, what's happening
A: You are taking more T3 than you have cortisol available to support, T3 "uses up" cortisol getting into the cells and you can't make more fast enough. Divide the T3 into smaller doses and take them more often and you may be able to maintain temperature (eg 12.5 of T3 every 2 hours instead of 25 every 4 hours). If this does not work you will need to go onto adrenal support.
Q: I have a fast pulse, missing heart beats, and a low temperature, what's going on??
A: These are classic symptoms of low sodium. Try the "salted water test" and see if your pulse drops within and hour
Q: I have a fast pulse and a High temperature, what does this mean?
A: It either means you have an infection and are sickening for something or that you have managed to take too much t3 and get it into the cells and have become HYPERthyroid. Reduce your T3 for a day to a much lower dose and these symptoms should wear off within 24 hours. You can then build up over a day or two to find your dose again taking care not to overshoot.
Q: If my heart is pounding hard (but not fast) and temps are low but stable then I could try taking more T3, right?
A: Yes, heart pounding is usually low thyroid or adrenal stress. Your low temps
confirm it is not high T3. Is it fast pulse or just pounding? Fast pulse might indicate
either high T3 or adrenaline form low cortisol.