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A Starter Guide to Low Body Temperature and Thyroid Health

A Starter Guide to Low Body Temperature and Thyroid Health

Do you have a low body temperature

Did your doctor tell you that body temperature below 98.6 degrees is "normal" and not worry?

Do you also have low thyroid symptoms (hypothyroidism), including fatigue, slow metabolism, exhaustion, brain fog, hair loss, or other health issues?

If so, would you like to learn about the connection between hypothyroid symptoms and low body temperature? 

It might surprise you that lab testing isn't the only clue that a person has hypothyroid symptoms.

What if I told you there's a way to detect hypothyroid symptoms that's not only free; it's easy to do at home, every day. And it can reveal a lot about the state of your thyroid and overall health.

Well, that's what you can expect from taking your temperature with a reliable digital thermometer.

Today I will explain the importance of tracking low body temperature and what the results may reveal about hypothyroid symptoms.

But first, you should probably know an important aspect of tracking low body temperature and why this measurement is vital for getting treatment. 

What I am about to say may come as a surprise. Many doctors care about high body temperature, like when you have a fever, but not every doctor cares care about low body temperature. I'll explain why, and what you can do to advocate for yourself.

After following this starter guide, if you discover that you have low body temperature, along with other thyroid symptoms, stay positive but be prepared to advocate for yourself.

Some doctors will only diagnosis low thyroid function based on your TSH lab result. That doesn't mean the TSH test is right. Or that you can't raise body temperature and feel better.

According to thousands of patients, and experts, TSH is not a reliable test of low thyroid function.

That's a big problem for thyroid patients.

Why? Because it means some patients can live with undiagnosed or undertreated hypothyroid symptoms and never fully recover.

There are other more reliable measures to understand and evaluate thyroid function. These include lab testing for Free T3, Free T4, tracking symptoms every day, and tracking body temperature, which you can easily do at home.

Knowing these resources are readily available, wouldn't you want to confirm you had hypothyroid symptoms so you could take steps to feel better?

Of course, you would. It's human nature to want to feel healthy, energized and refreshed. You deserve that. But tracking temperature is one step. 

If your doctor refuses to work with you, be prepared to get a second or third opinion until you find a doctor or practitioner who recognizes low body temperature as a hypothyroid symptom affecting your health.

Learn how to find a practitioner in my Thyroid Roadmap Course.

Let's jump into our Guide to Low Body Temperature and Hypothyroid symptoms so you can get tracking.

#1. Low Body Temperature and Metabolism

It's been well-established by thyroid experts like Dr. Broda Barnes and Dr. James L. Wilson that low body temperature is the clearest indicator of diminished metabolism and low thyroid function. (1)

Some consider low body temperature more accurate for determining thyroid function than lab testing because it shows the metabolic rate inside the cells in our body. 

We're talking trillions of cells that require specific conditions to regulate metabolism effectively. (2)

Thyroid hormone has a job inside those cells. It controls the metabolic speed of DNA which dictates how fast we live and age. 

Thyroid hormones --> cells -> DNA --> temperature --> enzymes -> metabolism --> aging

In short, thyroid hormones control our metabolism. But how does temperature affect DNA and hypothyroid symptoms?

#2. Low Body Temperature, DNA, and Aging

According to one popular theory, our DNA makes enzymes that trigger every chemical reaction in the body. 

What matters most about these enzymes is their shape. The enzymes need to have the right structure to do their job.  

That's where temperature comes in. 

If it's too hot, the enzyme shape will be too loose. But if the temperature is too cold, the enzyme will tighten up like a coil. Without the enzyme, vital processes can't take place.

Cellular metabolism is essentially how well your body converts fuel to energy. That fuel is thyroid hormone T3. Whether your body can produce T4 naturally or you require medication, T4 is an inactive thyroid hormone. T3 is the active thyroid hormone.

T4 is like having a car with a full gas tank, but you need a key to start the engine.

From your digestive system to your liver and vital organs, to your endocrine system and all its critical hormones, to your brain and nervous system—everything relies on how well your enzymes produce energy. 

Specific enzymes, called deiodinase, regulate the conversion of T4 to T3. Here is the crucial part: these enzymes need the right temperature and minerals, like adequate selenium and zinc, to convert T4 into T3. 

Accordingly, the body will speed up or slow down its enzyme regulation. 

When the T4 downregulates, the body will convert T4 into Reverse T3, which blocks T3 production. The result is slower thyroid function. 

However, conventional thyroid testing doesn't measure molecule speed and enzyme activity in the cells. If you're wondering how people can live with undiagnosed or undertreated hypothyroid symptoms, that's how it can happen.

By comparison, a thermometer measures molecule speed in our body which regulates thyroid function.

According to Dr. James L. Wilson, if you take 100 people with hypothyroid symptoms, conventional testing will only show problems in about 5% of those patients, so 5 out of 100. If a doctor treats those 5 patients based on their lab testing alone, only about 2.5 patients will get better.

However, if you take those 100 patients with hypothyroid symptoms, you will find that every one of them has a low body temperature.

If the doctor were to treat these patients based on their temperature, they would see 80% to 90% of those people's temperatures normalize, and symptoms will dramatically improve.

For some, the hypothyroid symptoms might resolve completely.

#3. Low Body Temperature and Hypothyroid Symptoms

When the deiodinase enzyme downregulates, T4 doesn't convert to T3. Instead, it converts to Reverse T3 as a mechanism designed to block T3. A person might develop hypothyroid symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue and chronic fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Weight gain
  • Irritability
  • Constipation
  • Unhealthy nails
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Edema
  • anxiety
  • low ambition and motivation
  • PMS
  • Hair loss
  • decreased memory and concentration
  • low sex drive
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Dry skin
  • Dry, brittle hair
  • Insomnia

And some conditions people wouldn't normally expect, like asthma, allergies, sinus infections, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and arthritis. 

Migraine headaches are another symptom related to low body temperature. According to Dr. Wilson, when patients get their temperatures corrected, their migraines disappear entirely in some cases. 

In other cases, asthma, allergies, PMS, panic attacks, anxiety, even carpal tunnel syndrome (from fluid retention) may respond to normalizing one's body temperature. (3)

#4. Tracking Low Body Temperature

When was the last time you took your body temperature? Was it low? If you've had low body temperature in the past, if you can't remember, or you're often cold, now is an excellent time to start tracking your temperature. 

You will need a good digital thermometer. I recommend this one.

Take your temperature first thing in the morning while you're still lying in bed before you put your feet on the floor. This first measure is your basal body temperature and shows how your body regulates its lowest metabolic resting state.

A low body temperature is below 97.8 degrees and means a low metabolism and, along with symptoms, may indicate low thyroid function.

It's quite common for thyroid patients to have much lower body temperature, even as low as 94-95 degrees. 

However, that doesn't mean a low body temperature is acceptable, feels good, or that you can't raise your body temperature.

Tip: Track body temperature every 3 hours for clues about thyroid and adrenal function throughout the day. Learn more in my Thyroid Roadmap Course.

Here's an example of my Thyroid Roadmap Body Temperature Tracker:

Body Temperature Tracker - Thyroid Roadmap Class with Miss Lizzy

#5. Natural Solutions to Fix Low Body Temperature and Boost Thyroid Health

The right thyroid treatment, diet, minerals, and lifestyle changes can often restore low body temperature to healthier levels. 

Here are four strategies to help deiodinase function, promote metabolic speed, and create the conditions needed to boost body temperature:

  • Diet and gut. Inflammation can impair T4 conversion. Try eating protein, healthy fats, and leafy green vegetables. Skip the grain, flour, and processed foods. Not only can they cause gut health issues which can lead to inflammation, but foods fortified with folic acid may also cause methylation issues for people with MTHFR C667T.
  • Manage Stress. Cortisol directly inhibits the conversion of T4 to T3. Our adrenal glands regulate cortisol function. Try to manage any stress, whether it's work, family, chronic illness, even over-exercising. Meditate. Take time for yourself each day. Rest when you need to.
  • Minerals. The deiodinase enzyme depends on selenium. T4 to T3 conversion goes down if you are deficient in selenium. T3 levels go up if you increase selenium. Learn more about ThyroConvert T4 to T3 booster.

#6. Thyroid Hormone Replacement for Low Body Temperature

  • T4 Thyroid Hormone Replacement. There are three types of thyroid hormone replacement. T4, NDT, and T3. Conventional medicine will typically start a thyroid patient on T4. That may work for some people. However, it may not help thyroid patients fully recover from their symptoms. If the cellular enzyme is impaired, T4 will downregulate. The result is Reverse T3 and more hypothyroid symptoms. 
  • NDT.  Another commonly prescribed thyroid hormone replacement is NDT. It contains T4 and a small amount of T3. While this may sound good, the same cellular level T4 conversion issues apply. Sometimes patients get worse, especially if the doctor is treating solely on lab testing. 
  • T3. The third option for thyroid hormone replacement is T3. It's a synthetic form of T3 that bypasses the conversion enzyme and acts similarly in our body to the converted T3 thyroid hormone. While that may sound great, especially for someone with conversion issues and low body temperature, T3 thyroid hormone replacement has some challenges. T3 is like a direct line of fuel to the body and metabolizes faster than T4. Meaning, T3 is powerful and should be treated with respect. Start by finding a conventional doctor or alternative doctor that's knowledgeable in T3 thyroid hormone replacement. Then start tracking hypothyroid symptoms and low body temperature so you can show your doctor and have data to observe changes over time.

Your Next Steps

If you want to learn more about thyroid hormone replacement, body temperature tracking, how to find a doctor, my Thyroid Roadmap Course will give you tools and resources to get faster results.

Take the Thyroid Health quizand get matched with supplements to fit your goals.