One overlooked test for evaluating the thyroid gland is the basal body temperature test. This is the first temperature in the morning before you rise. It is thought to be an indirect measure of the metabolic rate of the body.
Remember, the thyroid gland is the main control of the metabolic rate of the body; in a hypothyroid condition, the metabolic rate is lowered. Normal basal body temperatures range from 97.8 to 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit, under the arm or orally. If you use a rectal thermometer, add one degree.
In a hypothyroid case, the body is not receiving adequate amounts of thyroid hormone. The basal metabolic rate will slow down in order for the body to try to conserve its dwindling energy supply and thyroid hormones. The end result is that the core body temperature drops.
Many doctors ignore the significance of the basal body temperature test. However, the core temperature of the body is a very important measurement. Enzymes, hormones, white blood cells, red blood cells, and other tissues of the body all function optimally at a narrow body temperature (97.8 to 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit, orally or under the arm). Too high or too low temperatures inhibit normal body function.
However, the basal thermometer test is not perfect. I have seen patients who feel great but have low basal body temperatures, and I have seen patients who feel terrible with low basal temperatures. It is just one measure of how the thyroid gland may be functioning. Just as with any thyroid test, it must be put into context with the other thyroid tests as well as the physical exam and history.
A lowered basal body temperature does not guarantee a thyroid problem. There are other conditions in which the basal temperature may be lowered, such as pituitary failure, low adrenal function, and starvation. However, a careful history, physical exam, and appropriate lab work can delineate these different conditions. Contrary to what conventional doctors claim, following your basal body temperature can provide you with useful information.
My father had a very low basal body temperature — 96.5 degrees Fahrenheit averaged over five days. When I put together all the information I had obtained on my dad — normal TSH, low-normal T3 and T4 levels, lowered basal body temperature, high cholesterol, obesity, and heart attack history — I decided to give him a therapeutic trial of natural, desiccated thyroid hormone.
Conventional training would not have given him a diagnosis of hypothyroidism, since his thyroid tests were in the normal range. What were the results of treating him with thyroid hormone? The response was astounding. It changed not only his life but also mine.
Within seven days, his 20-year history of angina melted away, never to return. Thirty days later, his cholesterol was below 200 mg/dl, and he was able to discontinue his cholesterol-lowering medication. In fact, he did not need the cholesterol-lowering medication at all; he needed his thyroid deficiency corrected. He even lost weight without changing his diet. More importantly, my father looked better and acted better.
Unfortunately, for 20 years, he was tested only for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels. I believe his diagnosis of hypothyroidism was missed for those decades. In my father’s case, I believe that the consequence was the acceleration of his severe heart disease because of the failure to diagnose and treat his hypothyroid condition properly.
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