Check your Thyroid using a Thermometer

The impact of inadequate thyroid hormones can last for a lifetime and range from relatively mild symptoms to the terrible life impairing symptoms. You may have a thyroid problem. You owe it to yourself to pull out a thermometer and check your basal body temperature. 

Your thyroid produces the hormones that regulate the rate of your metabolism. These hormones control the rate of function of many other systems in the body.[1] It is common for a person’s thyroid to not produce enough of these hormones. This condition is called Hypothyroidism.

Checkout the following video:  Effects of Thyroid Disease

Even though hypothyroidism is a recognized condition, it is likely that if you go consult a general physician concerning hypothyroidism symptoms you will either not be diagnosed or not be properly treated. Which is a huge bummer if you are suffering from this condition. According to Dr. Blanchard, most doctors know less than half the story about treating hypothyroidism. In today’s pressured managed-care environment, doctors have little time to hear and synthesize the many nonspecific symptoms of hypothyroidism. Also, there is a single-mindedness about using the TSH test and there’s a steadfastness to treating hypothyroidism with synthetic thyroxine, T4.[2]

So what is a person to do?

When I was doing the research for this week’s blog I kept reaching for a simple answer to the question how would a person know whether they Hypothyroidism, and what I have come to is that this is not a black or white diagnosis. Doctors have a number of tests that they may perform, however, it is still a squishy condition to diagnose. It is particularly important to know that the test most commonly offered by doctors, the TSH test, does not provide definitive results. According to Dr. Blanchard, there are lierally millions of people suffering with symptoms that clearly spell out hypothyroidism that are denied treatment because of TSH levels that are falsely in the normal range.  There are thousands of people with “normal” thyroid test results who experienced the classic symptoms of hypothyroidism and who prove it by their excellent response to appropriate thyroid therapy. [3]

A thermometer help you to figure out if you have this condition. Basal Body Temperature is both a strong indicator of your thyroid function and can be used as a guide for determining the amount of hormones to take. This is because heat is bi-product of your metabolic processes. Lowered body temperature, is a known and medically accepted symptom of hypothyroidism.[4] According to Dr. Barnes normal values for basal body temperature are in the range of 97.8 to 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature below 97.8 indicates hypothyroidism. A temperature above 98.2 indicates hyperthyroidism. This is NOT a conventional method of diagnosing thyroid function…I try not to get angry about the role of physicians in our culture, but this one kind of gets me:[5]

This simple technique of measuring basal body temperature as a guide to determine thyroid function and permitting proper treatment when necessary did not appeal to the medical profession. Apparently some physicians had reservations about a test which might permit patients to arrive at their own diagnoses. Perhaps some had reservations because the test involved no fees.

I believe in empowering people to manage their health. So here is what you need to know concerning taking your basal body temperature. All you need is a oral thermometer. I pick one up at Walgreens yesterday for $6.99.

 

Upon waking in the morning (when you are fully at rest), stick the thermometer under your arm pit such that it is touching skin until the thermometer has a reading. Men and women who are NOT menstruating can take their basal body temperature any given day. Women who are menstruating cannot. Their temperature fluctuates during their cycle. It is the highest shortly before the start of their menstrual flow and lowest at the time of ovulation. The best time for women who are menstruating to take their basal body temperature is the second or third day after their menstrual flow starts.[6]

Checkout this Video: Weight Loss Secret: The Thyroid Test

The affects of hypothyroidism can be brutal. The following are some of the possible symptoms:

  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Depression
  • Fatigue, Sluggishness
  • Muscle weakness, aches, tenderness and stiffness
  • A puffy face
  • An elevated blood cholesterol level
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Migraines and other headaches
  • Arthritis: Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
  • Fertility Problems, miscarriages, menstrual irregularities, menstrual cramps, Heavier than normal menstrual periods
  • Brittle fingernails and hair
  • Skin conditions: Acne, Impetigo, “Winter Itch”, Eczema

However, a list does not do justice to the severity of the symptoms and relief found through thyroid hormones. The following are excerpts from Hypo-thyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness:

A seventeen-year-old I saw recently had complained for years of being tired…Even after a prolonged night’s sleep, he had difficulty getting up in the morning. In school, he was unable to think clearly and to concentrate, and repeatedly failed. He dropped out, tried work, but lost job after job because of lateness. He began to run with the wrong crowd, took hard drugs, had an encounter with the law. Fortunately, in the sense of better late rather than never, his fatigue (and the affects of it) were found to be associated with a subnormal basal temperature and within three months after therapy was begun he was enrolled in a rehabilitation program and in school again, very much interested now in trying, and better able to make something of his life.

Another patient I saw many years ago was a twenty-four-year-old woman who had miscarried once and was then well along in her second pregnancy. She had a history or irregular menstruation with severe cramps, along with other symptoms compatible with low thyroid function. Her basal temperature was low. I placed her on thyroid but it was too late for this pregnancy and shortly afterward she miscarried again. Thereafter, however, continuing on thyroid therapy regularly, she had four successful pregnancies.

I worked with a group of students with acne, foregoing local treatments and dietary changes. The only measure used was thyroid therapy…The majority of students showed marked improvement: a few did not…Reduced circulation of blood through the skin is one effect of low thyroid function…with reduced circulation, the nourishment supplied by blood is reduced and, at the same time, waste produces are not removed promptly and completely since blood is the remover. The result is a skin which is not normally healthy and normally resistant to would-be invaders.

If you discover you have a low basal body temperature and you have symptoms that indicate that you may have a hypothyroid, you now have the daunting task of figuring out what to do to treat your condition. If you are diagnosed by a conventional doctor, he or she will likely put you on T4 only medication. This works for some people, however, it does not work optimally for many people. There are many chemical reactions involved and the breakdown(s) that led to your hypothyroidism could occur in more than one area of these chemical processes.

 

For many decades…before pharmaceutics companies isolated a single molecule, patented it, marketed, and made it the medical standard, thyroid from animals was used to provide thyroid hormones. Natural Desiccated Porcine Thyroid has been used since the beginning of the 20th century. The advantage of taking Natural Thyroid is that it contains the same hormones that your own thyroid would produce–T4, T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin.[7] Since T4 is only one part of the process, use of synthetic T4 often is less effective. You can purchase raw thyroid without a prescription.

It is important to note that you need to be careful about the amount of thyroid you take. If too much thyroid is supplied from the outside, the pituitary gland will sense the excess and stop stimulating the thyroid gland, and thyroid function may be depressed still further. The amount of thyroid in your blood steam is precisely controlled and if you supply too much from the outside this precise control is thwarted. Also if you take too much you can cause hyperthyroidism which causes sleeping difficulty, excess sweating, elevated temperature and weight loss.

This is why it is important to start with a small dose and then the dose can be raised as necessary.  According to Dr. Barnes,

the size of the dose of thyroid will vary with the age and size of the patient. Usually a child under three years of age will not need more than one-quarter grain daily. By the age six, one half grain may be used in the beginning. A teen-ager or adult may safely be started on one grain daily. For a particularly large man or woman, two grains may be used-but no more than that at the beginning…

Thyroid therapy does not produce overnight change. No change may be noted for a month. Usually, at some point between one month and two months after the beginning of therapy, some of the symptoms begin to subside and the individual feels better. At that point, an evaluation is in order to determine whether the starting dose is sufficient for continued use or if an increase in dosage is advisable…

If symptoms have improved to some extent but have not disappeared entirely, an increase in dosage may be needed…When an increase in dosage is indicated, the amount of the increase depends upon age and size of the individual. In children, not more than one-quarter grain should be added to the initial dosage. In the teen-ager, the increment should be one-half grain. In the adult as much as one grain should be added. The new dosage should be continued for two months, at which time another evaluation should be done. If necessary, at this point, the dosage may be increased again, and again the increment is the same as the previous increment. The proper dosage is the minimum needed to relieve symptoms

Basal body temperature can serve as an excellent guide not only to the need for thyroid therapy but also to achieving the proper thyroid dosage,..When symptoms of thyroid deficiency are present, the basal temperature may be one, two ,or even three degrees below normal. With thyroid therapy, the temperature will start to rise. During treatment, it should not exceed the upper limit of normal- 98.2-unless a cold, sore throat, or other infection is present. The thyroid gland will not decrease its normal function unless the basal temperature is maintained for some time above the upper limit of normal.

Grain was not a term I was familiar with so I looked it up:[8]

- Tablets 15 mg (¼ grain)
– Tablets 30 mg (½ grain)
– Tablets 60 mg (1 grain)
– Tablets 90 mg (1½ grain)
– Tablets 120 mg (2 grain)
– Tablets 180 mg (3 grain)
– Tablets 240 mg (4 grain)
– Tablets 300 mg (5 grain)

The instructions above is one of the most simple approaches to treatment, however, there are many other approaches.  I am not going to get into all of those complications, because beyond this is gets pretty complex. However I thought I would give you a sense of it.

Some important notes: you should NOT start thyroid treatment for at least two month after a heart attack, and many people must be on treatment their whole life. Some times people make the mistake of being on treatment for a period time, getting relief from their symptoms, and then they go off the treatment, their symptoms return and they do not realize the connection.

Checkout this video:  Fix Your Thyroid Through Your Gut?

This is the book he recommended: Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?  When My Lab Tests Are Normal: A Revolutionary Breakthrough In Understanding Hashimoto’s Disease and Hypothyroidism

Checkout this Video: Treating Hypothyroidism Naturally

I hope, if you have this condition, this blog will help you identify that you have it and start the journey towards treating it. A happy deviant knows their body and helps their body function at its optimum level.

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~ by happydeviant on November 30, 2010.

4 Responses to “Check your Thyroid using a Thermometer”

  1. I really liked your post! Well said :) I also read that a bunch of the other things you’ve written (or we’ve talked) about can support your thyroid function – go kelp/seaweed, B12, and sunshine (among others) – I sound fruity, but it’s so interconnected!

  2. Great blog. I liked the videos. Many people have trouble with their thyroid and don’t know it. It’s a simple test to take your temperature in the morning to see if your thyroid is working. Try it. You might be surprised. Heidi

  3. [...] writing the blog about hypothyroidism, Check your thyroid using a Thermometer, I went out and bought the book Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?. What I discovered floored [...]

  4. Very useful information. Thank you.

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