What Can Basal Temperature Testing Tell You About Your Thyroid Health?

You may already know your thyroid hormones regulate your body temperature at a basic cell level. It’s why one of the key symptoms of hypothyroidism is feeling cold all the time. For this reason basal temperature testing is a simple, and reliable way to check thyroid health.

Basal temperature testing measures your core body temperature on waking. A lower than normal body temperature is a strong indicator your thyroid is functioning well below par.

It’s Common To Feel Cold All The Time When your Thyroid Is Low

The body operates best within a very narrow temperature range. In fact, the normal resting body temperature of an adult is generally 37 degrees Celsius, or 98.6 Fahrenheit.

A slight difference, even a degree cooler, can make a significant impact on how well your body operates. Your body performs best when it’s not too cold, and not too hot.

Enzymes, hormones, vitamins and minerals achieve peak function when your body temperature is between 36.5 – 37.5 degrees Celsius. That’s 97.8 – 99.8 degrees Fahrenheit.

How To Perform Basal Temperature Testing

One of the biggest advantages of basal temperature testing is that it’s non-invasive. It’s not a blood test!

All that is required is a good quality digital thermometer. Here are my step by step instructions to help you perform basal temperature testing at home:

Take your temperature as soon as you wake up, and before you get out of bed

Basal temperature testing must be done first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. It’s therefore a good idea to place a digital thermometer on your bedside table, on the side of the bed that you sleep on before going to sleep. By keeping it close at hand it’s easier to grab in the morning. As soon as you wake up, and before you rise place the thermometer in your mouth. It is important to make as little movement as possible. For this reason, lying still with your eyes closed works well.

Don’t get up until you have a temperature reading

Leave the thermometer under your tongue until it beeps, or for the length of time suggested in the instructions. Read and record the temperature and date.

Perform this test on at least five mornings before you get out of bed

It is best to do this test around the same time each morning. Once you have the results these can be averaged out since your temperature may vary slightly day by day.

Menstruating women should avoid doing this test around the middle of their cycle

Your body temperature naturally rises at ovulation which occurs mid-cycle.

Men and non-menstruating women can perform the test at any time when they are feeling well

There is one consideration for both men and women. It is usual to experience temperature variations if you have an active infection. For example; do not do this test if you have the flu.

What Does It Mean When Your Basal Temperature Is Low?

The thyroid hormones control metabolic activity within the body. Therefore, if your temperature is consistently low it’s likely you are experiencing thyroid dysfunction.

I therefore recommend you discuss your findings with your healthcare practitioner. Your basal temperature readings should be considered along with the low thyroid symptoms that you are experiencing.

Most health practitioners do not rely on basal temperature testing as a stand-alone diagnostic method. Therefore, the next step is to perform comprehensive testing, and a physical examination of your thyroid. There are five thyroid blood tests that you should discuss with your healthcare practitioner. I list these tests here: The Top 5 Thyroid Tests? Discover The Best Tests To Discuss With Your Doctor.


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