You measure your temperature and you notice it’s lower than 98.2F. You measure it the next day and it’s low again. This happened to me several years ago before my hypothyroidism diagnosis. I was feeling kind of sick so I took my temperature – it was 97.8F. That’s unusual, I thought, usually when I’m sick I get feverish, and my temperature goes up, not down. Other times I’d get really hot and then the next minute I’d be freezing cold, I mean shivering, and that’s when the room temperature around me was normal. Little did I know that my low temperature was caused by a much serious condition but at the time I was oblivious.
Low Body Temperature – Causes and Symptoms, and Possible Hypothyroidism
If you notice that your temperature measures low consistently you may be suffering from hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormones have a direct effect on the basal, or resting, metabolic rate.
One of the simplest ways to check whether you may be suffering from hypothyroidism is to take your temperature and pulse in the morning, immediately after you wake up. For the most accurate results when taking your morning temperature, keep a thermometer by your bedside and take your temperature before getting out of bed or even moving much. Write down the readings for 3-5 consecutive days. Women who have their period should not be testing on the first five days of their period but can begin on day 5. Everyone else can test any time of the month.
A morning temperature of below 97.8°F (36.5°C) is highly indicative of hypothyroidism. However, your morning temperature is not always the best indicator of hypothyroidism; when the air around you is warm, your thyroid doesn‘t have to work that hard to maintain normal body temperature of between 97.8 and 98.2F, that‘s why the results would be more accurate if you take your pulse into consideration as well.
Having very low pulse rates is common for patients suffering from hypothyroidism. But when patients take a thyroid supplement, their pulse rates generally return to normal. The average resting heart rate of a healthy person is around 85 beats per minute. 70 beats per minute or less could be a sign of hypothyroidism. I measured my pulse one day and it was 50 That was awhile ago though, before I started my hypothyroidism treatment plan so now it’s back to normal.
So, by taking into account your morning temperature and pulse rate together, you get more accurate results than with morning temperature alone.
Hypoglycemic patients should measure their temperature and pulse after eating breakfast because as their blood sugar drops overnight, their adrenaline rises, which in turn raises their core temperature and increase pulse rate, giving you false measurements in the morning.
Keep in mind that using basal body temperature can’t be the only thing you rely on to determine whether you have hypothyroidism or not, but it can give you an idea that there might be something wrong. Taking your temperature should be a part of an overall approach in the diagnosing of thyroid disease or another condition.
There are also other possible reasons why you may have low body temperature, some of which include:
- Adrenal problems
- Anemia or Porphyria
- Hepatitis C
- High exposure to carbon monoxide
- Infection caused by parasites or worms
- Kidney diseases
- Liver diseases
- Poisoning by mercury or other heavy metals
- Sleep disorders
- Excessive and prolonged use of antipyretics
- Alcohol and drug abuse
Another reason for low body temperature could be ovulation. During ovulation women may experience some changes in body temperature and these are perfectly normal. Some women may have higher than normal temperature and others – lower. This is not a reason for concern, and in a short time the temperature will go back to normal.
In addition to feeling cold you may experience other symptoms of low body temperature, such as:
- Lack of coordination
- Low heartbeat
- Irregular heartbeat
Remember, sometimes fluctuations in body temperature are normal but if you experience low body temperature consistently , you should visit your doctor for further evaluation.
I have a lot more information on hypothyroidism diagnosis, hypothyroidism treatment and natural hypothyroidism remedies in my book “Overcoming Hypothyroidism: The Ultimate Guide to Recovery“