More than 50 years ago, a doctor named Broda Barnes found that the basal (resting) body temperature is a good indicator of thyroid function.
If your thyroid gland is under active (hypothyroidism), the most common symptoms are:
- Inability to lose weight
- Dry skin
- Scalp hair loss
- Fluid retention
If, on the other hand, your thyroid gland is over active (hyperthyroidism), some of the symptoms would be:
- Accelerated heart rate
- Sudden mood swings
- Frequent bowel movements
- Sudden weight loss
- High blood pressure
- Unending sweating
- Constant hunger
- Low libido
Before going to the doctor, you can get an idea about how your thyroid is functioning with two simple home tests.
The piece of paper test
Before the basal body temperature test, an easier one you can do with a piece of paper, is as follows:
Bring your hands in front of you, with your palms facing up. Let someone put a piece of paper on them and hold the position for a couple of minutes. If your fingers begin to shake, you may have a problem with your thyroid gland. Also, your entire hand might be affected when performing voluntary movements like writing and eating.
Thyroid temperature test
- Use a mercury thermometer. Clean the thermometer with cool, soapy water. Grip the end opposite the bulb, and shake down until it reaches 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius). Place the thermometer beside your bed within easy reach, so you can pick it up while still lying down the next morning.
- The next morning, as soon as you wake up, place the thermometer in your armpit, so that the bulb is in your armpit. Make sure that there is no clothing between your armpit and the thermometer. Hold the thermometer there for 10 minutes and continue lying still.
- Write down your temperature. You must do this for 4 consecutive days.
Your temperature must be taken as soon as you wake up in the morning; before you have gotten out of bed, eaten or had anything to drink. Women should not do this while menstruating.
Do not do the test if you have an infection, injury or any other condition that can produce a mild fever.
The Normal Range
The normal axillary (armpit) body temperature for adults is:
97.7 F (36.5 C) to 98.06 F (36.7 C)
If you have failed the paper test and (or) are below or above the temperature range given above: SEE YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY.
Some tips to keep your thyroid gland healthy:
- Consume adequate high quality protein.
- Don’t consume raw vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts; as well as soy, millet, peanuts and corn. Cook these foods if you have a thyroid problem.
- An autoimmune disease causes the majority of thyroid conditions, meaning that the immune system is responsible for causing the thyroid to become over or under active. AVOID EATING GLUTEN.
- Ensure you have a healthy liver.
- Ensure your diet contains adequate levels of beneficial fatty acids.
- Minimize your exposure to heavy metals, like mercury, cadmium and lead.
- Minimize exposure to pesticides and insecticides, chemical antiperspirants, deodorants, shampoos, and soaps.
- Make sure you are not deficient in Vitamin D, selenium, iodine and zinc.
That’s it for this week; see you all next time.