The Importantance of Body Temperature

The Importantance of Body Temperature

Many doctors use body temperature to help assess thyroid function. Many doctors also disregard low body temperature. It’s important to educate yourself on the importance of body temperature. Patients can learn much about their well being simply from track body temperature correctly and regularly. For me, tracking body temp is the cheapest, easiest way to know that my thyroid medicine is working.

According to Dr. Broda Barnes (1), measuring basal body temperature is the most accurate testing method. He explains that a temperature below 97.8 indicates Hypothyroidism, a temperature above 98.2 indicates hyperthyroidism. In addition, when treatment is given for hypothyroidism the body temperature test can be used to monitor the treatment. As low temperatures rise to 98.2, hypothyroid symptoms will disappear.

Dr. Barnes also said “more information can often be brought to the physician with an ordinary thermometer than with all other thyroid test combined”.

Body temperature is such a simple idea. Before getting thyroid treatment my body temperature was very low. At its worst, my temperature was 95.5 degrees. And no this is not normal! Over the years I asked doctors about my low body temperature but was told it was fine. Little did they I was not fine. I felt awful and low body temperature was part of the reason.

How Temperature Effects the Body

What happens when body temperature goes above 98.4-98.6 degrees? We have a fever and typically feel awful. The higher the temperature, the worse we feel. If high temperature doesn’t feel good, consider what happens when body temperature is below normal? It seems logical that we would also feel bad with low body temperature. Patients report feeling tired, sluggish, foggy, cold, and all the other hypothyroid symptoms.

Many patients, myself included, have been told by doctors that low body temperature is fine. But this is not true. Low body temperature can be a very clear sign of hypothyroidism and is the first step in diagnosis.

How to Track Body Temperature

Here are  simple instructions from Broda Barnes…. Men, children, and woman (who are past menopause) can take this test anytime. Women who are still in child-bearing years should track temperature on the second or third day of their period. 

  • Preferably use a glass thermometer orally, under the tongue. These are most accurate.
  • Shake down the thermometer the night before, and place on your night table. Take temperature first thing in the morning before getting out of bed
  • Record your temperature (use this nice PDF chart from the Wolfe Clinic).
  • Repeat for several days to see if the temperature changes. Keep in mind, a big fluctuation is common and could be a sign of adrenal fatigue! One day the temperature might be 97.8 and then next 97.0, this is important information.
  • According to Dr. Barnes the morning (basal) temperature should average 97.8 to 98.2 to indicate normal thyroid function.
  • Taking afternoon temperature is also important. Take temperature again at 2-3pm and track results.
  • A normal afternoon temperature range is 98.4-98.6.

Understanding Body Temperature

Dr. Broda Barnes and Dr. James Wilson explain how to test thyroid and adrenals through body temperature precisely. Checking your body temp at 3pm when the body is at it’s warmest will give you quick insight. Here is a chart explaining what body temperatures could mean:

Body temperature is important for diagnosing and treating hypothyroidism.

If you have low body temperature take these results to your doctor! If your doctor doesn’t believe in the body temperature thyroid connection find another doctor.

 

Miss LizzyThe Importantance of Body Temperature
Children Can Have Hypothyroidism with Normal TSH

Children Can Have Hypothyroidism with Normal TSH

Just like adults, children can have hypothyroidism with normal TSH.

When my son Jack was nine years old I realized that his struggle with weight gain, inability to focus at school, and low energy may be caused by hypothyroidism. That it wasn’t just a matter of just eat less, pay more attention, and try to exercise more. Looking into his eyes, Jack had the dull flat look of hypothyroidism. I know this look all too well.

Weight Gain is a Clue to Hypothyroidism

In an effort to slow the weight gain, my son tried my diet of no grain, no flour and minimal sugar. He was a real trouper about this very limited meal plan. As an example for breakfast he would eat eggs, potatoes and lettuce. For lunch, he had smoothies made with frozen fruit, chocolate and stevia for sweetener. For dinner, he would have a hamburger without a bun. While the diet was limited, I tried to make the meals fun and satisfying for Jack.

Most normal people on this kind of diet would lose weight. But not Jack. Difficulty loosing weight makes hypothyroidism so frustrating. Even when we eat a very healthy diet, weight loss can be almost impossible. However, by doing this paleo-like diet, it helped me realize that Jack didn’t have an issue eating too much. He had  underlying hypothyroidism. Until we solved the hypothyroidism, weight loss was going to be hard.

When Doctors Misdiagnose Because of TSH

In the past Jack’s primary care doctor said his TSH labs were normal, therefore he didn’t have hypothyroidism. The doctor never told me the actual TSH result, and they didn’t run any other tests. At the time, I accepted the normal diagnosis even though I should have known better.

However, with the weight gain issues and other hypothyroid symptoms, I knew that patients can have hypothyroidism with normal TSH. Rather than try to debate the thyroid results with Jack’s primary care, instead I took Jack to the doctor who helped me with hypothyroidism, Dr. Brummer.

Dr. Brummer ran a full panel of tests for Jack. Even though we don’t rely upon TSH, Dr. Brummer said Jack’s TSH was a 6. He said this was the very high end of a normal range, whereas a range of 2.5 is more normal. Finally we had a diagnosis that made sense.

As a mom, it was heartbreaking to watch my child gain weight uncontrollably and have low energy. When other kids played at recess he would sit on the sidelines because he didn’t have the stamina to keep up.

Hypothyroidism Treatment for Children 

Just like adults, children can be treated for hypothyroidism with medicine. Dr. Brummer agreed to prescribe natural desiccated thyroid medicine for Jack, know that we preferred NDT over T4 only medicine like Synthroid.

Since starting natural desiccated thyroid medicine for hypothyroidism, Jack’s health, well being and childhood is so much better. Now he is better able to manage his weight on a normal, non-restricted diet. He said he now has energy to play at recess and enjoys keeping up with the other children.

 

 

 

Miss LizzyChildren Can Have Hypothyroidism with Normal TSH
High Cholesterol & Hypothyroidism

High Cholesterol & Hypothyroidism

For many people with high cholesterol the underlying issue may actually be hypothyroidism. Rather than diagnosing and treating the hypothyroidism, many people are told they simply need to eat healthier, exercise more and take medicine to lower their cholesterol.

What’s worse is that sometimes doctors make us feel bad, like we must be fat, unhealthy people who have no control over ourselves when in fact it could be low thyroid.

 When the thyroid slows down (hypothyroidism), it also slows down the body’s ability to process cholesterol.
– Heather M. Ross, About.com

Certainly eating healthier and exercising are good, but cholesterol medicines (statins) have some scary side effects. But even more important, properly treating hypothyroidism could result in naturally lowering cholesterol, like it did for me and many others. On Stop the Thyroid Madness read people’s stories about how they lowered their cholesterol, not through statins, but through the right combination of desiccate thyroid medicine and other treatments.

When I was 18 years old, a doctor told me I had high cholesterol but no one made the connection to hypothyroidism. At that time in my life I was about 15lbs overweight. The doctor made me feel like I was fat and unhealthy, so I was therefore to blame for having high cholesterol at such a young age.

Now at age 41, on proper thyroid treatment my cholesterol is completely normal and healthy. Like me, if you have high cholesterol as a result of hypothyroidism learn more about thyroid symptoms, understanding thyroid lab work (even when the results say you are normal), and finding and good doctor:

 

Miss LizzyHigh Cholesterol & Hypothyroidism
Blood Pressure & Hypothyroidism

Blood Pressure & Hypothyroidism

According to the Stop the Thyroid Madness , blood pressure and Hypothyroidism can go hand-in-hand.

Apparently, it is common to have low blood pressure due to thyroid disease or being treated with T4-only medicines like Levoxyl, Synthroid, Extroxin, etc…

If untreated or treated with these T4-only medicine, low blood pressure can take an ugly turn into high blood pressure. Learn more. For some people, the root of solving blood pressure problems can be found in good thyroid treatment.

Before being treated for Hypothyroidism I had low blood pressure. On the Mayo Clinic website, the symptoms of low blood pressure can include:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Lack of concentration
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Cold, clammy, pale skin
  • Rapid, or shallow breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Depressions
  • Thirst

For years I experienced many of the symptoms noted above. Especially lightheadedness or a woozy feeling when I stood up too quickly (or inverted like a in the yoga pose downward dog, lack of concentration for everyday tasks (my brain and thinking felt soft and foggy), overall fatigue and low energy, a low grade depression.

Sometimes we become so accustomed to symptoms we believe it’s “normal”. After being treated for Hypothyroidism with Natural Dessicated Thyroid medicine (and Iodine for me personally) these symptoms all cleared up and my blood pressure became normal!!

Treatment for Blood Pressure

According to Janie Bowthorp, of Stop the Thyroid Madness, common treatment for hypothyroidism symptoms (including blood pressure) include:

  • Iodine (if one is Iodine deficient)
  • Natural Desiccated Thyroid Medicine

Symptoms are removed, lives are returned to being active, moods are improved as is one’s entire health and well-being.

 

J.CROW’S® Lugol’s Solution of Iodine 5%
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Miss LizzyBlood Pressure & Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroid Before and After Video

Hypothyroid Before and After Video

Hi everyone!! Last week I found the most amazing photo of myself at age 29… before treatment for hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue!! This before photo is so hard to look at but I think it helps show my journey. About six years ago I threw away almost all my pre-treatment photos because they were so upsetting. Before treatment I was overweight, and this photo wasn’t the worst of it! I was so tired I didn’t have energy to care about work, exercise, home, doing my hair, makeup, or nails. All those fun things being a girl were just too exhausting. Watch my video to hear the whole story! Miss Lizzy!

Miss LizzyHypothyroid Before and After Video
Boost Thyroid Medicine in Winter

Boost Thyroid Medicine in Winter

Here is my new video about Hypothyroidism and the winter blues on Youtube!

REPOST FROM FEB 2011

Here it is March 2014 and I am thinking “Wow, I’ve been feeling kind of blue lately.” It’s the yearly seasonal thyroid drop, which always happens around early March and goes until May. Late winter through early spring can be hard for those of us with hypothyroidism. Even when we are on good thyroid medicine! It reminded me of my blog post from last year on this exact topic. Sheesh, even I have a hard time seeing my own symptoms!

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This time of year is always tough for me. The days are getting longer, there is more light and I feel like I should be feeling great. But sure enough, I feel the low-grade depression sneaking up on me again. It usually sets in just before the forsythia bloom (so early March here in New England). When I finally got treatment for hypothyroidism I learned this depression is actually low thyroid!

Apparently thyroid function drops in the late winter/early spring months which creates a low-grade depression for many of us. It feels like SAD (seasonal affective disorder), general depression, or just a heaviness. I know it’s not SAD because I still have it even when I get plenty of sunlight. And I know it’s not traditional depression because it lasts only a few months, and it’s always around this time of year.

So this is a reminder… to help get through the winter blues many of us need to increase our thyroid medicine about 1/4 pill just for a few months. (I might add, who wants to take anti-depressants and gain weight?!) For me the depression starts around now and sometimes lasts through May. When I start to feel light and buoyant again I know I can ease back to my normal dose of thyroid medicine.

 

 

Miss LizzyBoost Thyroid Medicine in Winter
Exercise and Hypothyroidism

Exercise and Hypothyroidism

Determined? Absolutely. This is me at Crossfit where we climb ropes, run, row, lift heavy barbells. A one mile run is often just the warm up. Ten years ago, a one mile run would have landed me in bed for days. Imagine the difference in my life!

Yesterday I reached an exciting milestone. After a year at CrossFit, something I never would have imagined possible before hypothyroid and adrenal treatment, I did my very first unassisted pull-up. Hanging from the bar, full dead-weight, unassisted pull-up. It was so exciting. The most important part is what went through my head:

I WANT IT!!

These words are the single most powerful phrase in my life. Until that moment, I only kind-of wanted the pull-up. I hadn’t actually told my mind that I really wanted it. Saying these words propelled me up, giving me a deep source of power I didn’t realize was inside. Accessing this power feels incredible.

That’s what the thyroid journey has taught me. How to stay determined, persevere through the hardest of times with effort and intention. During the early days of treatment, when I had lower energy I was kind to myself. On the days when I had more energy I would tackle anything I could to help improve my health. Step by step I found my way to health and vitality.

Now I have mostly great days with endurance and energy. However, I would never try this kind of exercise until I had fully healed my thyroid and adrenal issues. First, heal the body. Be patient.

I hope my journey inspires you to keep your spirits high, celebrate every milestone especially the small ones like this, and stay determined.

 

Miss LizzyExercise and Hypothyroidism
Candida & Hypothyroidism

Candida & Hypothyroidism

Are your carb cravings out of control? Do you have allergies or sinus headaches which don’t respond to treatment? Recurring infections like colds, ear aches or sinus infections?

Do you have symptoms of IBS, flatulence, bad breath or acid reflux? Or mental emotional difficulties like attention deficit, depression, irritibility, poor memory? Or perhaps have cold hands, cold feet or a cold nose?

If you’ve been getting thyroid treatment but still these and other health issues which won’t go away, its possible you might have another condition called Candida. Thyroid and Candida problems are direclty related and both may need treatment.

Most commonly we hear about Candida in the form of yeast infections of the genital area, but less commonly discussed is Candida’s affect on the whole body. Here is my experience with Candida…

Yeast in Unexpected Places

After I was on thyroid treatment for over a year, even though I felt a lot better in general, I still experienced low energy and lethargy, frequent sinus headaches, sinus infections, post nasal drip, chest congestion, wheezing, irritability and other symptoms.

Also I experienced a painful, red, itching, burning rash on the corners of my mouth, and the inside of my elbows. Over the years I had asked doctors and dermatologists about this rash but they didn’t have a diagnosis.

When I explained the symptom to Dr. Brummer, my super awesome doctor, he was the first one to suggest it might be “Thrush” or Candida, more commonly known as yeast overgrowth. I never had yeast infections in my girl parts, but he explained that yeast is throughout our bodies and when the body is out of balance the yeast can overgrow and cause many health problems.

Also Dr. Brummer asked about, ahem, my bowel movements. On a side note, bowel movements are a really important indicator of body health. More on that later. Anyway, I explained that some days I was very constipated (which is part of low thyroid) and other days I would have very loose stinky bowel movements (sorry TMI, but its important).

Dr. Brummer explained that the bowel movement problems and smell could definitely be Candida. Candida lives in the intestines so it can cause bad gas as well as bad breath. In fact, people who have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) may in fact be battling Candida.

How Yeast Grows

As noted on Overcomingcandida.com, the primary factor for yeast overgrowth is the use of antibiotics, especially over a period of time with repeated uses. The antibiotics destroy bacteria allowing the yeast to grow. In women, its common knowledge that antibiotics can cause vaginal yeast infections.

But what if the yeast infection wasn’t just in the girl parts? What if the yeast overgrowth was in the entire body? And what if it affected men the same way? That’s exactly what happened to me.

Yeast also feeds off of simple carbohydrates like sugar, grain, rice, potatoes, and alcohol. I always felt pretty awful after eating simple carbohydrates but never knew why. It happened because the yeast would make me crave carbs, then it would feed off the carbs, causing a yeast bloom which caused the various symptoms like sinus infections, thrush, flatulence and more.

So in addition to having yeast on my mouth and skin, I believe it was in my lungs, intestines, and also in my sinuses.

Allergies, Sinus Infections or Candida

For twenty years I had terrible sinus headaches and sinus infections. I would get sinus infections with a bad fever and chillsat least four to five times a year. Each time the doctor would give me antibiotics. When the antibiotics stopped working, they would put me on 3 week cycles of antibiotics. I was on antibiotics for years.

Over time, I believe, low thyroid and antibiotics led to Candida overgrowth in my body, and especially in my sinuses. Without knowing about the Candida connection, doctors continued to prescribe antibiotics for sinus problems when in fact the antibiotics were a big part of the problem!

The Candida Thyroid Connection

On Stop the Thyroid Madness, Mary shares her story of being undiagnosed hypothyroid and developing Candida. Eventually someone on the Yahoo Thyroid group explained told Mary:

Hypothyroidism causes low body temps which allows fungal overgrowth. Get the temps up and the fungal/yeast will have nowhere to live.”

Some research even indicates that Hypothyroidism can be caused by Candida. Either way, there is a clear connection between Hypothyroidism and Candida.

Candida Symptoms

Here is a full list of Candida Symtpoms.

Treating Candida

If this sounds like you, there are treatment options for Candida. I will write a follow-up post with detailed treatment instructions.

More Resources

To learn more about Candida visit these websites:

Candida in the Sinuses

Curezone Candida Discussion

Candida Thyroid Connection

Miss LizzyCandida & Hypothyroidism

Latest Update on My Medicine for Hypothyroid and Adrenal Fatigue

Hi my friends,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about my medicine, and it’s been an interesting year! So I wanted to share what I’ve learned. First, I want to say wow – it’s all a big experiment! And that’s tough sometimes because I want the answer right now. But the only way to learn is try, test, observe and somehow be patient along the way. So my dear friends, keep at it and you will find answers too. Here is my medicine and general update…

Update on Thyroid Medicine

For a year I have been on the Thyroid compound prescription I special order from Collier’s Pharmacy (details below) in Arkansas. I continue to love it. On the new compound medicine, I take 180mgs day which seems like the right dose for me. On Naturthroid, when I raised above 130mgs I had super freaky hyper and hypo symtpoms. Yet on the compound I can take 180mg beautifully. Weird, isn’t it? So I am super happy to report feeling great now though on the compound. We affectionality call it “The Miss Lizzy Compound” — you can ask for it by name at Colliers. Neat.

Update on Hydrocortisone

The other super big change…I weaned off Hydrocortisone! This was a huge step. I started Hydrocortisone three years ago to help with low cortisol and adrenal fatigue. And Hydrocortisone definitely helped me. But I was always a little worried that the Hydrocortisone was causing some weight gain, and perhaps had something to do with hair loss, though I wasn’t totally sure. This summer I decided it was time to try weaning off Hydrocortisone. Here is what I did:

  1. On STTM Janie felt she had avoided adrenal fatigue because of the high doses of Vitamin C she took daily. So I increased my Vitamin C to 2k mgs a day along with 1k mg Bioflavonoid (per Dr. Wilson’s suggestion). And btw — chewable vitamins really make it much more fun!
  2. I started the process of decreasing my Hydrocortisone by 2.5mgs a week.
  3. If I was stressed during the process, I would hold the dose, and then continue when I felt ready. The idea was to take care of my body and not cause shock.
  4. If had I felt any adrenal fatigue symptoms, I would have stayed on the Hydrocortisone but luckily it seems my adrenals are really well healed now! YAY!!!

It took about 3 months to fully wean off the Hydrocortisone (long time, I know!). And I happy to report, I feel great. It was definitely worth it for me to be on the Hydrocortisone but it was time to try without. It’s been two full months, and so far I seem to be keeping my weight down with greater easily. Over the coming months I will be observing weight gain/loss and hair volume/regrowth to see if the Hydrocortisone might have be related. And of course I will share what I learn!

xxoo

Lizzy

~~~~

Here is the info for Collier’s. The pharmacist Rodney at Colliers is SO awesome. He gave us his direct phone extension for ordering the compound (479) 935-4336. Ask for “The Miss Lizzy Compound” and he will hook you up. (A doctor’s prescription is of course needed and he can explain what to do.)

Miss LizzyLatest Update on My Medicine for Hypothyroid and Adrenal Fatigue

The Skinny Girls at the Gym…

Or, why exercise is hard with Hypothyroidism or Adrenal Fatique

My entire life exercise was nearly impossible. In high school, I joined the track team but realized running was way too exhausting, so I did the shot-put instead (three steps, toss, and you’re done).  I desperately wanted to do sports but I couldn’t keep up with the others girls. No, no, this isn’t a sob story about me.  Like me, I think there are just lots of girls out there who have hypothyroidism & adrenal fatique and want to know how the skinny girls do it?

When I say “any kind of exercise completely wore me out” I really mean that. And not the usual “I’m tired, but I feel good” kind of workout. This was an “I’m tired, I feel like hell” kind of feeling.  For me this meant:

  • My muscles would be sore for 4-5 days (not the normal 1-2).
  • I would feel nausea, even flu-like aches and pains.
  • My face would turn bright red during exercise.
  • Exercising two days in a row was impossible.
  • And oftentimes I would get so hypoglycemicfrom exercise that I would crash for hours afterward.
  • To make matters worse, I would never lose weight from exercise!

Around the time I started treatment for Hypothyroidism, I also started an amazing, really athletic yoga class. But it was so frustrating watching the 50-year-old ladies hold a downward dog longer than me. My arms literally couldn’t support me (from what I hear arm strength and endurance are common Hypothyroid problems).

As the Thyroid medicine started working, I noticed I was able to do more in yoga class.  Everything started to improve; my strength, endurance, recovery time. So that’s how the skinny girls at the gym did it! They didn’t have Thyroid problems.

But there’s more… two years into Hypothyroid treatment, I found out about Adrenal Fatique (a condition linked with Hypothyroidism, which also shares many common symptoms).  When I started treatment for Adrenal Fatique something incredible happened for the first time in my life.  I wanted to run. Literally, I wanted to strap on my sneakers and just run. So I did. And guess what? I ran and I didn’t want to stop. And I didn’t get sick. My muscle recovery was less than a day. Can you say shocking? Omg, yes, it was for me too!

These days in yoga I am one of the strongest in the class.  I know, I know, yoga is not about being competitive (Ohm…) I only share this detail as a point of reference for before and after.  It’s amazing to go from unable to lift a finger, to doing handstands, running 3 miles and feeling great.  Now I can exercise every day, sometimes for hours, with little or no recovery problems.

All those years I thought I was just lazy (insert sigh). But, hey, I am glad I know, which is why I share my story with you. To all the girls out there who are exercising, not losing weight, feeling physically terrible and frustrated like me, now you know my secret (or at least one possible explanation for how the skinny girls do it).

XXOO

~Lizzy

 

Please note: not all overweight people are Hypothyroid. I have to follow a very specific eating plan, the HypoT Girl’s Diet, which I created just for me. But if Hypothryoidism is an issue, like it was for me, losing weight was almost impossible without treatment.

 

Miss LizzyThe Skinny Girls at the Gym…