Basal Body Temperature

I have always had a standard temp of 36.5C for as long as I can remember, as I have always had the luxury of not getting bitten as much by mosquitos when on holiday (they like their blood warmer, it seems). I have suspected hypothyroid for a long time, but never equated the basal temp with it.

However I have felt mush worse over the last 6 months, I thought mainly from the menopause (last period Jan 2013), but then I read about basal body temps I thought I would take readings.

During the last 2 weeks my morning temperature has not been above 36.00C! The highest it has risen during the day has been 36.3C apart from one reading of 36.8C the other afternoon. Yesterday morning it was 35.5C!!

The last thyroid tests I had were borderline, and when I went to the GP last week, I gave her a list of all the symptoms I am having, written down on a sheet of paper. I told her I have felt really bad over the last few months, and she thought it could have been the med I was taking, which I am in the process of changing.

I am due to see her in 3 weeks, to see if the new meds have made a difference (Duloxetine changed to fluoxetine).

Does anyone use the basal body temperature in their treatment program, and is it still considered useful? I have seen conflicting reports?

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17 Replies

  • Yep Glenys, Basal temps. 34.0-35.5 usually. I have been recording temps,pulse and blood pressure three times a day. I do this perhaps one week in four prior to GP/endo. visits. Sometimes they take notice.xx

  • It is very common during the transition to become hypothyroid. Do you prefer treating your depression or anxiety rather than your thyroid? I don't think they have come up with anything better to test metabolic rate. Dr. Rind has this chart including a temperature gauge:

  • HI Heloise. Just had a look at this. It looks interesting - going to get the graph paper out :-) It might also give me an incentive to do things like getting out of bed at a regular time so I can get more meaningful results. Thanx :-)

  • This condition is not easy. In fact, it takes so much detective work, I don't think doctors have any incentive to "rule in and rule out" symptoms; they prefer one big bucket to throw medication at. I almost gave you this link before and since you seem motivated right now to learn, I think this doctor adds good information as to why so many people suffer with this. This 1st in the series shows multiple causes of low thyroid. Female hormones or even male hormones are discussed in other short videos.

  • Fluoxetine contains fluoride which will affect the thyroid even more and suppress activity. Fluoride was given to patients in the past for Hyper Activity - to suppress. Taking SSRI's may also skew your thyroid test results.

    I do believe that the Broda Barnes Basal Temperature test is valid as a diagnostic tool both for diagnosing in the beginning and for checking to see if you are being treated optimally. Mine is still low :-(

  • Marz! Hi! Bloomin ell! You got to be kidding :-( about the fluoxetine. I have moved to it as the duloxetine only helped the anxiety and not the pain. I have had fluoxetine on a number of occasions, so this could have been one of the aggrevations in the past. I moved across as fluoxetine is easier to wean off that duloxetine, and have mixed the two over the last 3 weeks so I don't get withdrawal. I'll look into that asap, thanks for informing me Marz!

  • This made me laugh (ironically). This person is trying to defend Prozac in a very unconvincing way!

  • I have worked out that although it is no "Flouride" as we know it, there is still an effect on the thyroid, and found this link

  • Anxiety was a big hypo symptom for me.

  • I want to get the thyroid treated rather than the anxiety, but for years I have been having borderline TSH tests, and around 8 years ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. That was the end of the road on the thyroid as far as the GPs are concerned. Even though none of them really believe in fibro that much, it gives them an excuse to treat what they think are the symptoms of that condition, than spend time trying to find out what else it is.

    Next month I will see the same GP as last time, and will ask her what she can do as far as thyroid is concerned. I have written to the labs at my hospital to ask them which consultants are honoured with requests for T3 testing, so I can be referred through them.

    I might end up having to eductate the GP if she only throws back TSH and T4 back at me.

  • Yes I agree with you that sorting out the thyroid is SO important ! Am sure you have read all the posts here as to how so many people have described their depression. If you are still struggling for a diagnosis - have you had your anti-bodies tested ? - think I mentioned them in the thread of your post a month ago. If you have them then you are on track to a diagnosis and a possible explanation of the fibro ( ? )

    Thyroid Testing came into being in the early 70's - at about the same time that the drug companies began to shout loudly about Levo and it's benefits of being consistent and the Pig Thyroid wasn't. When people changed over they were not on adequate doses and still had or produced endless symptoms. People were being diagnosed only by the TSH - and so remained untreated. With all these people suffering in the States and not being able to claim on Insurance when they couldn't work - they came up with Fibro - and a diagnostic tool of painful points - so they could have a confirmed condition....

    Did you read up on all the posts by shaws concerning LOW T3 ....or listen to the video of Dr Lowe on ....all these things may well help your resolve. Did you consider the Private Testing ? The private labs use the same labs as the NHS so your GP would have to acknowledge them....

    Glad you did your research on the AD - sorry if I misled you - but I guess the small component of the fluoride is enough.... :-) I still go with the LOW T3 though - the brain has the biggest demand for T3 and if it's low then it is understandable when things do not work well.

    Borderline - your results may be - but unless you have a base line done when you were well - how the hell do they know they are borderline. We are all individuals and our hormones vary so much. ALL my TFT's were in range but the Anti-bodies were high - so Hashimotos was diagnosed as the scan revealed nodes too. Have you had a scan ?

    Keep on going....

  • Thanks I'll look at this again. My memory is really rubbish, but I am going to request the Antibody test and my reasons behind it on my next visit to the GP in a few weeks, and see how it goes. Hopefully I will have a reply from my letter to the labs so I can explain to the GP why my last few requests for T3 haven't been honoured, and take along a copy of the Thyroid UK papers that they suggest I should take about Hashimotos.

  • Hi Glenys - I agree with Marz

    do you have your 'borderline' blood test results? - post here for folk to comment.

    (you can ask for a print-out - you have the right to your results- all your medical records actually, Data protection act I think - click on my profile or

    You say "helped the anxiety and not the pain." - that's fibro pain? I've lost count of the times I've been offered ADs - for tremor, palps, muscle pain, insomnia (daughter to gain weight) - what a wonderful invention! THEN I apparently got CFS/ME after half a thyroid out) & read a bit - various joint/muscle pain eased after supplementing VitD (ask your GP for a test & some others whilst he/she's at it - ferritin folate B12).

    I have several friends with ME/CFS - 1 has improved significantly with VitD & B12 - others happy with diagnosis. Jane :D

  • Hi Spare ribs :-) Thanks for nudging me with the results I forgot to include those, sorry.

    Here goes :-)

    TSH 3.0. T4 11. Tests done a few years ago, though, and have only just twigged how it all works.

    Vit D very low last year - now on supplements, but feel no different.

    Got told off for taking Vit B12 supplements as I have been taking them for around 5 years and notice problems with my cognition when I don't take them, and she said my levels were high, and maybe I didn't need them (so I ignored her and still take them).

    I have a printout of my GP records from my 2nd birthday till last November (lots are missing from the 1980s), and have been collating it all into some kind of order - have just applied for my hospital records only this week :-)

    I took the duloxetine because someone told me it was the be all and end all of Fibro treatment - I had to inform the GP about it myself because she wouldn't let me go to the pain clinic (saying there was nothing they could do that the GP couldn't...). The duloxetine just made me very tired and I believe has had an effect on the thyroid, but can't prove it because I am also going through the menopause (finished last month) and they had to be held to ransom for a lower abdo scan, and still wont give me the menopause test to see if thats what it really was (as my periods stopped abruptly and have heard this can happen if your thyroid is off kinter?)

    Anyhow....I have given another GP a written list of all my symptoms - which are the exact same symptoms as Low Thyroid, which she read and put to one side (presumably to be scanned into my notes) and told me to come back in a month when the fluoxetine has kicked in.

    I went to my occupational health dept to see a doctor there who has recommended that I go for more CBT. I am at disiplinary stage at work through sickness absence (4 x1 day absences last year, can you believe it??) and have to see Occi health to check I am fit for work.

    So here I am the nutcase with fibro who thinks she can tell the doctors what to do!! (well that is what it feels like).

    I hope that gives you a little more background to work on and isn't too much of a rant

    Thanks :-)


  • Sorry I've not replied sooner - storms, power cuts et al! btw that wasn't a rant....!

    Well done you for getting your records! That TSH is high at 3 & FT4 low, if it is the 'free' sort (but please give ranges as these can be very different from lab to lab).- have you had a test lately?

    What Vit D supplements are you on? perhaps they're not strong enough - even an Egyptian holiday did nothing for me!

    where have I heard a PBC connection?

    Anyway B12 is water soluble & merely gets excreted. Only problem in taking certain vitamins/minerals is it can throw others out - B complex or multivits maybe?

    I was prescribed ADs (Amitriptyline) to relax spazed muscles (but found Vit D did that anyway) & fluoride was used to treat HyperT (Merck index 1968).

    On 'Disciplinary' for 4 x1 day absences is unbelievably awful! don't forget the OH are paid by the employer, have you a diagnosis of HypoThyroid? this could help

    NHS employer??

    I'm sorry I have no answers, just support Jane :D

    (regarding the basal temp test - have you read Broda Barnes book, he says sometimes he couldn't distinguish between Hyper and Hypo except by temperature - sadly GPs don't seem to go by signs & symptoms anymore, just blood tests :( )

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