Colder than a dead body

I First noticed that my flesh was unusually cold after waking in the night on a hot summer night about 9 years ago. Been referred to 2 different endocrine departments in the meantime whilst the low temperature has worsened. Freezing hands, feet, ears, nostrils (!) , eyelids and buttocks.

Results from endocrine 'normal' other than a consistently low white blood cell count. Discharged .

Any thoughts or ideas welcomed

39 Replies

  • Do you've got your results? Was your ferritin checked?

  • In not sure, but what would that indicate please?

  • Ferritin has to do with the iron storage in your body. If this is low or you have a deficiency you could get anemia. This causes symptoms like fatigue, cold body, pale skin, and a lot of other symptoms.

    Do you have your blood results? If you post them here with the ranges we can help you better.

  • Thank you I will do that

  • What kind of diet do you eat?

  • Protein heavy to be honest, would that have a bearing on this condition?

  • I went gluten-free in early January this year. My basal body temperature has risen from 35.6C (96.2F) to 36.5C (97.8F) - and I'm not ill (with a virus or anything like that). I can't believe this is just a coincidence.

    Something which helped my perception of how warm I felt (rather than my actual body temperature) was fixing my iron-deficiency anaemia.

    Edit : I've had a very low basal body temperature for at least 30 years.

  • That is very interesting, I have just started measuring my temperature in the mornings with a traditional mercury thermometer and it looks as though it says 34.5c, is there a thermometer that gives a digital readout and recognised as accurate please advise

  • If you have access to an old-fashioned mercury thermometer it is the best kind. I always use one, measuring under my tongue.

    I don't use a digital thermometer, so can't recommend one, sorry.

  • Would you tell me please where to purchase mercury thermometer? - thanks

  • You can no longer purchase mercury thermometers in the UK.

    The manufacture of mercury thermometers and their disposal (whether by breakage or in with the refuse or even properly handled) causes mercury contamination. Breakage during use is a danger to the person using it. Therefore, they have been banned for normal use, though there might be some specialised scientific use which is allowed?

  • Thanks for taking the trouble to reply. Think I knew what the answer would be but one always hopes.

  • I don't think they can be bought any more in the UK. The one I have is over 30 years old. I am always terrified I will break it.

    Many countries (including the UK) have banned the sale of mercury thermometers :

    You could try Ebay.

    Edit: Helvella posted while I was composing this. (I'm sloooooow.)

  • Thanks,- alas thought this might be the case!

  • But Mercury is alright to put in fillings and vaccinations though!

  • I have only minutes ago noticed there is a non-mercury thermometer that is similar to "traditional" mercury ones.

    And a basal version:

    Other vendors are out there!

  • Thanks for this info!! - thinking of ordering the Analogue one

  • That is very interesting. I measured my body temp over a year ago and the result was low, haven't go the number to hand. I have since been on gluten and lacto free to get rid of my antibodies- that worked- so I will check my body temp see how it compares. I haven't been feeling the cold quuite as much!

  • Welcome to the forum, Jon3595.

    The 'normal' ranges in thyroid results and some vitamin/mineral results are very broad so it is helpful to know your results and the lab ref ranges because where you are within range can indicate whether there is a problem.

    If you have to get print outs from your GP practice (try practice manager or receptionist) post the results and ranges in a new question as updates to older posts can be overlooked.

    When I was cold to the marrow I found a hot water bottle on my torso helped warm my core with another on my feet.

  • Thank you I will get a copy of the results up here

  • Yes I do the same never go to bed without one really helps you to sleep to .

  • I follow this forum as there is lots of advice i find useful even though i have not had a thyroid diagnosis.

    There are times when i feel absolutely freezing but i'm often apparently warm to the touch so the way we perceive temperature may differ between individuals at different times.

    I suffer from Raynauds and your symptoms sound somewhat similar. I also have a low white blood cell count.

    To warm up (and it can be a long process), i ensure i get some hot food into me. Fluids are not enough when i am really cold. Also running warm water on the pulse points sometimes helps

  • I too get cold hands, feet and nose. My nose can be cold indoors sitting in front of the fire with the central heating on. The ends of my fingers and sometimes toes will turn white and numb at the drop of a hat. I have to take a hot bath to warm up my marrow bone jelly!

    As others have said - ask for a print out of your test results, post them here and you will get help interpreting them from these lovely experienced people.

    Tip - when you do, post a new topic because if you reply to this thread it might not be seen.

  • Hi Iron a good idea also make sure you have had a diabetes test, Hb1Ac.Similar symptoms.


  • I was the same until I started taking NDT. When I first took Armour Thyroid 8 years ago, it was the first time that I had felt warm for about 20 years.

  • This is fantastic news, I was convinced that there was nothing and nobody out there that experienced this. I will need to look into this NDT but I guess there's the hurdle of getting a prescription to overcome!

  • Low body temperature and feeling cold is a classic symptom of hypothyroidism so we all can relate.

    Before you are going on thyroid meds you need to know if you have a thyroid problem, otherwise it doesn't make sense to take them and can do you harm.

    First thing you need to do is get a copy of your blood results, post them here and we can take a look at it.

  • Yes, it took me 7 years to persuade my endo to let me try some. Now 15 other of his patients also enjoy it.

  • Have you taken your temperature.. I have Hashimoto and mine is always lower than normal humans although with the right meds I do feel fine, even when I get flu I don't go higher than 98.2 If your actual temp is low.. Like 95F then you either do have thryroid issues or heart problems or liver/alcohol issues.. there's not much else that can make a person cold. Get a GP to do a liver function test and an ECG then when they are negative you can jump up and down and demand some Thyroid help

  • Thank you very much for this. I have had an ECG and they said it was fine. I definitely don't have alcohol issues!!!! Thanks for the support as I have been dismissed several times from endocrine and gp with a tone of 'don't be silly and go away'. Hashimotos looks a possibility from what I've read but it's not been even close to being considered by gps. Is anyone able to confirm if a constant low white blood cell count is part and parcel of this?

  • If you go to Google and put in "mercury thermometers for sale uk", you get a site called where mercury thermometers are advertised at £31.99. Purchased from abroad I think.

  • You can also get a non-mercury shake down basal thermometer


    And here is a bit more on causes of low temp. I get very low...freezing cold sensations too. Long before being dxd with Hypothyroidism, I was getting a freezing cold sensation in in my stomache. Esp at night in bed. Slow heart rate can be a factor, too. Now I just get hot and cold!

  • My alternative specialist recommends Gingko Biloba to help with circulation, just a thought.

  • Joyia,

    Mention of Ginkgo biloba set a memory going - so I searched PubMed. Sure enough, I found the paper I was vaguely remembering.

    The authors are very clear that these results cannot be directly extrapolated to humans - but the paper certainly opens up some questions.

    I'd hope that anyone in a position of making a recommendation of Ginkgo biloba would be aware of this paper and other relevant research. That there is specific mention of a carcinogenic potential in the thyroid gland raises some concern, especially in those already suffering thyroid disorders.

    Toxicol Pathol. 2013 Aug 19;42(5):830-843. [Epub ahead of print]

    Toxicity and Carcinogenicity Studies of Ginkgo biloba Extract in Rat and Mouse: Liver, Thyroid, and Nose Are Targets.

    Rider CV1, Nyska A2, Cora MC3, Kissling GE3, Smith C3, Travlos GS3, Hejtmancik MR4, Fomby LM4, Colleton CA4, Ryan MJ4, Kooistra L5, Morrison JP5, Chan PC3.

    Author information


    Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) is a popular herbal supplement that is used to improve circulation and brain function. In spite of widespread human exposure to relatively high doses over potentially long periods of time, there is a paucity of data from animal studies regarding the toxicity and carcinogenicity associated with GBE. In order to fill this knowledge gap, 3-month and 2-year toxicity and carcinogenicity studies with GBE administered by oral gavage to B6C3F1/N mice and F344/N rats were performed as part of the National Toxicology Program's Dietary Supplements and Herbal Medicines Initiative. The targets of GBE treatment were the liver, thyroid, and nose. These targets were consistent across exposure period, sex, and species, albeit with varying degrees of effect observed among studies. Key findings included a notably high incidence of hepatoblastomas in male and female mice and evidence of carcinogenic potential in the thyroid gland of both mice and rats. Various nonneoplastic lesions were observed beyond control levels in the liver, thyroid gland, and nose of rats and mice administered GBE. Although these results cannot be directly extrapolated to humans, the findings fill an important data gap in assessing risk associated with GBE use.

    © 2014 by The Author(s).


    hepatocarcinogenicity; herbal; nasal lesions; natural medicine; thyroid tumors

    PMID: 23960164 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

    PMCID: PMC3929544

    Free PMC Article

    The full paper is available, without charge, here:


  • Thank you Rod for bringing this to my attention and for taking the time to remember the article, I was unaware of these findings, must admit to being somewhat disappointed as I believed the recommended advice I have received to use Gingko Biloba to be sound. I will stop using this herb just in case.

    So many of us are attempting different solutions to our thyroid issues and I am very grateful to all here who put forward different viewpoints and pool their knowledge, it just goes to show how important it is to post and comment on any medications one may be taking and to receive helpful feedback. I had great faith in the knowledge of my Practitioner but now I am questioning this, as said disappointing but better to be safe than sorry.

  • I hate being the bearer of bad news - which is what my response felt like. :-(

  • Rod you were being caring which is appreciated, far better than being led up a false path.

  • You can buy digital thermometer from £1 shop and they are now fairly reliable. I use most of the time. My problem of low body temperature is improving by taking T3 hormons by GP's advise. You can buy natural T3 hormons on line from Mexico but you must do Thyroid function test and seek advise from medical professional, before taking any thyroid medication or you may damage to your heart and other organs.

  • I too suffer cold hands and feet and face sometimes it is a symton also im either hot or cold never s,eem to get a inbetween also have a hot flush still and been thru the menapause so its not that.

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