Dr. David Brownstein, M.D., is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. He is editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

Dr. David Brownstein, M.D.

Thyroid and Body Temperature

Monday, 12 Nov 2012 09:00 AM

 

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Question: My doctor has slowly increased my dosage of natural thyroid hormone from 0.25 to 2 grams per day, but my temperature continues to average 96.5 degrees. Is it safe to continue increasing the dosage?

Dr. Brownstein's Answer:

The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormone, which has many important functions in the human body. Thyroid hormone helps regulate the metabolic rate of all the body’s cells. As a consequence, the increased metabolic rate can be reflected in a basal body temperature.

A normal basal body temperature averages 97.8 to 98.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Hypothryoidism, or an underactive thyroid condition, often results in a low basal body temperature.

I have my patients monitor their condition by taking basal body temperature readings. However, there are other ways to monitor thyroid levels, including blood tests and physical exam.

However, I also teach doctors that how patients are feeling is much more important than any single test, including basal body temperature. If a patient is feeling well on a particular thyroid dose, but still has low basal body temperatures, many times I will not adjust the thyroid dosage.

Basal body temperatures provide useful information, but adjusting the thyroid dosage based solely on the basal body temperatures is not the correct treatment plan.

Thyroid dosing can be altered based on the information obtained from a complete history and physical exam, appropriate lab tests, and checking basal body temperatures. Utilizing all the information before adjusting thyroid dosages is the best way to go.

© HealthDay

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