Keeping Track of the Trends

I am on my second oral thermometer now (I won’t even mention what happened to my first) and every day I spend up to 16 minutes taking my temperature, if I bother with a basal temperature, but I am more likely to spend about 12 minutes (sometimes in my car on my way to work). Why? To track the trends of my body, specifically the functionality of my thyroid and adrenal glands.

For instance, I can tell you that at the moment I am under treating my thyroid condition. My basal temperature (temperature measured before you are moving around, preferably before you get out of bed in the morning) is running around 97.8 (the normal range being 97.8-98.2), so I am “low normal”. Last week when I suddenly found I was taking too much thyroid medication I was closer to 98.2, so I surmise that 97.8 is a bit low but it is an improvement for me as I have been around 97.4 in the morning. There is a good reason for my slightly under medicating my thyroid but still my temperatures keep me apprised of the situation.

You might be surprised to hear that when my basal temperature is higher I actually feel cooler or at least more comfortable in my skin. This morning I popped  “il termometro” in my mouth around the time the birds chirped their first morning “cheers” and found my result close to 97.8. I threw off my covers because I was too warm and at that moment it dawned on me that I really shouldn’t be “too warm”. The room was about 50 degrees with windows wide open and an outside temperature of 45, the ceiling fan was on thus wafting cool air over my body and the sun was not yet up. I should be freezing cold but I am guessing that with my basal temperature slightly low my body was releasing adrenaline to warm me up. If my basal temperature is slightly higher my body sees no reason to release adrenaline and I stay comfortable if slightly cool under similar circumstances.

If my temperature is low normal or just plain low that will lead me to do a follow-up during the day because adrenaline rushes indicate that my adrenal glands are still struggling to keep up with my new Cynomel (T3 only) regimen. To check my adrenal health I need to check my temperature three times during the day, three hours after I get up, three hours after that and three hours after that ( something like 8:30, 11:30 and 14:30), always 20 minutes after any liquid has gone in my mouth and when I am and have been quietly sitting. You can download Dr. Rind’s Metabolic Temperature Graph and more accurately track your adrenal health but I believe I can also see a general trend. If my body temperatures are up and down and all over the place all day (I tend to be very low around noon) then my adrenals are experiencing stormy seas. If my temperatures are trending upward all day my adrenal glands are at peace with my other organs and my body is running like a sailing sloop on a perfect azure blue sea.

Another use for the thermometer is every time I make an increase to my Cynomel dosage. My temperature tends to drop the next day as my thyroid adjusts to the elevated T3 it is receiving. If  it doesn’t recover and remain stable within a few days then I know I may need to supplement my adrenals with Isocort (an adrenal supplement that contains freeze dried adrenal cortex,  echinacea, prunus spp, and lomatium dissectum root) or decrease my dose of Cynomel. I am very resistant to supplementing with Isocort as then I will have to “wean” my body off the Isocort when my adrenal glands are healthier. Also,I am already taking Iodoral and contrary to some opinions I think taking Iodoral is healing my adrenals as well as my thyroid and it will, and has, eventually helped my adrenals catch up as long as I don’t increase my dosage of Cynomel too quickly or by too much. If I track my temperatures for three days after they return to my stable but “low normal” I am ready for an increase but not too large an increase.

Speaking of “too large an increase” of Cynomel reminds me of another useful purpose for the thermometer if you bother to pay attention. I should have taken the clue last week when my temps were trending toward the “high normal” and I was ever naively increasing my T3 (Cynomel). I am new to this game of actually keeping track of my bodies functionality and basically just ignored the message my body was sending me by running “high normal”. After several days of a healthy dose, so I thought, of T3 (Cynomel) I was at work filing charts (alas another patient failed or canceled) and as I reached up to put a chart in its rightful place I felt dizzy and my hand had a slight but noticeable tremor. I went back to the employee lounge and sat down to take my pulse. It was running over 112 bpm, I was hot and sweaty, my bowels were cramping, and the light finally went on. I was clearly on too much T3 (about 72.5 mcg of Cynomel). That incident brought me back to reality rapidly, I had not listened to advice and had increased too quickly, so I skipped the next dose or maybe the next two doses on Friday. Saturday morning dawned with a feeling of normalcy. I was back to ground zero (about 37.5 mcg of Cynomel) but feeling much better.

The good news was my pulse was much more normal and consistently around 68-72 bpm, I was not hot and sweaty and my trembling hands were as steady as a rock. The bad news, however, was my body temperature took a polar plunge and has been consistently “low normal” ever since but, at the very least, I am now paying attention to what my body is telling me. It was just a gentle nudge to tell me I need to pay attention. I will not ever again turn a deaf ear to the clear and purposeful messages that my temperatures are telling me because a temperature speaks a thousand words.

Tracking the trends of your body temperature may seem a waste of time but I am here to say that without the ability to look at what my body is reacting to and how it is reacting to what I am feeding it I would not be improving. My heart would still be palpating, my weight would be burgeoning and I would slowly, but not deliberately, be killing my thyroid gland as well as destroying my adrenals and after that my recovery would become arduous if not impossible.

Here’s to tracking the trends to good health. See you in a couple of weeks.



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