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Low body temp, is it thyroid?
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Questions in the Thyroid forum are answered by Mark Lupo, MD. Topics covered include Goiter, Graves Disease, Hyperthyroid, Parathyroid/Calcium Problems, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Nodules/Cysts, Thyroiditis, Thyroid & Pregnancy, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Thyroid Tests, and Thyroid Surgery.

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Low body temp, is it thyroid?

I have been on 3 grains armour thyroid for about 20 years.  I have other health issues, ie. asthma, avn. In the six months my hair has changed from healthy to dry and brittle.  And in the last month my nails have made the same change plus I feel tired all the time. I was having digestion problems but those have been resolved for at least three months.  I see a naturopath as well as a medical doctor. The naturopath suggested I take my temp and wanted me to research Wilson's Syndrome, a bit controversial from what I have read.  

My temp for the last three days ranges from 95.3 to 97.5, my normal temp for many years has been around 97.5.  I take it about six times a day and it goes up and down throughout the day. I recently had a thryod profile and they called to say it was "normal".  This is the doc that has treated me for several years so I just assumed it was unchanged, but with the things going on the last month I now wonder.  

So the question is, can the low temp be an indication of low thyroid?  I have had a hormone test done which shows the cortisol levels are out of whack.  Could that also be a cause of low body temp?  And the extreme fatigue is also an issue I wonder about.  I am also having a lot of joint and muscle pain, but I do have avn in hips and knees and have already had both shoulders replaced due to the avn, due to high dose steroids for asthma.  Joint and muscle pain could be caused by those, though it all got worse about the time the other symptoms started.  

Anyone have an opinion on the Wilson's Syndrome treatment or has anyone been on it?
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Wilson's syndrome has been identified by the American Thyroid Association to be a sham.  I would not recommend going that route.

TSH target is around 1 -- "normal" can mean a level from 0.4 to 5.5 -- too broad in my mind.

Low body temp may be hypothyroid - but is in no way specific to hypothyroidism.  "Cortisol out of whack" -- if it's low that could cause the problem -- the history of steroids for asthma may suggest your own normal cortisol feedback system may be impaired.  Ask you doc to consider an ACTH stim test if low cortisol is a concern.
19 Comments
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I agree, Wilson's syndrome seems to be a sham, it's just hypothyroidism by another name. It does seem that you need to look further into the adrenal issue, that temp is just too low. I hope you get some answers and some help!
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There's a really good website that separates thyroid symptoms from adrenal symptoms, and also has a temperature chart you can print to help you monitor. (www.drrind.com) As a rule, if your temp is low, but consistent (not jumping around), the problme is likely hypothyroid, but if it's low and jumps around, there is some degree of adrenal dysfunction as well as hypothyroid.
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Thanks so much for your responses.  I have read a lot of the posts and have gained considerable knowledge already.  I was already quite leary of the Wilson's Syndrome treatment especially when I read of the increased heart rate issue.  My heart rate already gets up there due to being on albuterol treatments for asthma, it doesn't need to beat any faster!

My temp definitely jumps around.  I did a saliva hormone test from Sabre Science Labs three months ago and the cortisol levels were definitely out of whack.  I am doing another test today after being on their hormone cream for three months.  I was doing much better until two weeks ago, still trying to figure out what happened.  Joint pain started again and gets worse almost daily along with extreme fatigue.  I am going to check out the drrind.com site when I finish this post.  Thanks again to all of you.  Sometimes one can feel so overwhelmed and it really helps to hear from others with the same issues who really know how you are feeling.  Have a great day!!
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Ddi you know that asthma can also be a symptom of hypothyroid? Folks on the Natural Thyroid hormones site on yahoo have had their asthma disappear by taking Armour thyroid.
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I am one who has completely gone off her asthma medications since going on Armour! It's been almost a year since I used my inhalers. I can't believe how long I used those things and now...poof...no more breathing problems.
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Well how I wish that could be true about the asthma.  The only thing is I have taken Armour thyroid since the mid to late 80's and only developed asthma in 1996. I also have chemical sensitivites, which is a major trigger for my asthma, and I have read somewhere in all of my searching the last few days that those can be a symptom of adrenal issues.  

All of my symptoms had improved over the last few months when I started going to the naturopath and started on some supplements including digestive enzymes.  I was being treated for acid reflux after a round of prednisone in February got that started.  I was getting sicker and sicker and was down to eating bread and chicken noodle soup and still had reflux.  The enzymes did the trick and I now can eat anything.  Though I am on a very healthy diet to try to get healthier.

I also started on the hormone cream from Sable Sciences and everything was steadily improving. For some reason about two weeks ago all the joint pain started again and over the last month the fatigue had crept back up and is now a major problem.  Along with dry brittle hair and brittle nails, which is just an outward sign of something wrong on the inside.

I went to the Dr. Rind site and I pretty much fit into the adrenal and thyroid column.  I am going to get a copy of the thyroid test results and post them and see if ya'll have an opinion on those.  I know very little about what the numbers mean but I think I remember seeing something somewhere that exlplains them.

It is sad when you pay a doctor and you have to go to the internet to get help!!  At least we have that now and are not totally at their mercy.  Though there are some really good and caring docs out there, they are hard to find.  And living in a rural area does not lend itself to many choices.
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Unfortunately, I'm not a doctor, so I'm really not allowed to analyze your test results on this forum. Maybe Dr. Mark will give you his opinion.

There are some very knowledgeable folks on the natural thyroid hormones group on yahoo - knowledgeable because they have suffered through adrenal dysfunction and untreated or undertreated hypothyroid for many years, and have been forced to research for themselves and take control of their own health. Perhaps you'd be interested in joining that group.
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I decided to just call the doctor's office and get the results, which the nurse readily gave me.  
In June 2004 my results were:
T-3 - 31
T-4 - 8.3
TSH - .05

In September 2005 they were:
T-3 - 34
T-4 - 10.8
TSH - .04

He doesn't do the other tests that I have seen mentioned on this site.  He might if I asked, it just hasn't been an issue till now.
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Just read your comment and will post a question to Dr. Mark.  Thanks!!
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ALong with all the other measures you are taking to become more healthy, consider buying the book "Hormones, Health and Happiness" by Steven Holtze. I highly recommend it and think it would be beneficial to you. Also, the tests that you really want to focus on are your Frees, FreeT3 and FreeT4. Those are the unbound hormones that your body uses and though you have been using Armour since the 80's it could be that due to hormone changes you might need more or your adrenals may be under too much stress.
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Thanks for the info on the book, I will definitely purchase it.  I have also applied to join the yahoo group that ancientmariner suggested.  I have never had a test that showed the Free T3 and Free T4. I suppose any lab can do it and I just need to ask my doc?  I mentioned something about it a couple years back and he acted as if it was not necessary.  I have no problem asking again and being somewhat insistent.  After all it is my health and well being.  I am pretty proactive and some docs don't like that but this one doesn't seem to object.

Since I have been on the same dose all this time it would stand to reason that some things have changed.  I really think my adrenals are an issue too and hopefully the saliva test I did today will show something on that.

Thanks for your input, both you and ancientmariner.  It really is appreciated.

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Great to hear that you are proactive. I had to teach my doctor about unbound thyroid hormones. Thankfully she was very open :) Once you are over at the yahoo group, give a shout out!
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I was on the straight T3 protocl for low temp. and nothing else. i got up to 75mg of thyronine and captured my temp. I then weaned myself off the thyronine and my temp. is staying above 98.0 and I feel okay. It may be a sham but it worked for me.I was on synthroid before I switched to T3 because I started to feel yucky.I decreased synthroid for 3 days by half the reg. dose and then on no meds for 3 days.By that time My temp.dropped to the lowest its ever bee, on average it was 95.6.First day on T3 my temp. went up on average to 96.8 and on average the lowest was 97.3 and highest was 98.3, until by the 25th day on it, the lowest was 98.3.My doc felt I wasn't able to convert the T4 to T3 so with the low body temp.,he suggested the wilson protocol and its working so far.
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Thanks for your post.  I have also done some things my naturopath suggested that others thought were nuts and they helped me. I am just leary due to the rapid heartbeat it can cause and already having that condition from asthma meds.  I am glad it is helping you and good to know that it does work.  Good luck!!
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Hi, just wanted to let you know that I am on the yahoo group as dlbunger.  That is my yahoo name and I couldn't figure out how to change it.  I look forward to visiting with you over there.  I am about to call the doc at Sabre Sciences lab, my naturopath set up for me to talk to him about my symptoms and see what he thought.  I am anxious to hear his opinion.  I just sent in a saliva hormone test and also anxious for the results on those.  Also, I looked at the doctor list on the yahoo group and there is one about 4 hours from me in Lubbock Tx. that I am thinking I might go and see.  I want to get a handle on this before it gets worse.  Well, didn't mean to ramble on just wanted to let you know my name on yahoo.
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   To Dinker,

     For about 13 years I have taken synthryoid for hypothryoidism. My level just went up to 6.22. I am 47 years old.
Today my doctor just increased me from 175 to 200. I was wondering tonight why the synthryoid did not help with my low body temperature and memory loss. To everyone thanks for the mentioning about Armour on the Natural Thryoid website. Does anyone have the address?  I got concerned about a year ago and found Dr. Peter D'Adamo, Eat Right For Your Blood Type. He also wrote Live Right and Cook Right. Almost all diseases he mentions that your blood type will encounter with the wrong diet has already happened to me.  I am very strict about 90% of the time and stick to my O diet. I have became healed of a lot of medical problems. But I still have the memory forgetfulness and cold hands and feet. I thought his diet might help.  He does mention that O blood type is thinner than the other types.  (Not sure if he meant that we would have lower body temperatures most of the day).  Mine has always ran low and I have extremely low blood pressure. Because the diet helped a lot, but I was concerned about the thryoid forgetfulness I found another book. Dr. David Perlmutter, Neurologist MD.  The book is Better Brain Book. I just can't believe how much I have learned how the brain hormones play a very big part in a lot of medical problems. I have added supplements to my diet now.
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Avatar_n_tn


   To Dinker,

     For about 13 years I have taken synthryoid for hypothryoidism. My level just went up to 6.22. I am 47 years old.
Today my doctor just increased me from 175 to 200. I was wondering tonight why the synthryoid did not help with my low body temperature and memory loss. To everyone thanks for the mentioning about Armour on the Natural Thryoid website. Does anyone have the address?  I got concerned about a year ago and found Dr. Peter D'Adamo, Eat Right For Your Blood Type. He also wrote Live Right and Cook Right. Almost all diseases he mentions that your blood type will encounter with the wrong diet has already happened to me.  I am very strict about 90% of the time and stick to my O diet. I have became healed of a lot of medical problems. But I still have the memory forgetfulness and cold hands and feet. I thought his diet might help.  He does mention that O blood type is thinner than the other types.  (Not sure if he meant that we would have lower body temperatures most of the day).  Mine has always ran low and I have extremely low blood pressure. Because the diet helped a lot, but I was concerned about the thryoid forgetfulness I found another book. Dr. David Perlmutter, Neurologist MD.  The book is Better Brain Book. I just can't believe how much I have learned how the brain hormones play a very big part in a lot of medical problems. I have added supplements to my diet now.
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Avatar_n_tn
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/NaturalThyroidHormones/

You have to join and be approved by the group owner, then you can read/post (it is free)
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