Avatar universal

Low body temp?

Just curious, having low body temperature between 95.8 - 96.8 lately - could this be a sign of thyroid disorder? I don't ever remember my body temperature being this low.
43 Responses
558632 tn?1303471125
I always ran 100.0 as a normal temp, when diagnosed with graves disease it dropped to 94 range, some days lower, some days in the low 95's.

Do you have any other symptoms to suspect thyroid? Tiredness, fatigue, shortness of breath? I could go on...

not an expect, but my body temp did plummet.

hope this helps.
Graveswoman (Kim)

Avatar universal
Gosh I do have tiredness, fatigue and shortness of breath. I thought maybe this was a part of menopause - I had a total hysterectomy Feb. 08. so who knows what is happening to me now.

I was having a problem with an irregular heartbeat, but it's almost completely stopped now. I just don't understand this low body temp thing going on with me now. Strange how something told me to start taking my temperature and I did and I am glad I did. My normal temp is usually 97.5, somewhere around there.
Avatar universal
Low temperatures are a sign that your body doesn't have/can't make enough T3 to keep your temp at 98.6F.  Although most endos and GPs poo-poo this as a diagnostic tool, I think they're dead wrong.

I've been fighting illness for 17 years and just now discovered what my low temp may mean.  E. Denis Wilson MD believes the syndrome is a famine-survival mechanism in which stress causes the body to shift T4-T3 production to T4-RT3 production to lower body temp.  Unfortunately the body can get stuck in this state, and the lowered temp causes non-optimal function of enzymes in the body, and symptoms that go along with that.

Wilson has a treatment protocol for this.  Suggest you check out this  site:

213044 tn?1236527460
Dr. Dennis Wilson has lost his licence to practice medicine becuase of the damage he caused with his "Wilson's Syndrome".

It does not exist.

You can talk about body temperature all day long, and with good reason, but following Dr. Wilson's advice is a big mistake.
393685 tn?1425812522
You can find many sources on body temp linking it to hypothyroidism and the other symptoms you are facing.

Since you suspect your thyroid being a problem - it would be best to google search "hypothyroidism check list" and pull one of those up. It has many things listed on that - you could use to see if anything else matches up with your bodies situation.

This way you can take the list to your doctor and then move forward on getting some labs - that would be the next step. Labs and symptoms can be looked at - and your doctor can decided if thyroid meds may be right for you. There is a wide range when it comes to lab work - so make sure - if you go that route to stop back and tell us how it went.

Instead of debating over Dr. Wilson who had suspected basal temp being linked to hypothyroidism, which it is - let focus on getting this member some information on how to find out if she could be showing signs  and guide her to her doctor , so she can be tested accordingly.

We know the story on Dr. Wilson.

A good test to look at for your doctor to see if you are showing signs of thyroid problems would be to ask for a TSH - Free T3 and a Free T4.

You should find some information here in our Health Pages too to help you get some answers. If you can't find the Health Pages - let me know.

Hope you feel better soon.
213044 tn?1236527460
I agree with you on everything you said Stella, except that everyone does not know about Dr. Wilson.

If someone wants to follow his protocol, that is their decision, if they can find a doctor who agrees.

I think that if a new member is guided to his site, that person should be warned that he has been shunned by the medical community.

Your advice to ask for thyroid tests is good advice.
Body temperature can be an indicator. But it is not always an acurate indicator. Proper testing should be done.

And people should be warned about doctors who have been disciplined for questionable practices. Maybe we need a entry in the health pages listing such doctors.
Avatar universal
Low body tempature can be one symptom of hypothyroidism.  But it's only that and not a concrete sign.  Therefore, it can't be used as a diagnotic tool.  That it was and sometimes still is has been the problem.

Also, by no means, in itself, is low body temperature indicative of a problem with T3.  As someone who had the thryoid removed and subsequently gets monitored for issues with T3; never has the subject of low body temperature been broached.

stella5349:  "We know the story on Dr. Wilson."  ~ There are many who do not.  Too many, if you ask me.  I am continuously amazed by that and highly recommend they find out.

For an overview of thyroid disease, I recommend the websites and readings from the American Thyroid Association and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.  ...Lest that sound too ethnocentric, there's always the British Thyroid Association.
649848 tn?1534633700
I had never heard of Dr Wilson until just a while ago when I read another post about Wilson's Temperature Syndrome.  A quick search led me to a very informative article by the ATA, which does not recognize the condition because it's too nonspecific.  Would be a good thing to add in somewhere so "newbies" like myself don't get caught up in thinking there might be something there for us.  Fortunately, I took the time to do the search (a lot of people won't) and I'm glad I looked at the ATA article.  

314892 tn?1264623903
Low body temps can be from many things.

I am hypo (treated), have Lyme Disease and other health problems related to one or the other.

I have low body temps and also fevers. I could blame the low temp on hypo and the fevers on Lyme, but we just don't know.
Avatar universal
Thank you.  You both make points that are part of what I'm always trying to say - if someone (anyone) doesn't say something these things could unknowingly lead someone in an unhealthy, if not dangerous, direction; and there can be many reasons for low temperature.
314892 tn?1264623903
I agree.
Once I was dx'd with Lyme, I tried to make all my problems fit that. (After trying to make all my sx fit Thyroid!)
The doctor I see know, looks at me having multiple layers that need fixing, usually one or 2 at a time.
He said- "Let's treat the Lyme and we will see what's left."

Thanks, Thypatient, for being realistic, even when we don't want to hear it! lol
Avatar universal
Thank you all so much for all of the info. I see my Endo doctor sometime in March, I think. I see him for an adrenal tumor on my left adrenal gland. He does all of the thyroid tests, well maybe not ALL, but he does quite a few of them. I do recall seeing the TSH, T3 and T4 on his list as tests I am to be tested for.

OK what I want to know is I had a complete hysterectomy in February 2008 and I opted NOT to take hormone replacement therapy - could this have an effect on my thyroid? I am beginning to think it is wrecking havoc on everything from not taking hormones :(
393685 tn?1425812522
That is one good question and I think a first here like that on the board. I am wondering if getting the hysterectomy could have defaulted you thyroid and possibly some of the adrenal stuff too.

It sure could be thought of as being all connected.

Maybe this would be a good thing to ask Dr Lupo Sunday night too?

I suppose everyone would not know the saga on Dr. Wilson. So I apologize - but I do strongly suggest any member to discuss issues like basal body temp ( in tracking mode) and other possible hypothyroid symptoms with their doctor would be best too. It does fall under many lists of hypothyroidism taking it into consideration other classic symptoms too that many of us know exsist.

Dr Wilson's theories / research- clinicals - whatever we want to call them -  are more involved with RT3 - and the court actions were off that more so than a simple thermometer reading.

I think checking a temp - and labs testing - along with an aray of other things is still OK to do to take charge of any possibilities to find out why a person feels aweful.  
Avatar universal
Sorry- I posted this on another thread, but it probaby fits best here.

No argument -- body temperature is not diagnostic of thyroid state, in that it should not be used by itself to prescribe and medicate.  Its value is as an indicator, or symptom,  like many others such as fatigue, coldness, etc., but must be validated with the real diagnostic, which is a full panel of blood tests.  Body temperature  may have even more value than other patient symptoms, in that it is an objective measure, meaning that it can be measured  and assigned a number.  Other symptoms are subjective, since they can only be described in general terms such as heavy or light.  If we accepted that body temperature should be ignored, then similarly all other symptoms should be ignored, since they are not diagnostic either.
Body temperature was a much more valuable tool in past years when thyroid blood testing was less accurate than today and doctors considered any TSH reading under 5.0 as "normal".  
Of course body temperature, as well as the other symptoms, can be affected by factors  other than thyroid and metabolism levels, but this should not preclude any symptom from being considered as part of the overall picture.  Carefully checked, normal body temperatures, have  a high degree of correlation with metabolic rate.  This is a link to a study on that.
In my own case many years ago, low basal temperature (96.9) and other symptoms led me to question the diagnosis of "normal", when my TSH was slightly below 5.0.  This eventually led to Synthroid (T4) medication, at a full daily replacement level of 200 mcg.  Even then it did not fully alleviate my symptoms and my basal temperature peaked at 97.2 or so.  Only after learning about the importance of free T3 testing, and requesting FT4 and FT3 testing, did I get a clue as to why.  Even though my total T4 level was at the very extreme of its range, my free T3 level was at the bottom of its range, due to conversion problems, which occur infrequently.  Since being switched to a T4/T3 med. 6 weeks ago, my free T3 has already increased to the mid-point of the range, my basal temp. has increased to about 97.6, and I feel the best ever.  My symptomatic low basal temp. did not indicate a free T3 problem, but it did help identify  for me that I still had a potential  problem of less than optimal metabolism,  which needed to be pursued through additional blood testing.  I still have one more slight increase in Armour thyroid to go.  Will be interesting to get to the full effect.
Avatar universal
stella5349:  The court action of Dr. Wilson was that of a wrongful death suite stemming from him having built a medical practice around the belief that low body temperature was a sign of thyroid disease.  From there the picture obviously got uglier.

Again, taking your temperature and finding out it's low is only going to indicate that you have what might be one symptom.

(I don't know what anyone else wants to call the whole Wilson Syndrome idea; but from what I've learned - I call it a sideshow filled with nonsense!)


kitty9309:  It sounds like you have a good dr.  I hope everything works out and I wish you well.


Twilight Princess:  I wish you well too, really.  Having an adrenal tumor, plus you're fairly recent hysterectomy, probably does complicate your situation further than what could be speculated upon here.  I agree with stella5349 that thinking about asking the dr from the other forum his opinion would probably be best here.

Hope March comes up fast for you.
Avatar universal
Where is this website where I can post my question? I really do wonder if having the hysterectomy and not taking hormones is creating these problems for me. I totally haven't felt like myself in months :(
Avatar universal
Ooops sorry, I just found where we can post questions to Dr. Lupo - thank you so much!
534785 tn?1329592208
I tend to be hypothyroid and my body temperature has been lower than normal, though not quite as low as yours. Thyroid disease and body temperature are inextricably linked, since the thyroid regulates body temperature as part of the endocrine system.
393685 tn?1425812522
I am glad you found the link to post your question.

Good Luck
Avatar universal
Yes, body temperature is useful as a symptom of low metabolism and potentially low thyroid levels, for followup with blood testing.  I've wondered why it doesn't always get shown as one of the symptoms of thyroid problems, along with the many others such as fatigue, etc.  Perhaps it has been somewhat discredited  because of being incorrectly used in the past by a few such as Dr. Wilson, as a diagnostic to determine some misguided treatment.

Since body temperature can be measured objectively and correlated with basal metabolism more accurately than the many subjective symptoms,  I think it should actually be shown at the top of the list of symptoms to be considered.  
534785 tn?1329592208
I couldn't agree more. In fact, my abnormally low body temperature was one of the first things that tipped me off to something being wrong. When your temperature is consistently 1.5 - 2 degrees lower than it generally is, that's your body telling you something is wrong--much like a fever. If your body temperature suddenly drops to < 96 degrees and stays in that range for an extended period of time (a day or two), it is considered a medical problem that should be evaluated as soon as possible. Yet there isn't any standard for evaluating temperatures between 96 and 98.6 degrees, even if you aren't normally that temperature! If any of my doctors paid attention to my temperature in conjunction with my slightly elevated TSH and the countless other symptoms, I'd probably be taking medication to treat my hypothyroidism right now...but sadly, that's not the case.
280485 tn?1249013844
My question to all of you who constantly argue about the relevance of body temperature as it relates to thyroid disease is this:  How do you take an effective measure of your body's temperature?  What tool is used?

I have EVERY thermometer known to man.  As do my sisters who have small children.  I have a basal thermometer I purchased when I was trying to conceive.  I bought an expensive thermoscan ear thermometer when I had my daughter.  What a waste.  It makes me laugh to use it on her as she'd be dead if she really had a temperature that low.  (And yes, I do know how to use it!)  

The only reliable method of taking a body's temperature as far as I'm concerned is a good old fashioned mercury thermometer.  But alas, the last one I owned (and I'm sure the last one on the planet...) slipped through my then 5 year old's hands and shattered to peices about a year ago. (Much to my horror!)  

Through the years I've purchased a slew of other digital thermometers which, in my opinion, are only good for land fill fodder!  I mostly use the old cheek on the forehead method and rely on my gut instincts as a mother, as to whether or not to send my child to school.  If we were to only use these tools, in my opinion, everyone would be below 98.6 and technically hypothyroid.

My point I guess, is this.  How can basal body temperature be used as a good or bad diagnostic tool for thyroid issues, when we, the mothers of the world, can't even get a correct temperature for something as simple and frightening as a child's cold?
Avatar universal
I'm glad to know that I now may have the last remaining mercury thermometer on the planet.  So I am now going to keep it under lock and key while I accept bids on it.  LOL

Since I have only been using this thermometer, obviously accuracy has not been a question for me.  I can't speak to the accuracy of today's digital thermometers, however, I had seen a Consumers Report review that also would not recommend ear or forehead contact type of thermometers.  

"The more expensive ear thermometers take a reading in just one second. However, Consumer Reports found the readings might not be reliable….The forehead thermometer from Exergen is slid across the forehead to get a temperature. Yet at $50, it is also pricey and was not especially precise. The $10 Accu-Beep digital thermometer from BD did the best job. It beeps when properly placed under the tongue and gives an accurate reading in sixty seconds. If you want a thermometer reading even faster, Consumer Reports found two other very good performers that cost $13. They are the Vick's Comfort-Flex and Omron 20 Seconds Digital. Both thermometers will give a reading in 30 seconds or less."

There was no indication of what they consider as accurate on the ones they did recommend.   For most accurate results it's always best to check several times and average the results.  To be symptomatic of low metabolism and possibly low thyroid, I believe that average body temperature differential from normal would be several orders of magnitude greater than the variability of even a digital thermometer.  

What am I offered for my mercury thermometer?
393685 tn?1425812522
I have the good old fashion therm too. I think it was from when I was a kid and my mom gave it to me - or I had it when my boys were small....

Ebay here I come!  LOL

From anything I have been told by doctors - or reading - a "mouth" therm is more accurate than any ear measurement.

Yet doctors tell me the good old fashion ones are more accurate - but they use the ear  during a nurse's exam

( shaking my head )
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