House Call Newsletter: Health News You Can Use

Simple Home Test Checks for Big Problems
Vol. 10.1.8

Here is a very simple test you can perform at home. This test helps you monitor for big health problems that are sometimes missed by the medical community.


Basal body temperature is used to monitor fluctuations in a woman's monthly cycle and to determine how well the thyroid is working. Historically, it is one of the most consistent ways to assess thyroid function. This is because it reflects the thyroid's influence on the body's metabolic rate.

A basal body temperature that is consistently less than 97.8° F over a period of one month may indicate low thyroid function. Other tests, primarily blood tests, have been developed to check thyroid function. However, these values may come back normal even though symptoms of hypothyroidism are present.

Signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism include any of the following...

Dry or thinning hair, fatigue, dry skin, short nails with white spots, poor circulation with cold hands and feet, shivering spells, fluid retention, difficulty losing weight, slow digestion, constipation, mental tiredness, depression, poor memory, habitual headache that is usually worse in the morning, ringing in the ears, disturbed sleep, achy, stiff joints, low/high blood pressure, and a slow heart rate.

Instructions for measuring your Basal Body Temperature...

1. Shake down the thermometer below 95°F, and place it beside the bed before going to sleep.

2. On waking, place the thermometer under your armpit or in your mouth and rest for 5-10 minutes. The less movement you make, the more accurate the reading.

3. Record the date and your temperature on a piece of paper. For women, make Day 1 the beginning of your menses. If you don't know where you are in your cycle, record your basal body temperature on a separate piece of paper until you begin your menses and then start recording the day of your cycle, in this case Day 1, along with the temperature and date.

4. Record your temperature for one full month.

5. Bring your recordings and list of symptoms to your next doctor's appointment to discuss.

This will help your doctor decide if low thyroid function is contributing to your state of health.

To Your Optimal Health,

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Copyright © 2008 Melissa M. Dawahare, ND, PLLC. All Rights Reserved.