Thyroid Test, at home
Life in Balance Clinic
Because the thyroid gland reflects the body’s metabolic rate and heat is generated during metabolism, assessing body temperature can give clues regarding the function of the thyroid gland.
1. Shake down a thermometer until the mercury falls below 95 degrees Fahrenheit if using an older thermometer. Place it by your bed at night when you retire.
2. Upon waking, before getting up (yes, even to use the bathroom) place the thermometer under your armpit for 10 minutes. Digital thermometers may automatically stop before that. That’s fine. Try to lie in bed as still as possible during this time. Rest and close your eyes. Don’t get up until after the 10 minutes have passed or until a digital thermometer has registered your temperature.
3. Record the temperature, time, and date.
4. Conduct the same test for at least three mornings at the same time each day.
Note : a modern digital thermometer can give a reading in less than a minute, but it is wise to check the accuracy with a clinical thermometer first, then if deemed accurate it is so much more convenient to use the digital thermometer
A healthy resting temperature ranges between 97.8 to 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit or 36.6 to 36.8 degrees Celsius. Natural fluctuations can occur during menstrual cycles.
If the average temperature over the three days is less than 97.8oF / 36.6oC then, one may have hypothyroidism.
Where the temperature is consistently above 98.6oF / 37oC this is an indication that one may have hyperthyroidism
The temperature can also be taken by means of placing the thermometer under the arm. In this case readings will generally be lower than oral/rectal readings, and for the purposes of this test a factor of 0.8oF or 0.5oC should be added to the reading when determining thyroid activity levels.
Please note that this test will give a good indication of thyroid problems but is not definitive. Other factors can affect body temperature. Temperature may be disturbed by several factors such as taking readings at different times, alcohol, illness, a restless night, stress etc. If the readings have a base rate in a menstruating woman of 97.2oF / 36.2oC or less, or a constant reading below this in other women, men and children, an underactive thyroid (hypothyroid) is very likely. An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroid) would be likely in cases where the temperature is consistently above 98.6oF / 37oC. (note: in menstruating women, on day 1 of the cycle on the first day of menstruation, the temperature will be at a lower level, during ovulation the temperature rises and remains at this higher level until dropping just before the next period. This normal cycle will be affected by an underactive, or overactive thyroid and can be used as an effective alternative to blood tests).
It is important to work on getting and keeping your temperature at 98.6F / 37oC Thyroid imbalance can be a vicious circle, one thing leads to another until bacteria, parasites, and viruses attack and cause other diseases and symptoms, including the body's wanting to attack itself. When body enzymes are not at the correct temperature, they don't convert into the correct hormones, which then cause illness. Even if your temperature is normal and you still have symptoms, you may have a low grade infection that is raising your temperature. Symptoms are a really important factor that need to be taken into account. Once the low grade infection is taken care of, you will be able to do the test again and pick up a low temperature.