Take Your Temperature - A Quick, Easy Way to Check Metabolic Health

If you’re not feeling quite up to par, take your temperature. Not to determine if you’ve got a
fever – rather, temperatures reflect an individual’s metabolic energy state. The average
daytime temperature of a healthy individual is 98.6 thus making 98.6 the optimal
(as opposed to normal*) temperature. Lower than optimal temperatures reflect a lower than
optimal metabolic state which may be due to thyroid problems. Wide variability of temperature
reflects an unstable or fatigued adrenal system. Thus, on the road to health, one wants to go
from low and/or unstable temperatures to 98.6 and stable if possible.

Dr. Rind's Metabolic Temperature Graph™ is an extremely valuable feedback tool that graphically
depicts our metabolic state (adrenal and thyroid) and guides us on the path to recovery. It lets us
know if a therapy is helping or hurting us and by how much. As your adrenals and thyroid receive
the needed support, monitoring your own progress with this tool will multiply the benefits. This tool
may be used as part of the Health Program Metabolic Therapy: Thyroid, Adrenal & Hormone Correction.

It is very important to follow the directions provided to create your own Metabolic Temperature Graph™ as soon as you know you are having a problem with your thyroid and/or adrenals or you suffer from any of the symptoms associated with low metabolic energy. This will provide you a baseline to work from. Once corrective actions are underway, the temperature pattern will show you how your health is progressing.


Using the Metabolic Temperature Graph™

How to measure temperatures
Temperatures are measured orally. Make sure the thermometer is placed deep under the tongue. Take three temperatures approximately three hours apart, starting approximately three hours after waking up. For example, if one wakes up at 6 AM, measure temperatures around 9AM, 12 Noon, and 3 PM. Try to avoid taking temperatures after activity or eating and drinking for at least 20 minutes. Even climbing a flight of stairs can raise one’s temperature for short period of time. Taking one’s temperature several times in a row will yield temperatures that rise each time. So, take only one reading. I have found digital oral thermometers most appropriate for monitoring metabolism. There are many good models available. I have found the Lumiscope digital thermometer to be one of the most accurate for the price and use these with my patients. I do not recommend mercury thermometers because: they expose you and the environment to toxic mercury when they break; they are too slow; and, the accuracy depends on leaving them in your mouth the same length of time each time you measure. I do not recommend axillary temperatures because the axillae are relatively cooler and more variable in people with stressed adrenals. Ear thermometers are the least accurate of all.

How to plot the temperatures

  1. Plot only the daily average on a graph. Write clearly, use black ink if possible (it copies and faxes better).
  2. Instead of using a dot or ‘x’ in graph cell, use a number that reflects the number of temperatures you took that day. Thus, if you took three temperatures, write a 3 in the cell that reflects the average of those three temperatures. Or if you only took one temperature, write a 1 in the cell that reflects that one temperature. They should look like this, respectively:
    3-graph or 1-graph
  3. Indicate on the chart, where appropriate, any meaningful events. For example, starting a new medication or supplement, changing a dose, illness, stress, "had a great day", "felt tired...depressed today", menses, "worked all night", "slept more than usual" etc. These are very important when interpreting the graph. In cases where there is a change in temperature pattern, it is helpful to consider any possible events or changes in hindsight that may provide value in the interpretation.
  4. Connect the numbers with a line. If you miss taking temperatures for a given day, do not run the line through that day. Simply stop and restart the line. Color highlighting makes the graph easier to analyze (see color sample).

Use these Unmarked and Sample graphs to get started. Remember that the Metabolic Temperature Graph™ is really a navigational map in disguise. The more accurately you fill it in, the more detailed and helpful the map. It will help you navigate toward 98.6º F and better health. It is better to do a temperature graph that is imperfect with fewer than three temperatures daily, too much or too little time between temperatures, and too close to physical activity or rest than to not do one at all.


Recognizing Adrenal and Thyroid Correction Patterns
Although I have documented over a dozen typical temperature correction patterns for an equal number of metabolic dysfunction profiles, adrenal and thyroid temperature correction patterns are the most prevalent.

Is My Adrenal Therapy Working?

Below is a typical temperature pattern showing what we might see in a person receiving proper adrenal support, having an average to good response.
Thermal graph for adrenal fatigue and correction
Diagram Key and Explanation:

  1. Unstable temps: adrenal fatigue. Core temperatures have wide variations. They tend to rise in warm weather and fall in cold weather.
  2. Decreasing variability: with adrenal support, as the adrenal gland function improves, variability decreases (temps become more stable)
  3. Low but stable: after the temperatures have stabilized they still remain low but relatively stable.
  4. Stable and rising: after a period of being stable, the next phase of improvement is a gradual rise in average core temperature.
  5. Stable 98.6º F: This is typical of a healthy metabolic state.

If the adrenal support is working well, phases A through D can each last from one week to several months depending on the individual. In any given individual each of the phases seems to last approximately the same length of time (i.e. short period vs. long period). Some phases can blend together. For example, A and D can combine into an upwardly stabilizing pattern without C being present. I have actually seen some people go directly from A to E. To go from A to E can take as little as 1-2 weeks or as long as a few months. Hopefully, phase E will be permanent. If the adrenal fatigue is more severe (usually of longer duration), each of phases A through D tends to last longer and phase E tends to be less secure. If no progress is seen in 2-3 months, there is usually another problem present, such as toxicity etc.

Is My Thyroid Therapy Working?

Below is a typical temperature pattern showing what we might see in a person receiving proper thyroid support, having an average to good response. When there are only problems with the thyroid, the pattern is amazingly stable and we tend to see straight line patterns.
Thermal graph for adrenal fatigue and correction Diagram Key and Explanation:

  1. Stable at Low: Baseline temperatures. Low temperature reflects lower than optimal thyroid activity
  2. Stable and Rising: After starting or increasing the dose of thyroid hormone replacement medication, the temperature steadily rises.
  3. Stable but Plateaued: The temperatures plateau at the metabolic level to which the current dosage of thyroid replacement medication can take it.
  4. Stable 98.6º F: Eventually when the proper dose of thyroid replacement medication is reached, the temperature is stable at 98.6. Note that if the adrenals can not handle this level of energy, we tend to see an expansion pattern followed by a drop in temperature (see typical temperature patterns)

 

Interpreting Results
Interpreting the collected data is both a science and art. These are a few of the basic principles.
  • Thermal activity reflects metabolic activity. A low temperature means low metabolism and vice versa. For example, the temperature typically found in someone who is old, frail, pale and weak is low and typically ranges from 95 to 97 degrees if no infection is present. A healthy person will have an average temperature of 98.6 degrees, but may have a 100 degree or higher temperature in a hyperthyroid state or as high as a 104 to 105 degree temperature if there is a fever present ­ these are high metabolic states.
  • Wide variability in daily temperatures indicates a weak adrenal function since the adrenal glands help the body maintain stability. Good adrenal function produces a stable temperature. As adrenal function improves, the temperature variability decreases and vice versa. As adrenals get stressed (either from emotional stress, excess metabolic stimulation such as excessive thyroid stimulation, or for other reasons), the variability increases.
  • In a hypothyroid state, the day-to-day averages are low and very stable. In a hypoadrenal state including adrenal exhaustion or adrenal stress, the temperatures are low and unstable -- one day they may average 96 degrees and one to two degrees higher the next day.
  • If the temperature graph is the road map, the explanatory notes are the road signs. Without them, the pattern changes become very difficult to interpret. These notes provide context for the temperature data. They also reveal what components of the treatment program are working and what components or other factors are not.