Could it be Hypothyroidism? A Simple Home Test to Assess your Metabolism

My last two articles have focused on tests you can do at home to assess your health such as the L-Ascorbate challenge and the first morning urine pH.

This month, the focus is on testing your basal body temperature as a reflection of your metabolism. The word metabolism refers to how the body burns food to make energy. Symptoms of fatigue, hair loss, cold hands and feet and memory loss are all simply a result of sub-optimal metabolism.

Dr. Pamela Smith, MD, author of several books and founder of the American Academy of Anti-Aging, states that maintaining vision, memory and mobility are primary aspects of healthy aging that are dependent on a healthy metabolism.

Have you taken your temperature with a good, old fashioned oral thermometer in the last 10 years?

The late Dr. Broda Barnes, MD, PhD, author of Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness, in 1976, recommended taking an oral temperature upon awakening, while lying quietly in bed. An oral temperature less than 98.6 was suggestive of an underachieve thyroid. He stated, “ Think of the thyroid as the body’s “carburetor” that controls the rate at which every cell from hair to toenails burns energy.”

He noted in his book that 40% of Americans suffer from hypothyroidism despite having normal blood levels of thyroid hormone. During the 1970s and 80s, he treated thousands of patients with thyroid supplementation based on their basal body temperature with significant quality of life improvement.

Today, the modern medical practice guidelines for diagnosing hypothyroidism suggest measuring TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). The problem with this test is that it fails to assess cellular or tissue levels of thyroid.

The importance of tissue levels of active thyroid hormone is emphasized by Dr. Dennis Wilson, MD, in his book, Evidence-Based Approach to Restoring Thyroid Health. He states that measuring TSH to assess thyroid function will miss up to 95% of patients with low thyroid in the tissues. He substantiates this statement with hundreds of current peer reviewed articles published in multiple accepted journals like the New England Journal of Medicine. Unlike Dr. Broda Barnes, however, he recommends taking three oral temperature readings per day and averaging them to assess basal metabolism.

At IMI, a combination of oral temperature with an in-depth thyroid laboratory assessment is recommended to identify hypothyroidism as a root cause of symptoms. Our recommendations for treatment of hypothyroidism will be discussed in another article.


If this article makes sense to you and you would like to know if you may be living with sub-optimal metabolism due to hypothyroidism, give us a call at 208-426-0052 and make an appointment.