Body Temperature and Weight Loss

Monday, April 02, 2012

"Normal human body temperature, also known as normothermia or euthermia, is a concept that depends upon the place in the body at which the measurement is made, and the time of day and level of activity of the person. There is no single number that represents a normal or healthy temperature for all people under all circumstances using any place of measurement."

There was recently an article that came out in the New York Times titled " Rethinking 98.6" where the author describes the trend of humans having a body temp of 98.2 and not what most scientist believed to be the normal 98.6. Why is this disturbing? Well look around we have an epidemic of overweight, infertile, fatigued, and just down right pissed off human population growing exponentially in the industrialized countries where junk food and fast food go hand in hand with feeling like the ice man over time. The Body Temperature is one of our best tools for determining the overall function of the thyroid, liver, and just overall cellular function.

"The body's enzymatic processes slow over 10%, sometimes 20% per degree of temperature below the "optimum" 98.6 F. Slower chemical function, repair, and disposal of local and environmental toxins puts the body below expected function. This can cause many symptoms and syndromes. Obviously, not all chronic problems are related to chronic low body temperature; but if several of these are noted, it may be prudent to measure one's body temperature on a routine basis to see if chronic low body temperature is a possibility. " -

"Lower baseline temperatures is one problem. Another is that a fever is part of the body’s defense mechanism against infections, and this immune response may be diminished in some elderly people, including, studies show, in up to 30 percent of those with serious bacterial or viral infections"

Its not just the elderly that can be affected by this low body temperature we are starting to see younger and younger generations having the same problems. Decreased immunity, Type 2 Diabetes, Fatigue, sluggishness, the list goes on and on.

This next bit of information was taken from an online poll consisting of 185 participants from around the united states. It's amazing how many people are suffering from a low body temperature.


Above 99.2 (37.3 C) - I have high fevers most of the time
8 4.32%

98.6-99.2 (37-37.3 C) - I tend to run a low grade fever
19 10.27%

98.2-98.6 (36.8-37 C) - My body temperature is in the normal range
4 2.16%

96.2-98.2 (35.7-36.8 C) - I tend to have a slightly lower body temperature
120 64.86%

Below 96.2 (35.7 C) - Brrrrrrrr!!!!
16 8.65%

My temperature fluctuates throughout the day &/or changes daily
18 9.73%

So everyone is feeling like the Jamaican bobsled team, Cool Running's, and there were a couple researchers who found that this low body temperature thingamajig was a huge factor in obesity, heart disease, infertility and even certain forms of cancer. One of the most famous endocrinologist in this field was Broda Barnes.

"According to Dr. Barnes’ research, the most effective measure for gauging thyroid health is to place a mercury thermometer under the armpit for 10 minutes immediately after waking, before getting out of bed. Even a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night could affect the reading. A Basal Body Temperature below 97.8 is indicative of a sluggish thyroid. "

"Research over the past forty years has clearly shown a direct relationship between heart attacks and thyroid deficiency, according to Dr. Broda Barnes. The true culprit causing the increase in heart attacks is not necessarily how much cholesterol is consumed, but how the cholesterol is assimilated in the body. Studies have shown that low thyroid levels causes a glue-like substance called mucin to accumulate causing a cascade of biochemical changes leading to a degeneration of the arteries. Other studies have shown that the removal of the thyroid gland soon leads to atherosclerosis. "

Broda Barnes was one smart Mofo, and treated thousands of patients symptoms with dessicated thyroid. Dr. Atkins even says in his book that prolonged dieting can bring on the same symptoms that Dr. Barnes patients were experiencing:

“…remember that prolonged dieting (this one [meaning the Atkins diet], low-fat, low-calorie, or a combination) tends to shut down thyroid function. This is usually not a problem with the thyroid gland (therefore blood tests are likely to be normal) but with the liver, which fails to convert T4 into the more active thyroid principle, T3. The diagnosis is made on clinical ground with the presence of fatigue, sluggishness, dry skin, coarse or falling hair, an elevation in cholesterol, or a low body temperature. I ask my patients to take four temperature readings daily before the three meals and near bedtime. If the average of all these temperatures, taken for at least three days, is below 97.8 degrees F (36.5 C), that is usually low enough to point to this form of thyroid problem; lower readings than that are even more convincing.” - Dr. Atkins

So how does this all relate to weight lose? Well a lot of people seem to have it stuck in their head that in order to get healthy, they need to lose weight. However the opposite is true...The body needs to be healthy first, meaning all cells functioning correctly, hormones levels are stable, and overall resting temperature is normal. Once this is achieved the body has no need to carry excess fat, your hands and feet will be toasty as well, and leptin signaling will come back to normal or close to it.

My own personal account on this matter: Growing up I always had to have a ceiling fan in my room, I couldn't stand the heat and I even had my fan on the middle of winter. I was always thin growing up, barely any body fat and tons of energy. I woke myself up in the morning for school without an alarm clock, made my own breakfast, took a shower and all at the age of 10 years old. ( I know I'm an over achiever). It was only until recently that I noticed a change in my body temperature, a dramatic drop when I was not able to eat food for a period of time in my life. I was underweight, fatigued, dry skin on my knuckles, and overall just feeling of crap. Once I found food again my body temp has almost come back up to normal.

A) Stable at Low: Baseline temperatures. Low temperature reflects lower than optimal thyroid activity

B)Stable and Rising: After starting or increasing the dose of thyroid hormone replacement medication, the temperature steadily rises.

C)Stable but Plateaued: The temperatures plateau at the metabolic level to which the current dosage of thyroid replacement medication can take it.

D)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)

Dr. Rinds Metabolic Temperature Graph (

"When your body temperture is 98.6 you will be able to eat mounds of good food and not gain weight around the midsection, you will also see in increase in brain function, overall quality of the skin, hair, and eyes along with a lessening of other common symptoms. In Mark Starrs book Hypothyroidism Type 2: The Epidemic , he list 82 pages of symptoms that can come from having a low body temperature and under-active thyroid."

So I guess now the question is how do I get my body temperature up so I can achieve my goals of maintaining a proper weight and keeping "it" up for hours at a time( do you see what I did there)? Broda was able to use thyroid but I prefer the food approach.(Moderate to high starch, medium sat Fat, veggies + fruit, lower in Pufa and sucrose) Clean up your diet, with unadulterated, fresh, local whatever and be aware of the pitfalls of consuming too much veggie oil , High sugar sweetened Drinks, and avoid dieting at all costs. calorie restriction has shown in every single study to cause a lowering of the body temperature and down regulation of the hormonal systems in the body. We need to get our temps back up through better food production, sustainability, and overall quality. Eat most of your meals from home without added chemicals, fake fats, and sugars.

The Full article can be read here:

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I can't believe more people are not commenting on this blog!
    My waking body temperature has been in the range of 97.0 - 97.4 for the past year.
    This morning it was 96.8.

    I have been looking online for information and I find articles about people falling into lakes in winter with low body temps.

    I wonder why the information is so hard to come by?
    1518 days ago
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