Thyroid Conditions How to measure your Basal Metabolic Temperature

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By measuring your Basal Metabolic Temperature, you can gauge what your Basal Metabolic Rate is and therefore how your body is responding to thyroid hormones, regardless of blood test results, which may not pick up thyroid conditions.

What You Need

  • An oral thermometer, not a digital one as they’re not specific enough.


How to Take the Test

  1. Before going to bed, shake the thermometer down. Place it beside your bed.
  2. Immediately upon waking the next morning, place the thermometer in your armpit for 10 minutes. Do NOT get out of bed. Relax and remain still during the test.
  3. Record the temperature.
  4. Take your temperature at the same time every day, before any activity or movement,  for accuracy. Make a note if there is a change in the time that the temperature was taken.
  5. Document if there has been any illness, stress or emotional issues, nightmares or difficult dreams, alcohol or excessive caffeine consumption on the previous day.
  6. Also document if you have been getting up during the night.
  7. Repeat the test for three consecutative days.

Men and premenstrual and perimenopausal women can take their temperatures on any day of the month. Women in their menstrual years should take theirs on the second or third day after menstrual flow starts get the most accurate reading, or at least not when they’re ovulating.

Interpreting Your Results

  • Normal: 36.2–37 degrees
  • Below 36.2 degrees usually indicates a sluggish or hypothyroid condition
  • Above 37 degrees usually indicates an overactive or hyperthyroid condition

An Additional Indicator

Pulse rate can be a diagnostic tool for a Hypoactive or Hyperactive Thyroid:
  1. Resting pulse should be taken when you have been sitting or lying down for at least should 5 minutes.
  2. Use the tips of your first two fingers (not your thumb) to press lightly over the blood vessels on your wrist.
  3. Count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply by 6 to find your beats per minute.
If you are regularly recording less than 85 beats per minute, you may have a hypoactive thyroid  especially if your basal temperature is consistently low.
Pulse rates higher than 85 at rest, recorded on a regular basis may indicate hyperthyroid, but may also be the result of infection, food intolerance and excess adrenaline.

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