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Does The Thyroid Regulate Body Temperature

Effects Of Th On Adaptive Thermogenesis And Heat Conservation

Comprehensive guide to basal body temperature for thyroid

Homoeothermic animals have developed precise thermogenic mechanisms to keep a steady body temperature in the face of generally colder environmental habitats, including physiological and behavioral responses to generate or preserve heat. TH affects both obligatory thermogenesis, the involuntary thermogenic process due to basal metabolic activity, and adaptive thermogenesis that refers to additional heat production when obligatory thermogenesis is insufficient. As a master regulator of energy metabolism, TH is involved in all of the above mechanisms for cold defense. TH increases obligatory thermogenesis by boosting the basal metabolic rate, and it is also required for adaptive thermogenesis in thermogenic organs including BAT , WAT, and skeletal muscle .

Similar to regulation of BAT and WAT thermogenesis, TH is critical for an optimal thermogenic response in skeletal muscle. Heat production is higher in euthyroid skeletal muscle compared to hypothyroid muscle. T3 induced production of UCP3, which is the isoform of uncoupling protein primarily expressed in skeletal muscle, is associated with an increased energy expenditure in skeletal muscle . Nevertheless, T3 treatment did increase the resting metabolic rate in Ucp3 knockout mice similarly to wild type mice, suggesting that additional pathways, including the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase uncoupling mechanism , may be involved in TH-induced skeletal muscle thermogenesis .

Fig. 1.

Lab Tests For Measuring Thyroid Health

Whilst feeling cold and having a low BBT cannot diagnose hypothyroidism, it may be a sign its time to get your thyroid checked out, especially if you other have signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Many doctors just test for TSH . TSH is such a crude marker of overall thyroid health and tells you nothing about your actual thyroid hormones or your antibodies. You need the full concert of thyroid hormones to completely understand what is happening with your thyroid. You can have a normal TSH level and yet have low levels of thyroid hormones.

The following tests are all key indicators to find a thyroid imbalance

  • TSH
    • Thyroid stimulating hormone is the hormone secreted by the pituitary gland and is responsible for keeping thyroid hormone levels at optimal levels.
  • Free T4
    • Is the storage form of thyroid hormone and is mostly inactive. Free T4 can be converted to T3 as needed by the body.
  • Free T3
    • Is the active form of thyroid hormone made from the T4 as needed. The amount of T3 being made correlates strongly as to whether a person has hypo or hyper symptoms

What Causes Cold Intolerance

People with hypothyroidism suffer from cold intolerance because they do not produce enough thyroid hormone to convert and utilize stored energy effectively. Therefore, there is less energy available to regulate body temperature compared to individuals with normal thyroid hormone levels. Indeed, when people with hypothyroidism experience cold temperatures, their bodies mount defense mechanisms to preserve heat, such as by drawing blood away from the hands and feet. For this reason, people with hypothyroidism are more likely to suffer from hypothermia, which can be life-threatening.

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Have Your Levels Checked

Cold weather can increase your body’s need for thyroid hormone and cause or exacerbate hypothyroid symptoms. Commonly, during colder months, your thyroid stimulating hormone level will rise, and free T4 and free T3 levels will drop.

If you notice hypothyroid symptoms worsening as the weather gets colder, it’s worth having your blood levels tested. You may need an increase in your thyroid hormone replacement dosage. Some healthcare providers make it standard practice to automatically raise their patients’ dosages slightly during colder months.

C Bile Acid Synthesis

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The conversion of cholesterol to bile acids is required to maintain cholesterol homeostasis. This cholesterol clearance pathway is regulated by a number of nuclear receptors that control the expression of cholesterol 7-hydroxylase , the rate-limiting step in bile acid synthesis . Human and murine CYP7a1 are regulated by different nuclear receptors and their ligands . In murine models of impaired TR action, LXR is induced with a high-cholesterol diet that stimulates CYP7a1 gene expression and bile acid synthesis . LXR has no effect on human CYP7A1 mRNA levels however, T3 treatment reduces CYP7A1 mRNA and cholic and chenodecoycholic acid synthesis in human hepatocytes . While there is no role for LXR in human CYP7A1 expression, both PPAR and hepatic nuclear factor 4 have response elements that are located in close proximity to the TRE. In addition, HNF4 positively regulates CYP7A1 gene expression while PPAR inhibits HNF4 activity resulting in lower CYP7A1 levels .

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Getting A Better Picture

Taking your basal body temperature is an excellent way to get started before a thyroid function test. If you keep up with this testing for a while and find that your basal body temperature is consistently low, then you definitely want to take a deeper look.

There are a lot of potential reasons why your thyroid could be failing. Some people are suffering from an unknown autoimmune condition while others are primarily showing symptoms of hypothyroidism. It could even be an issue with thyroid hormone conversion. It is important to get to the root cause so that you can address it and alleviate the nagging symptoms you experience.

How Does The Body Regulate Temperature

Humans are warm-blooded animals who maintain a constant body temperature despite the environmental temperature changes. They generate heat through metabolic processes. The body temperature of humans is 37°C. In humans, the hypothalamus is responsible for the temperature regulation of the body. The regulation of the body temperature is known as thermoregulation. It recognizes the change in body temperature and changes are made through effectors such as muscles, sweat glands, hair, etc. Constant body temperature is maintained by controlling the heat production and heat loss from the body.

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Confirming A Hypothyroidism Diagnosis

While feeling cold isnt enough to diagnose hypothyroidism alone, it may be a sign that its time to test for it. Talk to your doctor and ask about having your thyroid function checked. Your doctor should examine your thyroid gland and look for other physical clues, such as brittle nails and hair, swelling of the arms or legs, and coarse facial features. A simple blood test can measure levels of the thyroid hormone TSH higher than normal TSH levels are most often due to hypothyroidism.

If a positive diagnosis is made, the next step is to undergo thyroid hormone treatment, which can help to reverse a low body temperature and any other hypothyroidism symptoms, says Frederick Singer, MD, an endocrinologist and director of the endocrinology and bone disease program at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif. Then, by following your prescribed treatment plan, you can help ensure that thyroid levels return to normal.

Role Of Thyroid Hormones

Basal Body Temperature Test of the Thyroid

Thyroid is one of the main knobs to maintain a tightly controlled temperature around a 37° C . Even birds and other mammals use thyroid hormones to balance their body temperature.

During cold, thyroid hormones, T4 and T3 will stimulate the body to generate more heat.

In hot weather, when outside temperature rises above our body temperature, the release of TSH slows down. T4 and T3 already circulating in the blood lose an iodine atom and convert into non-active forms, e.g., T4 into reverse T3 .

What happens if the system malfunctions and the body continues to produce thyroid hormones?

Hyperthyroidism is such a condition when excess thyroid hormone, T4, circulates in the blood. As a consequence, the body constantly struggles to lower the temperature. This results in common symptoms of fatigue, high sensitivity of heat, irritation, and weight loss.

On the other hand, in hypothyroidism, our body can not supply enough thyroid hormones to maintain the temperature. A typical symptom is continuous feeling of cold.

Initially, TSH levels rise to maintain sufficient T4 and T3 levels. However, beyond a certain level when TSH levels saturate , the system malfunctions, resulting in a thyroid disorder.

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How Do The Parathyroids Work

Normally parathyroid hormone release is triggered when the level of calcium in the blood is low. When the calcium level rises and is back to normal, the release of parathyroid hormone from the parathyroids is suppressed. However, parathyroid hormone and calcitonin work together to control calcium levels in the blood. The blood calcium level is the main stimulus for the release of these hormones, as the release of these hormones is not controlled by the pituitary gland.

When the calcium level is high in the bloodstream, the thyroid gland releases calcitonin. Calcitonin slows down the activity of the osteoclasts found in bone. This decreases blood calcium levels. When calcium levels decrease, this stimulates the parathyroid gland to release parathyroid hormone. Parathyroid hormone encourages the normal process of bone breakdown . This process of bone breakdown releases calcium into the bloodstream. These actions raise calcium levels and counteract the effects of calcitonin. By having two hormones with opposing actions, the level of calcium in the blood can be carefully regulated.

Parathyroid hormone also acts on the kidneys. Here it slows down the amount of calcium and magnesium filtered from the blood into the urine. Parathyroid hormone also stimulates the kidneys to make calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D. Calcitriol helps to increase the amount of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus absorbed from your guts into the blood.

Basal Body Temperature And Your Thyroid

For over a century, the relationship between basal body temperature and thyroid disease has been known and well-documented. One of the earliest mentions of it was an 1888 compilation of case reports of those suffering from myxedema, which was a late consequence of severe hypothyroidism.

Many different symptoms and metrics were tracked, in hundreds of patients over many years – included in that tracking was basal body temperature. The authors discussed what was an unusually low temperature in nearly all of those with myxedema. In the years that followed, it became known that a lack of thyroid hormone was the cause of this condition and that the oral use of desiccated thyroid could cure it.

From this logic we get the work of Broda Otto Barnes. He took the idea of basal body temperature and thyroid disease one step further, and suggested that the use of basal body temperature could help with diagnosing thyroid disease – and ultimately determining the optimal dosage for those who were on replacement therapy.

What I appreciated about Dr. Barnes was his tenacity to find a solution. He saw that the tests of the day simply were not cutting it, and he ventured forth to try and figure out a new way to help people with thyroid disease. He was incredibly compassionate, and legitimately wanted to help his patients. While his methods might not have worked, as we will learn, you have to admire someone for trying to do the right thing.

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T3 In The Arc Controls Feeding

Thyrotoxicosis induced an increased food intake accompanied by increased hypothalamic neuropeptide Y mRNA and decreased hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin mRNA expression . Mice lacking the T3-inactivating enzyme D3, presumably leading to increased hypothalamic T3 levels, showed increased neuropeptide Y and decreased POMC gene expression . Accordingly, direct T3 administration in the ARC resulted in increased feeding, a mechanism involving upregulation of the hypothalamic mammalian target of rapamycin signaling pathway . Interestingly, TH induced orexigenic effects were linked with thermogenic pathways in the hypothalamus. Other studies showed that fasting increased hypothalamic D2 activity and, thereby, local T3 production. Elevated T3 in ARC appeared to accelerate UCP2-dependent mitochondrial uncoupling in neuropeptide Y/AgRP neurons, leading to consequent rebound feeding following food deprivation . The observation that TH regulates POMC expression in the ARC may be relevant for cold-induced BAT thermogenesis as a recent study showed that cold exposure induces autophagy in hypothalamic POMC neurons, which is necessary to activate lipophagy in BAT and the liver through the sympathetic network favoring cold-induced thermogenesis .

Can Hypothyroidism Be Prevented

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Hypothyroidism cannot be prevented. The best way to prevent developing a serious form of the condition or having the symptoms impact your life in a serious way is to watch for signs of hypothyroidism. If you experience any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, the best thing to do is talk to your healthcare provider. Hypothyroidism is very manageable if you catch it early and begin treatment.

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Thyroid Function And Cold Intolerance

Low body temperature can be an uncomfortable and painful symptom of hypothyroidism.

In this article:

  • How the thyroid regulates heat
  • What is Basal Body Temperature ?
  • What causes cold intolerance?
  • Strategies to manage cold intolerance

The thyroid gland is the body’s equivalent to a home’s thermostat. Heat regulation is one of the critical roles of the thyroid gland. As the body’s thermostat, the thyroid sends signals to generate heat from stored energy. When thyroid function is compromised, the body does not receive appropriate signaling to increase heat generation. Thus, for patients living with hypothyroidism, it is common to experience cold intolerance.

How Much Weight Do I Need To Lose To Stabilize Hypothyroidism

Some research indicates that weight loss and thyroid function may be related, and studies have indicated that moderate weight loss may help to stabilize hypothyroidism. But how much?

A 2014 study published in Thyroid examined overweight and obese subjects who underwent a 12-month individualized dietary intervention, using moderate, prolonged dietary restriction, aimed at achieving a weight loss of 5 to 10 percent. The researchers noted that after weight loss, T3 decreased significantly, and a decrease in peripheral conversion of the prohormone T4 into its hormonally active metabolite T3 is at least in part responsible for the observed changes in thyroid hormone homeostasis.

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Big Picture: Basal Body Temperature

What we need to know is that basal body temperature was a useful thing in history, and that it is a helpful thing to track fertility and your menstrual cycle. You can see shifts in that, but we know that it is not a good tool to track changes in your thyroid. Please know that your temperature is important, but that not everyone has a high one. If you are not in Barnes optimal range, I would not worry about your long-term health – this is just the way you are. You cannot rely on it alone to see if your thyroid dose is safe enough.

What we know, with our present knowledge, is that basal body temperature cannot be safely relied upon to prevent hyperthyroid effects of thyroid therapy. The problem is that hypothyroidism is a highly prevalent condition, and that many who would benefit from treatment remain undiagnosed – can you just imagine how many people back in the day went undiagnosed?

The best way to find out if someone has a thyroid condition is to test, dont guess, and by considering these key variables:

Nutrition & Supplements For Thyroid Health

Thyroid Function and Temperature

CareClinic also offers a nutrition tracker, which helps you maintain your diet log. When you keep tracking food to ensure adequate nutrition and consumption of a healthy diet meanwhile, this nutrition tracker will help identify your cravings and make you take control of them. If you have a specific diet to change your food habit, you can follow your diet and reflect on helping you live a healthy life. Apart from diet and other factors, supplements also may be beneficial to keep thyroxine levels optimal. Following are few supplements you might require in your diet.

  • Iodine First and foremost, iodine deficiency is the number one cause of hypothyroidism. Iodized salts can fix the gap, and keep in mind that your daily intake of iodine should be between 200mcg-300mcg daily. Still, always seek medical advice if you plan to add extra iodine since iodine can aggravate autoimmune thyroid conditions.
  • Selenium Typical daily dose of selenium ranges between 200mg-400mcg
  • Iron Daily dose is around 25mg.
  • Zinc Typical daily dose ranges from 15mg-40mg
  • Vitamin D supplementing with 1000-2000IU/day

Always remember to discuss with your healthcare provider before starting any of the supplements or drugs.

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Does Estrogen Regulate Body Temperature

4.1/5Estrogenregulates body temperatureestrogenbody temperatureseen here

The thyroid, an endocrine gland just above the collarbone, produces hormones to regulate functions such as heartbeat and metabolism. The gland also controls your body temperature. When the body makes too much thyroid hormone, body temperature rises.

Beside above, what are the symptoms of low estrogen levels? Common symptoms of low estrogen include:

  • painful sex due to a lack of vaginal lubrication.
  • an increase in urinary tract infections due to a thinning of the urethra.
  • irregular or absent periods.
  • headaches or accentuation of pre-existing migraines.
  • depression.

Additionally, which hormone is responsible for body temperature?

Thyroid hormone key part in the vascular regulation of body temperature. Summary: Researchers have discovered a reason why people with disorders of the thyroid gland may be more sensitive to environmental temperature.

How does the body regulate body temperature?

Our internal body temperature is regulated by a part of our brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus checks our current temperature and compares it with the normal temperature of about 37°C. If, on the other hand, our current body temperature is too high, heat is given off or sweat is produced to cool the skin.

What To Do If Your Thyroid Is Acting Up

So what should you do next after reading this article? Especially if you suspect you have some sort of thyroid problem?

Your best bet is to follow these 6 steps listed below:

These steps are designed to help get you started on the right track so you can get back to feeling healthy and back to normal.

Always remember that each person is unique and may present slightly differently so it’s difficult to fit everyone into a simple “treatment box” but using this approach should help.

Now I want to hear from you:

Do you suspect you have issues with your thyroid?

Are you experiencing symptoms associated with any of the 10 functions we discussed above?

Have you been tested for thyroid problems?

What, if anything, did your lab tests show?

Leave your comments below!

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