Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Between us girls......

I took my temperature the other day. Despite doing this for Abbie every now and then over the past few years, I can't even tell you the last time I had done it for myself. Then again, why would I?

Emma suggested I may like to. You see taking your basal temperature is a wonderful insight into how your body is functioning.* Your basal body temperature is your body's temperature at rest. Emma advised that it is optimal for this temperature to be a minimum of 36.6 degrees C. During the day it is ideal for your body temperature to be 37 degrees C meaning you will be in a thermogenic state where you are efficiently converting thyroid hormone.

Low body temperature suggests your body is in a hypo-metabloic (hypothyroid) state. According to Emma unfortunately this is the common state for most women these days mainly as a result of carbohydrate restriction, protein deficiency, Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs), stress, inflammation and estrogen.

"Common symptoms of low thyroid function and/or poor thyroid hormone conversion include low energy, low body temperature with cold hands and feet, an inability to lose fat (although hypothyroidism also commonly occurs in those with low body weight), low stomach acid and enzyme secretion (therefore poor nutrient absorption), leg cramps, insomnia, disturbed sleep, depression, bacterial overgrowth, leaky gut, food sensitivities, salt cravings, sluggish bowels and constipation, muscle twitching, cramps, thinning hair and eyebrows (at outer edges)." Emma Sgourakis

I have been tracking my temperature for 3 days now and it is very low, not within the ranges specified above. My hand, feet and the tip of my nose are freezing as I sit here typing. 8 years on the pill, too many grains, beans, nuts, avocados, chicken and other sources of PUFAs, way too many late nights and two pregnancies seem to have caught up with me.

So my plan of action. 

to increase meal frequencies - more snacks in between main meal 
to ensure all meals are of 'pro-metabolic foods'**
consume daily carrot salad daily 
to ditch the cruciferous vegetables - yep the green stuff - as they contain compounds that inhibit iodine uptake to the thyroid (goitrogens) plus its full of indigestible cellulose - this includes broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts.
to eliminate all PUFAs from my diet (since learning about the high PUFA content of pork and chicken, we have removed both from our diet and replaced with more wild shellfish)
to get more sleep. to be in bed by 10pm at the very latest each night.***
to continue to read widely and learn as much as I can about how the body works

I will keep you updated on my progress if you like. Emma advises that increasing body temperature through diet will take time....even up to one year.  

Please share your experiences, thoughts and questions. I answer all questions in the comment section so please so pop back and see. I hope this post raises some awareness of a condition that is pretty much the norm for all women today......why not take your temperature, do a little further reading, forward this post to a girlfriend and perhaps join me on my plan of action? 

* Pulse rate and ovulation are also useful. 
**I know you are wondering what these are. Read about them here. My bone broth recipe here and ways to incorporate gelatin here (nourishing orange jelly) and here (cream & honey pannacotta). 
***I've got 15 minutes to go! 

picture: taken on the weekend of my best friend, her daughter and I . I just love the afternoon sunlight. 


  1. this is really interesting and i was just reading emma's article the other night about thyroid. i too have taken up eating a daily carrot salad, planning on cutting out (or down on chicken), green veg (do you think that means things like parsley?) and aim to consume bone broth and gelatine every day.
    now where's that thermometer?...
    yes and getting to bed by ten sounds like a very good idea, oh look at that my time is up! x

    1. great sounds like you are joining me! Love to hear about your progress too. I am sure parsley as a garnish just fine, however would not base a meal on it. x

    2. i took my temperature after writing that and since it was 34.8 this morning i am definitely joining you.

  2. Oh I'm happy to say that I have been taking my temp (for other reasons lately) and while I'm not spot on I'm usually around 36.3 or above, so that's great to know. I'm sad about the greens!! I love my greens, but I find that article interesting. I also like the look of the carrot salad, though we already eat a bag a week in snacks, usually just whole and raw though. I think the biggest things for me to do is decreasing my chicken and increasing my gelatine. It's wonderful you have someone like Emma, and wonderful for you to share yours and her insights with us. Do you happen to know anything about Kangaroo meat? Everything I have read is good, but a lot of it is marketing material. We eat it once a week as it's cheap and has many nutrional benefits (from what I can find out). Happy Spring days and nights to you all x

  3. Hi Natalie,
    When Skye was six month old, I was absolutely "I can't get off the couch" exhausted from a hypothyroid (plus frequent night waking and demand feeding). And then I lost so much weight it was worrying. I've had Hashimotos for over ten years and it does play havoc with my hormones if I don't take good care of myself. I still need to fine tune my diet (it would probably be good for me to see Emma also!). I like this list you have. Fingers crossed a few changes here and there will help your body function better... I would also keep an eye on emotional wellbeing for good thyroid health. It seems that slowing down and not expecting too much of yourself are also very beneficial for the adrenals and thyroid. Quite difficult to achieve as a mother...but I'm sure just being mindful about it helps too. xx PS. Quiche worked out fab :)

  4. I have been meaning to comment on this post of yours for some time! This really interests me as I have all the symptoms of hypothyroidism and am currently being treated by my naturopath for it, but she has me currently supplementing with iodine which I noticed Emma doesn't recommend in the article you linked to. I like your plan of action - I do some of those things now and am trying to do more. I look forward to hearing how you go!

  5. I find the link between body temperature and thyroid function fascinating! Does anyone know what ranges hyperthyroidism would be in? There seems to be a large emphasis on hypothyroidism.

    Thanks so much!

    1. Me too...fascinating. Haven't spent too much time looking into hyper...however have a google of Broda Barns and Ray Peat and see what you can find. One thing I have read is that even if temperatures are high, yet a person has many of the hypO symptoms, it is possible stress hormones are pushing the temperatures up. Something to keep in mind.
      Good luck :)

  6. Would love to read of how you're feeling with these changes? I'm on a similar journey myself.


Thanks for your sharing your thoughts. I love hearing from you and will respond to any questions in the comments sections. Natalie

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