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A quick test to determine your thyroid health

Posted by Rita Texeira on 17 December 2013
A quick test to determine your thyroid health

It’s hard to believe that your thyroid, a small butterfly shaped gland in the front of your neck could be so important to your body. While we usually associate thyroid issues with weight loss or gain, there are so many other important body functions that can be affected when your thyroid is over or under-reactive.

Being an endocrine gland, your thyroid stores and produces hormones that affect the function of almost every organ in your body. Thyroid hormone (Triiodothyronine or T3) regulates your metabolism and is associated with changes in your mood, body weight and energy levels. The thyroid hormone also boosts the function of your heart, skeletal system and the workings of every cell.

Unfortunately thyroid conditions are becoming increasingly common in Australia. In fact some experts are saying that one in 20 people will experience some kind of thyroid dysfunction in their life with women 10 times more likely to have thyroid issues than men.

With our thyroid being so important to our overall wellbeing it's important we monitor it to ensure it is working effectively. To help you here is a quick test you can perform to help you determine your thyroid health.

Your basal temperature and thyroid health

Low thyroid function can cause weight gain, mood swings and excessive tiredness, it can also result in a low body temperature, making your resting, or ‘basal body temperature’ as it is termed, an easy way to test if your thyroid is functioning below what it should.

Your body works best within a very narrow temperature range. Enzymes, hormones, vitamins and minerals work best between 36.5°C -37.5°C. For this reason your basal body temperature readings should be between 36°C -37°C, 37°C being ideal.

How to test your basal temperature

Testing your basal temperature is a reliable and non-invasive test that can be performed in the comfort of your own bed. All you need is a good quality thermometer and to follow these five simple steps.

  1. Place a digital thermometer by your bed before going to sleep at night
  2. As soon as you wake up place the thermometer in your mouth. It is important to make as little movement as possible, lying and resting with your eyes closed is best
  3. Do not get up out of bed until you have completed the test
  4. Read and record the temperature and date
  5. Perform this test on at least five mornings, preferably at the same time of day

Menstruating women must avoid doing this test around the middle of their cycle as body temperature naturally rises at ovulation. Men and non-menstruating women can perform the test at any time.

If your temperature is lower than 36°C consistently it is best to discuss these findings with your health professional and naturopath Rita Teixeira to discuss other diagnostic methods and a treatment plan to restore your thyroid health. Call the Resolve Health and Wellness Centre today on 1300 744 123 to make an appointment.

Author:Rita Texeira

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