Many of us know what thyroid and thyroxine are, and at least one person with a thyroid-related condition. During your visit to the doctor’s office, your doctor might have asked you to get your labs done to assess your thyroid status too. Thyroid-related conditions are commonly due to either rise or fall of thyroid hormone levels in your body. Measuring your basal body temperature for several consecutive days using a thyroid temperature chart is the most efficient way to track your hypothyroid status. CareClinic app offers appropriate features to help you maintain a thyroid temperature chart.
CareClinic is a one-stop personal health app that provides numerous valuable features to help you maintain a personal health record. Create a self-care action plan, add medications, supplements, diet, physical activities, and therapies you receive. You can even set your a healthcare team that manages your health and pregnancy. Add your physician, registered nurse, and family members to keep them in the loop.
Thyroxine is a hormone produced by the thyroid glands of your endocrine system. Thyroid glands are small, butterfly-shaped gland which lies just at the base of your neck. It produces hormones called triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones have an enormous impact on your health, affecting all aspects of your metabolism.
It is supporting many essential bodily functions, including maintaining the basal temperature of your body. Tracking basal temperature can be used to help you to identify the presence of altered thyroid hormone levels. Body temperature rises when you exercise or do any activity that makes you sweat. However, if your thyroid is not functioning properly, you may find that your body temperature rises even when you are not doing any physical activity. This can be a sign that you have an overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism.
Thyroxine is involved in the physiological activities in your body. It acts on all your cells and organs to carry out the following functions.
- Increasing or decreasing body temperature.
- Control the rate of metabolism – i.e., rate of burning calories, affecting weight loss or weight gain.
- Alter (slow down or speed up) your heart rate.
- Affecting the rate of movement through the digestive tract.
- Controlling muscle contractions.
- Regulate the rate of replacement of dying cells.
- Assisting in brain development and bone health.
Hypothyroid is a condition where your hormonal levels are lesser than normal, and hyperthyroid is where your hormone levels are higher than usual. Each state has its symptoms, as described below. CareClinic offers features like a diary entry and symptom checker that would become handy for you to follow up with your symptoms and related events happening on your daily encounter. Read further to know more about thyroxine abnormalities, thyroid temperature chart, and the CareClinic app to create a thyroid temperature chart.
Autoimmune Disease: Autoimmune diseases occur when your immune system produces antibodies that attack your tissues. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disorder known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Thyroid Surgery: Removal of the whole or a significant portion of your thyroid gland will result in reduced hormone production.
Radiation Therapy: Cancers occurring in the head and neck region are often treated with radiation therapy. It can affect your thyroid gland and may lead to hypothyroidism.
Over-response to Hyperthyroidism Treatment: Radioactive iodine or anti-thyroid medications are often given to people with hyperthyroidism to get thyroid function back to normal. At times, this treatment can lower thyroid hormone production to a level when permanent hypothyroidism occurs.
Medications: A few medications can be a cause of hypothyroidism. For example, lithium used to treat certain psychiatric disorders might affect the thyroid. If you’re taking any medications, consult your physician about their effect on your thyroid gland.
Less often, hypothyroidism may result from a congenital disease, pituitary disorder, pregnancy, and iodine deficiency.
Hypothyroidism is the most common condition across the population, and the following are the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
- low body temperature (i.e., feeling cold in a warm room)
- lack of motivation
- weight gain or inability to lose weight
- swelling in ankles and wrists
- lack of sex drive
- hair loss
- sleep disturbances (e.g., insomnia)
Graves’ Disease. Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder and the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. Production of antibodies by your immune system results in stimulating your thyroid to produce excessive T4.
Hyperfunctioning Thyroid Nodules. In this case, hyperthyroidism occurs due to one or more adenomas of your thyroid producing excessive T4. An adenoma is a part of the gland that outgrows and walls itself off from the rest of the normal gland, forming benign (noncancerous) lumps. That may cause an enlargement of the thyroid. Examples include toxic adenoma, toxic multinodular goiter, Plummer’s disease, etc.
Thyroiditis. Inflammation of the thyroid is called thyroiditis. It can occur due to an autoimmune condition or unknown reasons. The inflammation results in excess hormone stored in the thyroid gland leaking into your bloodstream. It can occur with or without pain.
Hypothyroidism Symptoms (less common)
Hyperthyroidism is a less common condition to occur across the population. Following are the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
- rising heart rate
- altered bowel habit with frequent, loose bowel movements
- unintended weight loss and more.
The thyroid influences several chemical reactions in your body. When your thyroid is high or less, those chemical reactions in your body also will be disturbed. Causes for abnormality in thyroid status include autoimmune disease, treatment for hyperthyroidism, radiation therapy, thyroid-related surgery, and some medications.
Assessing Thyroid Activity
Firstly, just feeling cold is not suggestive of hypothyroidism. The other symptoms mentioned in previous sections are also crucial during the history-taking process with your physician. Since we cannot remember everything happening to us daily, it is always better to keep them noted down in a convenient place.
You would have realized how vital monitoring your days are when it comes to chronic illnesses. Remembering symptoms might sound simple when we talk, but in reality, keeping days in memory is complex. Use the CareClinic app’s diary entry feature to track day-to-day activities or events you encounter. Track your symptoms, duration, and details to create a complete log of your disease pattern. The symptom tracker lets you add symptoms you are experiencing. You can start tracking them even before 19DPO if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above. Including pregnancy, if you have any medical conditions or medications, you can start tracking your symptoms before seeking medical attention and compare how well the therapy relieves you from symptoms after visiting the doctor’s office. This helps seek medical attention during pregnancy-related symptoms, which might lead to complications.
The best way to arrive at a diagnosis is to perform the appropriate laboratory investigations to study the hormonal levels. Physicians generally check for thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). But, that will not give a complete picture of your thyroxine hormone status. Your TSH level may be normal, while thyroxine is abnormal. To understand your thyroid status completely, more laboratory tests are on the list to be done.
The following are the key markers to identify a thyroid abnormality.
The pituitary gland secretes thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) along with its other hormones. TSH helps to maintain thyroid hormone levels at optimal levels.
The inactive form of thyroid hormone is called free T4, and it is the form the thyroid gland stored thyroxine. Free T4 will be converted into T3 according to the body’s demand.
The inactive form of thyroid hormone T4 is converted into T3 when required. T3 has a stronger indication of the patient’s thyroid status and can be correlated with symptoms.
RT3 is always produced along with thyroid hormones. It acts as a buffer against hyperthyroidism.
Anti-Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (anti-TPO)
Thyroid peroxidase is an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of thyroid hormones. This anti-TPO is acting against this thyroid peroxidase enzyme. The presence of these antibodies is indicating a possible diagnosis of Hashimoto’s disease or a potential future occurrence of thyroid disease.
Thyroglobulin antibodies affect the iodine-rich precursors of thyroxine, which are usually stored in the thyroid gland.
Spot Urinary Iodine
Iodine is a well-known essential nutrient for the thyroid. It is necessary for the production of thyroxine hormones, and iodine deficiency leads to hypothyroidism.
Other nutrients like selenium, zinc, vitamin D, and iron are the other vital nutrients that help the production of TSH, conversion of T4 into T3, and the transformation of iodine into iodide. Hence upon necessity, your physician might order those investigations too.
Steps towards a Healthy Thyroid
Thyroid diseases require medications or surgery with medications. In addition to them, making your dietary and lifestyle changes would help you manage your thyroid disease.
Vitamin D is essential for thyroxine production. Hence do not hesitate to expose yourself to sunlight during the day.
Eating healthy helps one to lead a healthy lifestyle. Gluten-free diets are shown to have clinical benefits in relation to thyroid illnesses. (R) A gluten-free diet might reduce thyroid antibodies and subsequently improve health in patients with coeliac disease associated with thyroid illness.
Maintain Intestinal Permeability
Factors like infections, chronic bowel inflammation, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth would affect how your digestive tract functions. Primarily they affect the permeability of the gut. Since the gut is essential for absorbing the nutrients needed for thyroid hormone production and conversion, your gut health is also crucial.
Treat Any Underlying Viral Infections
Viral infections cause thyroid diseases too. Sometimes viruses remain in a dormant state in your body. Once they are re-activated, they trigger or worsen thyroid disease. Keeping your immune system strong with vitamins A, D, and zinc would help you maintain good health against infections in common.
Medication for Hypothyroidism
Depending on the cause of thyroid status, treatment differs. In-depth information on the medications is excluded, considering the focus of this article and the complexity of the diagnosis. Despite the treatment, keep a record of therapies you may be receiving. Let it be your endocrinologist or your family doctor. You can record all of your appointments so that you never forget something. Furthermore, maintaining therapy-related information would help you manage your time in future instances too.
Never forget your medications and supplements with the pill-tracking feature offered by the CareClinic app. Including your supplements, you can maintain a complete medication history on your phone so that you carry them wherever you go without much hassle. Have a look at our blog article on pill tracking.
Nutrition & Supplements for Thyroid Health
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 a 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.
Basal Body Temperature (BBT)
Basal body temperature is your temperature when you are at complete rest. Normal physiological functions like ovulation might cause a fluctuation in your basal body temperature. Tracking your basal body temperature would help you find out the most probable day of your ovulation. To learn more about ovulation and pregnancy, read other articles on days post ovulation in our blog.
As is explained in the previous paragraph, basal body temperature is the temperature when you are at complete rest. In other words, your body should be without influences from other factors such as exercise, stress, etc. Since your body would reach the basal metabolic activity during several hours long sleep, morning is always the best time to take the temperature. Use the CareClinic app to check your temperature.
Measuring Basal Temperature
Even though measuring temperature sounds simple, you should keep a few things in mind before measuring it to find the average basal temperature. Remember these important points when you use the thyroid temperature chart. (R)
- Using an accurate thermometer is essential; a fertility/basal thermometer is an accurate one.
- Stick to the same thermometer for measurement throughout the duration.
- Take your temperature at a fixed time every morning.
- When you wake up in the morning, before making any movements or getting out of bed, try to place the thermometer under the tongue or armpit.
- Do not eat, drink, or get up before taking the measurement.
- Measurements differ between oral and armpit readings. Your armpit temperature would be 0.5°F (0.3°C) to 1°F (0.6°C) less than the oral temperature. Menstruation also might lower your basal body temperature.
- Measure the readings consecutively for a set number of days. The more the days are, the more accurate your basal temperature will be. Hence physicians may suggest going up to 10 days at a stretch.
- When you are tracking your temperature, you can check whether the average basal body temperature suggests hypothyroidism.
- An average temperature lower than 97.8°F (oral) or 97.3°F (armpit) for three (preferably ten) consecutive days suggests possible hypothyroidism.
Thyroxine & Thyroxine Temperature Chart
Thyroxine affects the body’s basal temperature by acting on the blood vessels to dilate them. If thyroxine is present excessively in the bloodstream (i.e., in a hyperthyroid state), body temperature increases; the person feels too hot even in a colder environment. On the other hand, if thyroxine is lower than usual (i.e., hypothyroid state), the temperature goes down. So, the person feels too cold despite the higher environmental temperature.
CareClinic’s activity tracker lets you identify any actions that worsen or relieves your symptoms. Use this feature to track all activities you involve in a day. You can figure out which activities help improve your symptoms and which don’t. If you suffer from non-thyroid-specific symptoms, you can identify them quickly by reviewing your actions. You can look back to see if there are any correlations between your symptoms and any activity you may have participated in. Also, you can correlate the temperature with the activity to determine whether it is due to some other external reasons or thyroid-related reasons. A thyroid temperature chart can be maintained using these features of the CareClinic app.
Factors are influencing your body temperature. Movements, eating or drinking before temperature reading, and measuring the temperature differently on different days are the foremost reasons. Stress and restless nights are other factors that affect your temperature.
Normal Body Temperature: Interpreting your Thyroid Temperature Chart Readings
Studies reveal average body temperature is between 97.8 – 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit when resting. If your temperature is less than 97.8 temp, then that is toward a decreased function (hypothyroid) pattern. Consistently above 98.2 indicates a trend for more of an increased function (hyperthyroid) presentation. Mixed results show high and low values, which is often more indicative of a primary adrenal stress pattern.
As I mentioned earlier in the text, temperature drop alone does not mean hypothyroidism. It may indicate that you might need to check your thyroid status.
CareClinic for Medical Reports
Reports are another great feature in the CareClinic app that can provide a lot of perception into your lifestyle. It considers your logs in diary, nutrition, activities, symptoms, etc., and subsequently generates reports to show the association amid those entries. This connection would be helpful to learn more about yourself and your pregnancy-related changes. The entries related to your activities, temperature, and symptoms would be analyzed to generate a report which would give a holistic picture of your thyroid condition. These reports can be shared with your physician so that they can understand your state with more clarity.
A thyroid temperature chart is a guide to measure and track your basal body temperature. Still, you should always seek medical advice if you have any concerns about your thyroid status or symptoms. Using an all-in-one app like CareClinic can help you lead a healthy lifestyle by getting into the habit of tracking and sticking with it.
Download CareClinic now and lead a healthy life ahead.