Low Daytime Body Temperature

Diagnostic Questionnaire


You will need a good accurate thermometer to complete this questionnaire. I prefer the Vicks brand oral thermometers with the coin-sized color digital displays that claim 8-second readings, but which actually require 12 seconds. These cost ~$15. However, never trust any thermometer without having first taken your temperature with it and another thermometer from a different company, and observed that they read identically. Hence, you will initially need two different thermometers to confirm that your primary thermometer is in good working order.

There is a trick to getting the most accurate possible readings from digital thermometers. First, put them into your mouth and under your tongue, and then wait ~2 seconds before turning them on. Sometimes a digital thermometer won’t signal completion, e.g. beeps from the Vicks thermometers. In this case, ignore the displayed temperature, cycle power, and repeat the process.

Don’t use mercury thermometers, liquid-metal non-mercury thermometers, or the forehead or ear thermometers. These work well enough to detect fevers, but unavoidable residual errors are sometimes enough to misguide corrective efforts. Mercury thermometers are often more accurate than digital thermometers, but are too slow to catch rapidly changing temperatures.

I recommend using the Fahrenheit rather than the Celsius/Centigrade scale, because tenths of a degree are only about half as far apart when reading oF rather than reading oC. Note that some of your biological setpoints are only ~0.6oF=0.3oF apart, so introducing needless granularity by using C readings can sometimes result in misunderstanding what is happening.

Note that behind low body temperatures lie many potential problems, nearly all of which you do not have. Figuring out what is wrong involves first eliminating as many potential problems as possible, and then reconstructing as simple an explanation as possible for your own personal situation.

The questions asked here are all “open ended”, as it often takes more than a word to explain a malfunction. Each question is preceded with a brief statement to establish context.

Background Questions

1.      You have observed that your daytime temperature is low. What is it during the afternoon, or whenever it reaches its maximum value?

2.   Some people usually have low temperatures. Some people are “stuck low”. Some people can easily jump past 98.6oF=37oC when they are in a hot environment. There are many possible variations. Is your temperature always low, or does it sometimes come up to 98.6oF=37oC or above? If so, then please explain.

3.     Your basal temperature is your temperature when you first wake up, before you get out of bed. This is usually your lowest temperature of the day. What is your basal temperature?

4.     Thyroid medications can cause low daytime body temperatures, and they can sabotage corrective efforts. Are you now taking any thyroid medications like Synthroid, Levoxyl, or Armour?

5.     Thyroid medications often cause a permanent but correctable condition known as Wilson’s Thyroid Syndrome rT3 Diversion. Have you ever taken thyroid medications? If so, when and for how long?

6.    Contrary to medical dogma, body temperatures can be corrected even in the presence of hypothyroidism, but hypothyroidism makes correction more difficult. Do you have any thyroid test result numbers? Note that “Normal” doesn’t say much, as the “normal” ranges have become so broad as to be nearly useless.

7.    Stress-related test results can indicate that you are “running on overload”, e.g. blood pressure, diabetes, total cholesterol, ANL (Absolute Neutrophil Level), etc.  Do you have any of these test results?

8.       The most common cause of low body temperature is general anesthesia. At what age did you first have general anesthesia, e.g. for a tonsillectomy?

9.       Some people learn to become low temperature in the womb. Do you know if your mother had/has low body temperature?

10.   There is a possible genetic connection, especially with ethnic groups that have gone through famines. Are you Irish, American Indian, or from an ethnic group known to have gone through a period of famine?

11.   I am especially interested in whether you went through your teenage years at low or normal temperature, because if your temperature was low at that time in your life, you may have developmental challenges that will make temperature correction more difficult. Can you guess how old you were when your temperature first became low?

Test Questions

12.   Take a long hot shower (not a bath or hot tub) during the middle of the day, and raise your body temperature up to 98.6oF and maintain it at 98.6oF for several minutes. Most people either feel GREAT, or feel uncomfortably HOT. How do you feel after several minutes at 98.6F?

13. Continue raising your body temperature until it becomes quite uncomfortable. Most people hit their tolerance limit at either 98.something or 100.something. Warning for ex-military types: No, you don’t need to kill yourself proving that you can stand ANTHING. I just need your “f**k this” temperature. What is your own tolerance limit?

Motivation Questions

14.   Why do you want to correct your low body temperature, e.g. to cure an illness, live longer, gain IQ points, etc?

15.   Does your low body temperature now interfere with living your life the way that you want to?

16.  Correcting low body temperature takes a lot of participation in something that can sometimes be somewhat uncomfortable. Hence, people who are more motivated often do better.  How motivated are you?