Beyond Infection, What Can Your Body Temperature Reveal About Your Health

Everyone knows what a high temperature can mean, for everyone has been sick with the flu at some point. The high temp is a marker for an infection. The body temp is raised to help fight the invading pathogen.

But what about temperatures that are CONSISTENTLY lower or higher than normal? In my practice, I have a number of diagnostic methods to help me identify the root cause of a problem. One of those methods is the monitoring of body temperature.

I have my patients take their temp upon waking. In fact, I tell them to take it while still in bed. This temp SHOULD be 97.5 or higher. While the “normal” daytime temp is 98.6, it makes sense that the temp will go down during a night of sleep as the body’s metabolism is at rest. I then have them take their temp about 30 mins after they wake. The temp SHOULD be 98.0 or higher. Then after lunch, between 1 and 3, I have them take their temp a third time. This temp SHOULD be 98.6.

However, there is a functional range of about one point on both sides of this “normal” daytime temp. So if someone has a temp of 97.9, for example, the temp is close enough to normal that normal physiological functioning can still take place, though digestive enzymes work best at the optimal 98.6 reading. If the temp is 97.5 or lower, then this is a very good indication that digestive enzymes are not able to be used as efficiently as when the temp is optimal. The digestive and other enzymes depend on a sweet spot of body temp for maximum usefulness.

So other than digestion, what are the implications for a lower than optimal temp? In Chinese Medicine terms, it means that the body’s daytime energy, Yang, or its day time predominate hormones, are insufficient. A person with consistently sub-optimal body temp usually has some set of the following symptoms: weaker digestion, fatigue, lower libido, lower Testosterone, difficulty losing weight or keeping the weight off, cold hands and/or feet, etc. In some ways, this may present as a sub-clinical hypo-thyroidism.

Conversely, if the temp is consistently above 98.6, it could be a sign that the body’s Yin, or the cooling, moistening hormones and fluids of the body, are insufficient. This makes sense as we can all relate to having a high temp with a flu that leaves us feeling parched and drained. Common symptoms for people with temps that are consistently too high may include afternoon fever, night sweats, hot flashes, thirst, irritability, muscle tension, trouble healing from injuries and trouble recovering from workouts, and difficulty falling and/or staying asleep.

When a patient has temp readings that are consistently sub-optimal, whether too low or too high, I prescribe customized Chinese botanical formulas, needle specific acupuncture points, and make dietary/lifestyle recommendations, all in order to correct the imbalance. Frequently, patients show signs of both yang and yin deficiency! So even if one or the other is predominant, both need to be treated.

If you suffer from fatigue, inability to lose weight, anxiety, irritability, poor workout recovery, poor digestion, insomnia, low T, or any of the other symptoms I mentioned above, I offer free Freedom from Pain and Disease consultations.

Each week, I try to leave two to three spots in my schedule for these free consults. During the appointment, I begin to identify the root cause of your health problem. We look at the hidden obstacles that are sabotaging your ability to be well. Then I create a customized action plan to get you feeling well now! You will leave my office feeling renewed, reinvigorate, and ready to solve you health challenge, once and for all.

Life is too short to suffer from sub-optimal functioning. Call (678) 631 – 7965, or make your own free consult appointment by clicking on this link:


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