Learning about your hormones and metabolic health doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It doesn’t have to mean purchasing expensive gadgets or doing extreme biohacking. It can be simple—as simple as taking your body temperature. 

Your body temperature says a lot about hormonal health and metabolic health. The temperature method can help track your menstrual cycle and let you know when you’re ovulating—making it one of the best fertility awareness methods sans artificial hormones. The temperature method can also help you understand metabolic health, and why your energy levels are where they are.

In this article, we will dive deep into body temperature and talk about its connection to hormone health, metabolic health, and how you can add it to your daily health routine. Let’s dive in. 

What is a normal body temperature?

A normal body temperature should look like 97.2-5+ F around waking up and slowly increase over the day. Mid-afternoon, your temperature should peak at 98.6 F and slowly lower, letting the body cool down for sleep. 

Unfortunately, today, there are a lot of factors that can mess with your body temperature. Stanford researchers have found that “the body temperature of women born in the early to mid-1990s is on average .58 F lower than that of women born in the 1890s.” Now, I know that might not seem like a huge shift—but it’s a pretty big deal considering that a tiny change is all you need to be able to produce adequate progesterone to get pregnant! 

When body temperature is consistently low, it can impact thyroid hormones and metabolism, slowing down cellular rejuvenation, energy production and conversion, and more. 

So why is this?

 In the 1900s, industrial agriculture introduced seed oils like canola, soybean oil, safflower, and more. These oils are known to create free radicals and oxidative stress in the body, increasing inflammation and hormone imbalances. 

There was also the introduction of leftover WW2 chemicals into our food and material supply, like fluoridated water, Botox, NPK fertilizer, and more. These toxic sources are loaded with endocrine-disrupting chemicals, carcinogens, and other health hazards. 

Since the 1890s, we’ve also moved away from physical work outside in the sun and towards high-stress, screen, and chair-laden jobs. We’ve opted for convenient meals over high-quality, slow-cooked meals. 

The potential answers for “why” are endless. The fact is, our temperatures are going down, and it’s lending itself to metabolic and hormonal issues. 

High Temperatures Vs. Low Temperatures 

A high body temperature is associated with lower inflammation, stronger immunity, good fertility, healthy thyroid function, optimal digestion, and more elimination of toxins through detox pathways like the liver. 

A lower body temperature is linked to obesity, vulnerable immunity, inflammation, estrogen dominance, hypothyroidism, poor circulation, low-functioning detox pathways, and digestive issues. 

It makes sense. Lowering the body temperature is the body’s way of conserving energy (hello, hibernation). 

Body Temperature and Hormones 

So now that we know how our body temperature can give insight into your health and hormones let’s dive a little deeper. 

When our body temperatures are consistently low, it can point to poor thyroid hormone production (think low energy, hair loss, weight issues etc.) and fertility issues. Our bodies need to be adequately heated to have enough energy and fuel to properly secret and manage hormone production, detoxification, etc. If any of this is slow, we can experience hormone imbalances. 

What Temperature can Say about Thyroid Imbalances & Metabolic Health 

Body temperature clues us in on how our thyroid is functioning. A consistent temperature below 97.5-97 F could indicate hypothyroidism and poor metabolic health. A healthy thyroid always means higher temperatures. Here are some symptoms of hypothyroidism:

  • Poor digestion, constipation 
  • Cold hands and feet 
  • Constant low energy 
  • Poor mood 
  • Hair loss 
  • Weight issues 

Body temperature and fertility 

I’ve been measuring my basal body temperature for over a decade and am obsessed with how it makes me feel empowered and connected to my body.

Basal body temperature (BBT) is one of the best ways to track ovulation. Basal body temperature is the temperature of your body as soon as you wake up—no movement. More scientifically, it is the lowest natural, non-pathologic body temperature recorded after a period of rest (sleep). To get full insight into your cycle, you must consistently track your BBT for at least a few cycles to identify patterns. During the first half of your cycle, the follicular phase, it’s normal to have lower temperatures. 

During ovulation, temperatures should increase for about 10-14 days prior to your period, in the luteal phase. 

Interactions between three different organ systems are necessary for ovulation, and the BBT increases. 

The hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis is the foundation of menstrual cycles in women. The hypothalamus is a unique endocrine organ that secretes neurohormones and GnRH hormones to act on the pituitary gland to release other hormones on the ovaries to induce ovulation. 

After ovulation, progesterone becomes the leading factor that increases basal body temperature from an estimated .5 to 1 degree F throughout the luteal phase. 

Progesterone Imbalances 

Suppose temperatures stay the same in the follicular range for the entirety of your cycle. In that case, that is an indication that you are not ovulating and may be experiencing an anovulatory cycle. This is why tracking your cycle is important, even if you do not want to get pregnant now but potentially in the future. 

Progesterone is not just vital for conception; it also helps with anxiety, bloating, libido, sleep quality, and estrogen dominance symptoms. 

Women have used BBT tracking for over decades to effectively track ovulation and fertility. 

By tracking your body temperature daily, you can gain important information about the health of your hormones. Once you know your pattern, you can take the necessary steps or make lifestyle changes to help support optimal hormone function. 

For example, some of the ways you can support ovulation and healthy progesterone levels include:

  • Stress management techniques like breathwork, meditation, dancing, laughing 
  • Magnesium supplement 
  • Vitamins B and C 
  • Sleep quality 
  • healthy fats like coconut oil and avocado 
  • Beans! 

I talk more about basal body temperature and more natural birth control methods in this podcast episode.

Beyond Body Temperature for Cycle Tracking

If you are mainly interested in learning about your internal temperature or the temperature method for fertility purposes, here is another way you can track fertility. 

Cervical Fluid 

Tracking your cervical fluid can help optimize the fertility awareness method, connecting you closer to your body and its rhythms

You can do this by checking your vaginal discharge daily, by inserting a finger, or by checking the tissue when you wipe. 

Around ovulation, you will have clear, watery, egg white consistency discharge. On non-fertile days, fluid tends to be thick and white. You can read more about this method here

I hope this article has helped you understand how body temperature is a great tool for understanding hormone and metabolic health.

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