IF, Thyroid, and Body Temperature
We know a healthy thyroid function is not only crucial for improving one’s body composition, but just as important for graceful and vital aging. So if IF decreases body temperature below the normal metabolic rate (A normal metabolic rate will produce a waking temp of between 97.8 and 98.2 deg F), is IF as beneficial as we think it is?
While the verdict is still out, I think a simply test we can all do on our own can perhaps give us a better idea at how effective IF really is and its affect on thyroid function and metabolism. Perhaps knowing more about the changes in our metabolism we can have a concrete way of how IF affects the digestive and endocrine systems.
A few years back, my younger sister was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Upon hearing this, I immediately grabbed interest and researched the subject as much as possible. At the time, I was trying to help her lose weight naturally with good ol' hard work and was afraid she would use the slow thyroid problem as a excuse to throw in the towel and turn over to the professionals. To make a long story short (after taking one test after another so every specialist known to her family physician could get their little hands in on the action) she gave up and went back to the natural route under my guidance. Anyway, this whole fiasco with the doctors lead me to spending much time learning about the thyroid and how it affects the body. Its actually quite overwhelming how complex the thyroid is and its relation with the rest of the body.
But...and I promise this post will end soon....but there was this simple test she did every morning (as soon as she woke up before getting out of bed) that was used to measure her thyroid function. Basically what you do is check your basal body temp immediately upon awakening and follow these simply steps:
1. Keep a thermometer by your bedside so you can take your temp before getting out of bed in the morning. (It is important to move as little as possible while taking your temp.)
2. Shake down the thermometer to read less than 92.0 deg (unless you have a digital, which I recommend.)
3. Upon awakening in the morning, take your auxiliary (armpit) temp for at least ten minutes.
4. Record your temp.
Repeat these steps for four days. (Menstruating women should record their temp on the second, third, fourth, and fifth days of their periods.) Calculate your average temp for four days. A normal metabolic rate will produce a waking temp of between 97.8 and 98.2 deg F. Temp below 97.8 may indicate, at the very least, subclinical hypothyroidism. Temperatures higher than 98.6 may reflect hyperthyroidism.
We know thyroid hormone increases the utilization of carbs and fat from food, and the rate of protein synthesis. It stimulates the appetite and the movement of food through the digestive tract. In the presence of thyroid hormone, muscle catabolism increases, which increases the resting metabolic rate (muscle burns more energy than fat). Thyroid hormone also increases the sensitivity of skeletal muscle to impulses from the spinal cord. (An excess of thyroid hormone is known to cause tremors, and a deficiency results in sluggish muscle response.) Thyroid hormone increases the uptake of oxygen into the cells, which speeds aerobic respiration. Finally, thyroid hormone actually increases the number of mitochondria within the cells.
As mentioned, the endocrine glands are in constant communication, not only with each other, but also with the nervous and immune systems. In conjunction with the pituitary gland, thyroid hormones influence almost every function in the body, as metabolism establishes the official temp at which systems operate. Because the thyroid gland's work involves interaction with many body systems, it is particularly sensitive to influences that can disrupt its proper functioning.
So what does all this have to do with IF?
Well, IF might be causing such a high stress on our body that PERHAPS and I used this loosely that fasting too much might reverse all the positive benefits of IF.
We know chronic stress affects the thyroid and endocrine function in a number of ways. The pituitary gland, the bodies "master gland," stimulates and controls the function of the adrenal cortex by secreting adrenocorticotropic (ACTH). If required to maintain a constant level of the major stress hormone cortisol in response to stress, the pituitary gland may over work. Too much production of ACTH may divert the pituitary from manufacturing other tropic hormones such as TSH, FSH, and LH. Cortisol production requires tyrosine, the same amino acid needed for the synthesis of T4. Excess cortisol production can deplete tyrosine levels, making it unavailable to the thyroid gland to make thyroid hormones. Stress depletes other important nutrients for T4 production, namely chromium and zinc. Excessive cortisol production from chronic stress also inhibits the conversion of T4 to T3 and the secretion of TSH. So the takeaway message (at least for me) is too much stress is obviously NOT a good thing over time.
So to FINALLY wrap this one up (sorry!) perhaps ALL our IF participants (and I know we have our fair share on this board alone)...keep a daily log of your resting temperature (remember first thing in the morning) and observe the patterns of higher temps on feed days vs. lower temps on fast days or steady temps throughout. Who knows what will happen.....perhaps this could be another tool from our BLACK (tool) BOX (inputs vs outputs concept) to use in our arsenal. Along with observing changes in body comp, performance, energy levels, sleeping, etc...we can track our body temp (very economical by the way!) and gauge other parameters such as metabolism and thyroid output.
Hopefully IF will become more popular, and in addition, the various influencers of thyroid metabolism such as stress and nutrient abnormalities will begin to become more recognized in the coming decade.
So what other IF's are up for checking their body temp every morning for the next few days? Curious to see the findings.
I'll do it, I'm on week three of IF.
Again, since the iodine issue came up today on the board, in a "normally" eating person with a low body temp, I'll always look to iodine first before thyroid hormone. All this Wilson's thyroid syndrome stuff, IMO, is simply iodine deficiency happening on a massive scale--there is enough thyroid hormone(s) to show up as "normal" on tests, yet not enough iodine to have the proper conversion of T4 to T3 or for the iodine-dependent tissues to function properly--hence a hypothyroid presentation with completely normal labs. I mean, I've seen several instances of patients being treated for goiter with thyroid hormone!!! It's a basic nutritional deficiency (iodine)!!!
Combine an iodine deficiency with heavy metal toxicity, and there are so many pathways of the body that won't function right it's unbelievable! That's why those two tests are always near the top of the list of tests for ANY patient I see.
Before IF, I was one of the few people I know with the "normal" body temp of 98.3-98.4 degrees F, that was after the iodine supplementation I mentioned in the other thread.
Steve, let me know if you want to start this as a group or if I should just go on my own...
Good point on the iodine, although a regular serving of sea salt should be enough to do the trick for most people. Of course sea vegetables (nori, hijiki, wakame, kombu, and kelp) are the better of the two options. Iodized salt is another source for iodine, but contains too much aluminum. The one supplement that I would highly recommend for this purpose (proper functioning of the thyroid gland) besides trace elements iodine and selenium, and the amino acid Tyrosine...is BLADDERWRACK.
Bladderwrack, or fucus, consists of the marine plant fucus vesiculosus. Marine algae have been used in Europe and Asia as medicinal agents for thousands of years. Bladderwrack is a rich source of iodine and is traditionally used for weight loss and hypothyroidism. Bladderwrack is thought to stimulate the thyroid gland, thus increasing basal metabolism. Bladderwrack also contains potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and other minerals.
At any rate, go forth and track your temp on your own Garrett. Curious to see if any major consistency/inconsisties show up as a result of IF'ing. Based on my experience so far with IF, I'd suspect the law of diminishing returns cannot be overcome with IF either. Fasted EOD for months with greater than better results...recently (as in last 3 weeks(tried fasting everyday up until 5pm) and noticed a drop across the board in most all my fitness parameters. Feel like I got slapped in the head for my my "more is better" attitude.
The thyroid is a tricky gland, and the hormonal replacement of thyroid hormone is also tricky.
Bits and Pieces:
From discussions about panhypopituitarism, there are a significant number of folks who prefer the Armour thyroid preparation instead of levothyroxine, and feel better on it. Endocrinologists seem divided on which they prefer.
There are a few folks I know who regularly use anabolic steroids, and they've told me that taking T-3 is the difference between an mediocre cycle and a very productive cycle, given the other variables remain the same. They all, after regularly supplementing their cycles with 150-200 mcg of T-3 on a daily basis, for over 8 weeks, have a fully functional thyroid (after the HPTA rebound occurred)
I do not think you can look at body temperature upon rising, in a healthy individual, and comment upon there thyroid output without a hormonal make-up before hand. A few years back I had some thyroid test done (my doctor wanted to check the levels so he could prescribe me some drugs if I was deficient...didn't matter what drugs, but he was hoping for statins, diuretics, and maybe thyroid too) and I followed a similar procedure to chart my temp...borderline low, but my thyroid output was fine.
I do not think that IF is going to affect the hormonal axes more than CR might, CR is, by far, a much more dramatic intervention in the energy balance of an organism.
I frequented several bb'er boards in the past (for the nutrition discussions) and remember the guys always raving about using T-3 and clen for taking off that last stubborn layer of fat around the waist. Seemed to work well for them, although overloading your system with synethic chemicals can't be a good thing over the long haul.
About the test, I agree its not a no questions asked way to determine thyroid output by no means. For this, blood work would be more useful. Rather, it is simply a tool (the most logical assessment) for measuring thyroid function--that is, determining the ability of thyroxin to enter the cells and influence metabolism.
In fact The late Broda Barnes, MD., a pioneer in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disorders, developed this test and successfully diagnosed and treated many patients based on its results.
Again, not proposing any groundbreaking theory or anything here....just interested to see if there is any relation b/t IF and body temp, as we know a change body temp is telling us something else worth noting is going on.
I must respectfully disagree with your opinions on sufficient sources of iodine from foods in today's SAD diet. I don't even believe that major iodine deficiencies can be made up with sea vegetables eaten in (eventually sickening to the stomach) large amounts. I base this on the feedback of my patients, both those who have gone from eating large amounts of seaweed to iodine and those who have gone from taking the Iodoral iodine to a solid dose of seaweed in supplemental form. Everyone noticed improved "function" on the iodine supplement and not so much on the sea vegetables.
Men in general underestimate the needs of iodine, as men tend to have much fewer issues with deficiency. I believe this is mainly due to the high requirements of iodine in females, both in their reproductive organs and due to childbirth (low iodine in newborns = cretinism, no mother's physiology will allow that to happen without a fight, hence mothers becoming outrageously short in iodine).
If iodine deficiency was not an issue, I would not see the results in my patients I have seen from giving them a simple combination of iodine and potassium iodide, in doses that would make physicians uneducated in proper human nutritional needs squirm.
The other problem with seaweeds is that no one knows, batch to batch, how much iodine is in it. I was told by a gentleman at http://www.naturespiritherbs.com/ that the iodine content of sea vegetables can vary up to 10-fold! Hard to dose properly with a "food" that's for sure.
In short, I disagree, and I believe that NO ONE should be getting Armour, Synthroid, or any other thyroid hormone UNTIL an iodine deficiency and autoimmune thyroid condition (likely caused by gluten and/or EFA deficiency) has been properly ruled out. EVERY "hypothyroid" (either lab diagnosed or symptomatic) has come up deficient on the 24-hour iodine sufficiency test. On this I won't budge.
The human body isn't so often screwed up, it's us who are screwing it up. Giving hormones willy-nilly only masks the problems, which are still smoldering under the surface, and will rear their ugly head sooner or later.
I likes my iodine...
Fair enough Garrett. I was more spitting out what I have learned on the topic..not making statements that I believed were rock solid conclusions. In fact, I'm glad you wrote that post as it sparked my further interest into the iodine issue. I'm very confident that if you said it, there is much truth to it and worth further investigation. Good stuff, thanks for the info!
I'm in Steve I'll take my resting temperature upon rising for a week or so. I'm curious because when they took my temp. when I went to give blood the other day it was 97.2 which is lower than usual. I'm typically lower than the average but I don't recall getting such a low reading when I haven't been sick.
Now the trick is to remember doing this at 4:30-5 am in the morning! haha!
Garrett, would you be able to explain in a bit more detail how gluten intolerence and/or an EFA deficiency plays a role in effecting the thyroid?
When you say EFA, i presume you're leading more towards an Omega3 deficiency, over Omega6?
Sorry not Garrett and not sure about gluten intolerance, but i know the metabolism of fats and absorption of EFA's are very important functions of the thyroid. Insufficient T4 to stimulate fat metabolism can lead to Hyperlipidemia, or elevated cholesterol. Without the benefit of cardio protective nutrients from essential fatty acids, the increase of cardiovascular disease greatly increases, not to mention a slow, weak thyroid gland. Inadequate T4 in the cells has a negative effect on oxygen consumption as well. Excess oxygen results in an increase in the oxidation of lipids (fats) and free radical damage. Increased oxidation of the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) form of cholesterol, often referred to as "bad" cholesterol, has been identified in hyperthyroidism and hypothyroid states. But before worrying about any of this...the first place to start is with the adrenal gland as Garrett suggested. Iodine deficiency is usually the problem, unbeknown to most people... causing an under active thyroid and other fixable problems.
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