Posted by Dr Sircus on January 21, 2015
Temperature is an indicator of the amount of heat contained in a system and in
the human body our temperature is an extension of basic body metabolism and a
host of other factors. Heat is a form of energy and every reaction in a human
body occurs at a certain energy or temperature level thus tracking well with
cell voltage and pH.
It is essential for the normal functioning of the human body, that this internal
temperature be maintained, that pH be regulated and cell voltage optimized. The
core body temperature of a human body is an important factor, which is always
why it should be considered while evaluating the health condition in a checkup.
An important difference between mammals, including humans and other organisms
like a reptile are that we are warm blooded creatures. The body temperature of
mammals is maintained at a constant level, despite the changes in environmental
Normal core temperatures are at the exact temperature at which all the functions
of the human body can operate with optimal efficiency. The same can be said
about pH because all physiological processes are pH sensitive.
Normally the rectal temperature or vaginal temperature is considered as the core
temperature. The ideal core temperature is considered to be around 98.6° Degree
Fahrenheit or 37° degree Celsius. This temperature is however, the average body
temperature and the overall normal temperature varies from a minimum of 97.7°
Fahrenheit (36.5° Celsius) to a maximum of almost 99.5° Fahrenheit (37.5°
Celsius). Any temperature above or below this range is abnormal. At the ideal
temperature, all human body systems function with maximum efficiency with oxygen
being supplied in ample amounts because CO2 levels are optimized.
Causes of Low Body Temperature
Body temperature can fall due to numerous reasons .such as being exposed to cold
weather or wearing soaked or wet clothing for a long time. On the other hand,
abnormally low body temperature can also be a potential symptom of the following
diseases and disorders:
Side effects of medications
Shivering is one of the most obvious and easily recognizable symptoms. Shivering
is accompanied with chattering of teeth and goose bumps. Apart from this the
following symptoms are observed:
Purple fingers and toes
Lack of coordination
Difficulty in making decisions
One important factor that decides this temperature is the base metabolic rate of
a body, which is the rate at which we burn calories and use up our energy
stores. Other factors like administration of medications can also affect it,
usually in a negative sense.
The control center for body temperature lies in the brain and it is known as the
hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is alerted to either extreme cold or hot
conditions reducing or opening blood flow towards the external layers of skin.
Stress interferes with body temperature regulation driving down body temperature
and its interesting the color green is warm and relates to the heart’s emotional
center and the hypothalamus.
Changes in hand/foot temperature are a reflection of blood flow – a measure of
the stress response. For example, while talking about an upsetting incident
involving your parents, an employer/employee, or friend your temperature may
drop 5_ to 20_. In contrast, when recalling a minor misunderstanding your
temperature may only drop one degree. And yet, when you recall the warm sun on a
recent vacation, your temperature may increase a full 10 %.
What is most surprising is how quickly the changes occur. People often comment,
“I never had any idea that a little finger could show so much!”
The basic rule for interpreting temperature change is simple, Warmer hands/feet
indicate Relaxation while Colder hands/feet reflect Activation or Tension. When
the body’s fight/ flight system is activated the muscles tense, heart rate and
the vital organs speed up. As a result, blood flow is shunted from the
extremities and directed to the vital organs to facilitate the increased level
of arousal. As a result, changes of 5, 10 or 15% can occur within just a few
Every process that goes on inside our bodies requires energy – specifically,
metabolic energy. When the body does not have enough energy to function
properly, each component of the body will malfunction in its own unique way. For
example, if the brain has too little energy, thought processes such as memory
and focus become impaired. The body needs energy to keep itself warm – a low
body temperature, therefore, usually accompanies low metabolic energy.
Dr. David Jernigan says, “Much emphasis in conventional medicine is usually
placed upon feverish conditions; however, a low body temperature can be a much
more sinister condition. Where a fever can be viewed as an active developmental
and corrective process of the healthy body, a low body temperature can never be
viewed as a normal or healthy condition, nor is it a mechanism for a learning or
developmental process in the body. The colder a body becomes, the slower the
electrical oscillatory rate and therefore the thicker, more viscous, or syrupy
the body fluids become. The more viscous the fluids become the more difficult it
is for the body to push the fluids through the body. The lymph fluids that are
normally supposed to bathe the outsides of all of your cells become
progressively stagnant as it is too thick to move efficiently.”
“A low body temperature creates a happy home for viruses and chronic infections,
and is a sign of degeneration and gradual cellular death. The problem with a low
core temperature is that no effective immune response can be mounted therefore
no fever is generated and infections go undetected. The sickest person is one
who gets the same infections but never miss a day of work because there is no
response by their immunes system, so they have a false sense of wellness as
healthier individuals go through healthy fevers and immune responses that may
cause them to miss work. Low body temperature is the plague of the 21st century.
People with low body temperature have a weak reaction to even the most ideal
medicines and therapies,” continues Jernigan.
What causes low metabolic energy? The most common cause is poor thyroid and/or
adrenal function. Another very common cause is hormonal imbalance – especially
low progesterone or estrogen dominance in women or low testosterone in men.
Dr. David Brownstein points out that body temperature is a crucial function of
the thyroid, besides regulating the metabolism of every cell in the body. The
thyroid gland is located in the neck and is responsible for secreting important
hormones into the bloodstream. The thyroid gland controls the process of
metabolism thus there is a direct relationship between low body temperature,
thyroid function and iodine sufficiency. When the function of the thyroid is
compromised by inadequate production of thyroid hormones, the metabolic balance
moves at a slower pace and is unable to maintain its primary function –
production of heat.
A normal temperature is critical for good health. Low body temperature results
when the body is unable to keep the body "thermostat" regulated within a safe
range. Under normal circumstances, the body is able to generate and dissipate
heat. The internal mechanisms can overcome most outside adversities of freezing
cold or broiling heat. Normally, this protective mechanism keeps your body
temperature in the safe range in emergencies for maintaining life.
Chronic fatigue syndrome and low body temperatures are symptoms of mitochondrial
failure. As the body’s core temperature decreases cellular energy also decreases
thereby leading to profound and chronic fatigue that is not relieved by sleep.
The normal functions of maintenance, repair and cleansing are slowed and
problems develop when body temperatures drop below normal. When the body
temperature is low, the body cannot maintain its homeostasis/balance in the way
it was designed. The actions of enzymes, vitamins, minerals and essential body
chemicals become "depressed".
The laws of thermodynamics state that if we decrease energy we decrease
temperature. The process of energy production leads to heat. It is this heat
that keeps the body warm. When resting, body processes produce enough heat to
keep the body at its set temperature. This process of heat generation occurs due
to metabolism. It is here that the relationship between low body temperature and
thyroid comes into the picture.
Persistently low temperatures typically come on or worsen after severe stressors
such as childbirth, divorce, death of a loved one, job or family stress, surgery
or accidents. The body slows down and the body temperature drops in response to
the stress and is supposed to recover once the stress is over, but sometimes it
doesn’t. When .our temperature does not recover, this results in the condition
Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome (WTS).
Special Note: Much can be said about Iodine, thyroid conditions and low body
temperature. I would recommend my book on Iodine and Dr.
David Brownstein’s book on Thyroid Disorders and Iodine as well. Look for an
upcoming essay which addresses specifically thyroid conditions and low body
temperature. In addition to iodine supplementation, for thyroid and low body
temperature issues, add a Biomat to warm the body directly.
Dr. Mark Sircus, Ac., OMD, DM (P)
Director International Medical Veritas Association
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine