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Low Body Temperature Symptoms and Causes – And How to Treat It

Published 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 temperature.

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:

Addison’s Disease


Drug/alcohol abuse



Kidney failure

Liver failure


Side effects of medications


Fast Breathing/Asthma




Common Symptoms

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:

Slow heartbeat

Shallow breathing

Purple fingers and toes

Lack of coordination

Difficulty in making decisions

Slurred speech

Dilated pupils



Weak pulse


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 minutes.

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.

(Enlarge Slide)

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.

# # #


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Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)

Director International Medical Veritas Association
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine

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  • Vikie Howell

    Hi my name is Vikie i suffered a spinal injury at work helping to push a crate of water fountains weighing 1800lbs at my bosses request. Now i keep getting sick, respiratory, sinus infections, and so on. Instead of fevers like i use to get now i get very cold hands and feet with severe cold chills and a low temperature? Can not seem to get warm unless ontop of a heater

  • Tracey Anderson

    Hello, my name is Tracey, I am 53 years old and just had my first major surgery,. I fell a week and a half ago and shattered my wrist. Since home from the hospital I am having trouble keeping my temp up. It is running between 95 and 97. I was on a thyroid supplement but forgot to take it. I was only self diagnosed with low thyroid. I own a health food store so was just using one of my products. Could this be the reason for the low tempts? I feel so faint and light headed. How much Iodine can I take or how do i get the T3? Thanks so much!

  • Shawn Robertson

    Im 38 year old male. My body temperature stays around 97. It has been like this for about 5 years or longer. I have low energy levels and have little drive. My speech is stuttered. My memory seems to have deteriorated. I regularly forget what I am talking about mid sentence. I have a lot of trouble concentrating. I keep getting diagnosed with depression but I think it is more of a symptom than cause.

  • chrystal

    I have psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis. over the last few years I have had a low temp a constant 96.0 and the only time I know I am feverish is when my temp is 98 or higher. I have had my thyroid checked for three years in a row and all my results have come back normal. would one consider my pSa the culprit? or could it be because of all the immune suppressing drug therapies I was on?

  • Vicky Sutherland

    I’m always cold. My body temperature is 35 and currently I have a cough. Had it for three weeks and my ribs hurt.

    • Jessica Harrell Kiefer

      I would say your ribs hurt from coughing…doctors call it “pluracy” …it hurts! A cough can be from allergies, mold, pneumonia, bronchitis….I can go on and on….When my son gets sick with a cough, I make him Instant spiced tea- you can find the recipe online- You’ll know you have the right recipe if it has Tang in it…. It’s made with dry ingredients so it stores well…..The recipe calls for cloves which help coughs and is a natural bacteria fighter…The tea is real good for soothing the entire throat and it warms you up inside. I hope this helps you……But, go see a doctor, Vicky!! Your life is important and precious to those around you……Walking pneumonia can kill you and its going around this year. I had it two months ago- it started with a cough- a few aches- tiredness but, I didn’t feel deathly ill…..I was still getting up and working. I went to the doctor because someone said the exact same thing to me I just said to you…Go see a doctor, Jess. .So, I made an appt…….the doctor told me I was lucky I came when I did or I could’ve died. I spent a week in the hospital. Your cough is probably just a cold symptom but, better safe than sorry, right? Which ever way you choose to say it: Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas….Have a good one and get well soon!!!

      • Ulisa

        Not necessarily pleurisy… Prolonged cough and rib cage pain can be caused by different reasons including cancer or simply muscle irritation.

        About pleurisy. Two large, thin layers of tissue called pleura separate your lungs from your chest wall. One layer wraps around the outside of the lungs. The other layer lines the inner chest wall. Between these two layers is a small space (pleural space) that’s usually filled with a very small amount of liquid. The layers act like two pieces of smooth satin gliding past each other, allowing your lungs to expand and contract when you breathe without any resistance from the lining of the chest wall.

        Pleurisy occurs when the pleura becomes irritated and inflamed. As a result, the two layers of the pleural membrane rub against each other like two pieces of sandpaper, producing pain when you inhale and exhale. The pleuritic pain is very sharp, it will wake you up at night. Usually stabs with deep breaths. This pain lessens or stops when you hold your breath.

    • Ulisa

      A bad cough can definitely cause pains in your ribs when you cough. There are muscles between your ribs called your intercostal muscles that are accessory muscles with breathing, and are also involved with coughing. When you breath in your diaphragm contracts and pulls your lungs down drawing air in. Also simultaneously there are muscles in your neck that help pull your chest wall up and out, and the intercostal muscles help to spread your ribs and make your thoracic cavity larger, which makes negative intra-thoracic pressure drawing air into the lungs.

      When you exhale/cough the opposite process takes place where the abdominal muscles contract which increases intra-abdominal pressure pushing up on the diaphragm, and the accessory muscles (intercostals, etc) cause the chest wall to get smaller increasing the intrathoracic pressure and forcing air out. The vocal folds which normally open with inhalation and approximate for phonation close completely when coughing, so that the air builds up pressure (like a valve), then they open quickly letting a forceful rush of air out (hopefully propelling out whatever stimulated the cough reflex).

      You can imagine that these muscles can all get fatigued/sore and that may be what is causing your ribs to hurt when you cough. I would recommend seeing your primary care physician to get evaluated as to why you have a cough in the first place.

      In the worst case – prolonged cough and rib pain can be caused by cancer. Go see a Doc. Three weeks is too long.

  • Toenails

    I’m sitting here with the heat on – it’s showing 83 and I’m shivering. I just bought a thermometer today and I’ve taken it a few times today and the temperatures range from 95 to 97 (a few 96s in there also). Six years ago my bloodwork had a high reading for thyroid stimulating hormone and the lab made a note of that saying it could indicate subclinical hypothyroidism. The doctor never even mentioned this when she went over the results of the bloodwork (I found out because I asked them to photocopy all my results and mail them to me). I am feeling much worse now than 6 years ago, very tired, a lot of leg pains, cold all the time, weight gain, etc. (I’m 55, menopausal of course). To all – I hope everybody can get their thyroids better and temperatures into a healthy range. To Jen Moore – I feel so badly for you. I am in Canada also and some of the doctors here don’t seem to want to take people seriously about things like this. Please excuse the silly nickname I have. My real name is Mary and (I guess this is part of the brain fog of thyroid issues – I didn’t realize when they prompted me to connect my facebook account with here that my real name – from facebook – would not come up. I couldn’t remember my password in here or even that I had indeed created a separate account on discus – just felt the need to explain this).

  • Tim Stafford

    I had my thyroid taking out four years ago because of cancer. I take 200 Mcg Levothyroxine 6 days a week and 300 Mcg on the seventh day. I feel tired all the time but can hardly sleep. I also had neck surgery in 2016 and got staff infection and went a year without knowing I had this. For several years now my body temp. has run around 97 F but of late it is down around 95 F. Would this be from my thyroid being gone or from the staph infection. I was on antibiotics through a pic line for two months back in July and Aug. 2017 for the staph. I still have to take two antibiotics everyday for this. I am just concerned if my doctor is treating me right. I was suppose to have already had a full body scan to check for cancer but he says there is no need because blood levels look good. They where good while I had cancer before and while I had the staph infection also.

    • Jessica Harrell Kiefer

      Tim….I had the same thing as you with my thyroid…Had it removed in 2004 for cancer. It got to where I was tired all the time and never got decent sleep and a constant headache….OMG, I was beat whether I got 14 hours of sleep or 2 hours. ….I went to multiple doctors with no help…. until I found one who told me to go online and look for a natural supplement for thyroid production. I have a sliver of my thyroid left and needed it to produce more natural thyroid hormone for me…..I took the natural stuff for almost six months before I noticed a difference….But, oh wow, I did!!! I can’t remember the name of all of the herbs- Iodine, selenium, vitamin D and C are a few of them. I go to Rainbow Whole Foods Store and buy the product called Thyroid Health….It has several ingredients in it. Go online and do a little research for yourself….Each person is different and it will take some wasted money and time to find the right mix of herbals to help you but, it will help you, Tim!!!!! You need a thyroid production vitamin or supplement. It won’t hurt you to try it. I had never used supplements- thought they were crap, actually….But, I was desperate!!!! I had a 3 yr. old son to keep up with… It will take 6 months for the supplements to get your thyroid going right…..If you have a sliver left???? Did they leave you any piece of your thyroid? If so, you can make it produce what you need. Synthroid and levothyroxine don’t give you what you need- its synthetic….. Also, you need to look at your diet…..What do you eat and what CAN you eat to help thyroid production….Add those foods to your diet and take away what foods hurt your thyroid….. Do a little homework on thyroid production and natural remedies……..I swear it works! I actually get sleep!!!! and I’m not as tired anymore- no headaches or dry skin…..I feel much more human!!! LOL About the cancer- Blood work will suffice but, you can demand a scan if you feel like it would help your piece of mind!!! Just tell your doctor a small fib- Tell him you ache where your cancer was and he will order a scan…..Usually. And if you’re not happy with your doctor then, change doctors!! You are in charge of your own health not your doctor. I recommend going to see a thyroid doctor…he can tell you what natural supplements will help you. That’s what I did.

  • Kelly Brenner

    Is it possible to have Wilsons syndrome without being over weight?

    • Janet Evans

      I’d like to know that too

  • Tony De Angelis

    It was always my understanding that dermal temperature is always lower that core body temp and affected by things such as the circulatory system and hormonal activity, I therefore usually use the sublingual measure at 98.0 degrees F as acceptable, and basal (armpit before arising) of 97 degrees as adequate. Otherwise, I am in complete agreement with the above essay. Even with my forgiving levels of body temperature I find that more than 50% of my clients have sub-normal body temperatures

  • Cindy Nagel

    Our daughter has glioblastoma and is now at 1 year. She has a body temperature orally of 95.5. What can we do?

  • Jen Moore

    I have an underavtive thyriod and take 200 mcg of Synthroid each day. I was diagnosed over 4 years ago.The doctor said at that time my organs should have shut because my blood test were so off the charts. Over the past few month I have developed a lump on my neck, my voice comes and goes. I have terrible body aches, low body temputure of 95.3, slow heart rate, fatigue and more. My doctor says that my blood work is fine however I know my body well enough to know somethi h is definitely wrong. If anyone can please give me some direction on this issue I would greatly appreciate it.

    • Leigha Carpenter

      Sounds like you may have a goiter. Have you had your iodine levels checked?

      • Jen Moore

        Thank you Leigha, my doctor has never checked my iodine levels, his only focus is the thyriod level. I don’t believe for a minute that everything is okay even if the thyriod levels are coming back alright. With my low body temperature and all the other issue, something is definitely wrong. I see my doctor tomorrow again, I’m hoping for a referal to a specialist.

    • vipalpinetours

      I was on 278 mcg on and off for 8 years. They couldn’t get anything under control, and i was seeing an endocrinologist. I finally saw a another specialist (who, of course, doesn’t accept insurance). I am now on animal based thyroid meds instead of synthetic (synthroid…levothyroxin). I did a lot of research and even though I have a long road to recovery I already feel better. It may be worth a shot, your thyroid is not accepting the synthetic formulas.

      • Jen Moore

        Thank you. It’s so frustrating and difficult when you know there’s something wrong however the doctor can’t figure it out. What kind of specialist are you seeing now?

        • vipalpinetours

          I’m seeing an internist specializes in thyroid dysfunction so I don’t Atlanta. He has clients from all over the world and I was on a eight month waiting list to see him. Dr Michael Milton, Alpharetta, Ga

        • Bobbie

          Have you tried taking iodine/iodide? Research Dr. Brownstein/iodine. It may help. Good luck. You sound like you have serious thyroid problems. I had it years ago. My voice was very horse, I felt like I had something stuck in my throat, etc. etc… Nothing compared to your symptoms.

          • Jen Moore

            Thank you. My doctor said here in Canada we don’t have a need to be tested for iodine, it’s not an issue??? I have no idea. I still can not get any answer.

          • Bobbie

            I am so sorry! I don’t go to doctors but I’m sure there is a test here in the US. Can you buy L.u.g.o.l.’s Iodine/Iodide? It’s in brown glass with a dropper. You can also look up capsules (I.o.d.o.r.a.l). I would try the liquid drops. Look to Dr. Brownstein on the web for dosing. The liquid would be the cheapest. I am not a doctor but low iodine is one of the top reasons people suffer with thyroid problems. Don’t give up! Life just wastes away while you feel horrible. Get better and live! 🙂 🙂

          • Jen Moore

            Thank you so much for your sweet words. I will look into these drops.
            God bless you 🙂

          • Bobbie

            You are welcome. There is no need to suffer. Look up a w e b s I t e called s t o p the t h y r o I d m a d n e s s dot com. Excellent info.

    • Karen paul

      You are on synthetic thyroid medication which succeds in raising your t4 levels on the blood test but fails to fix thyroid system it’s like putting water in your gas tank . The gauge in the car shows that you have enoough “gas” but then you can’t start the car because what it’s showing is the wrong stuff to make the car go . . Likewise syntrhroid doesn’t work for most people . In fact there has been class action suits settled out of court 3 times against the makers of synthroid because it is an ineffective medication . Insist on naturethroid of armour or at the very least add a few micrograms of t 3 (cytomel) to your t4

    • Jane Rodgers Quitlong

      Sounds like Graves Disease. My mother had this but then it turned into Hypo- Thyroidism.

    • Shellazae

      Hi, are you feeling better? I hope so but if not, have them check you for Pheochromocytoma (tumor on adrenals) They test your catecholemines (norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine) in 24 hr urine test (not just the blood draw) Also, have they checked for both thyroid antibodies? Peridoxidase AND Thyroyglobulin, they often don’t check for the second one. (Hashimoto’s)
      Do you have higher calcium levels? I believe that may mean a tumor on your thyroid but I don’t know what test, they use for that one. Most of these tests won’t show up on a regular blood test, doctors only seem to do a few standard tests and then rush you along, it’s frustrating.

      You may also have your doctor check for Epstein Barr or CMV. Don’t let them tell you you don’t have the symptoms for these things because many have overlapping symptoms, my doctors did that to me for years, go in prepared with reputable articles if your doctor is being stubborn. I have activated EBV, Lyme disease, narcolepsy (I think this may be caused from the Lyme disease), purple toes and many varying symptoms. I took my temp today and it was 94.6 degrees but I didn’t feel cold at all, very strange.

      Both of my sisters were told nothing was wrong until they finally found a doctor that did these tests. Both have Hashimoto’s and one of them has pheochromocytosis or cancer (they are doing imaging tests soon). No family history so we were all shocked.

      Wilson’s temperature syndrome is also a possibility.

      Good luck, I hope this helps someone!

  • Shirley A McCombie

    my husband recently had left shoulder pain into his chest, took him to ER and was told he had A-Fib. while at the hospital they took his tempature and it was 95.2, every time they took it. They monitored and did echo and stated his heart was ok. He has hypertension and borderline diabetic. Is the tempature related to the A-Fib.

    • Karen paul

      Yes …. read dr mark Starr’s book which has a whole chapter on the heart and afib. That temperature is definitive of low thyroid which has a profound effectin he hearts electrical system . dr Starr is a thyroid specialist from arizona and his book contains every last detail on the subject . The heart info is phenomenal!!!!

      • Karen paul

        It’s also related to diabetes and hypertension

  • Dimple Chauhan

    His body temperature is 35°c …what should I do now

    • arpit

      Give him some warm to drink, keep him in warm and dry clothes. Never use alcohol. If it goes extremely low than u need to consult an casualty/emergency doctor ASAP

  • Dimple Chauhan

    My brother had infection because of eating to much of junk food now aftr consulting doctors and under medication his body temperature was normal today suddenly his body temperature is low down.
    What could be the reason?

    • Bobbie

      Maybe Hashimoto’s disease? Temp goes up and down with low and high thyroid function.

  • Anne Nabbefeld

    Again I have below temperature of 96 and 96.5 that comes on in early afternoon when I am not well. Last Thursday I had throat surgery for acid reflex and am on a soft diet. I’ve had this temperature many times before and it is always considered O.K.. I sweat and smell like I have a high fever. So what is going on????? If I had 101, then there would be concern.

  • DKB 2394

    This may just be me (It also works on my wife). When my body temperature is low (Which is very regular) if I suck 3 x 500 mg Vitamin C tablets they raise my temperature up to 1 degree celsius (It does not work all the time,however, most times. Anyone who is concerned about their low temperature should try it.

  • R Bella Cavalier

    My daughter seems to get I’ll with a very low body temp in the range of 96-96.8 after she has been through a physically or mentally demanding activity, such as a sport, walking longer distances or musical performance. Other symptoms include loss of appetite with nausea, extreme fatigue and body aches. Her pediatrician says our thermometer must’nt be working but the temp is the same regardless of the thermometer. What should I do? She is 15 now and this has been going on for at least the past few years.

    • Holly

      Sounds like hyperthyroidism or another name graves disease.But they can never detect it until woman are in there 20s. I had the same problem and symptoms at hr age.And I myself have graves disease.Means the thyroid produces to many hormones t3 and t4.

    • Kristie Parcell

      You should have her tested for Lyme Disease. Extreme fatigue and body aches were my symptoms and my body temp is always between 96 and 96.8 as well. I never saw a tick or had a rash but I tested positive for Lyme. The best test is through the Igenex labs as Lyme is notoriously hard to test for. If you have to test through LabCorp, make sure it’s at least a western blot. Could also be her thyroid. Hope you can find the issue and she feels better soon!

  • Kathy Raper

    This may be nothing,but last night,my husband who normally is very warm to the touch was rather cool.I touched his leg and body and both were cool as though he were in front of an AC.This has never happened before.He has always been very warm.Should I be worried?He was also unusually tired and slightly off balance.

    • Ramesh Balasubramaniam

      I think you should actually record the temperature using a thermometer whenever this happens so we know exactly how much it is compared to his normal temperature and make note of any other observations like time of the day, activity he was involved in, food etc. Most importantly, I would also check his thyroid levels.

  • Charloyte

    I took my oral temperature this morning and it was 34.8, I took it again after running upstairs and getting under my duvet and in bed my oral temperature was 35.5. This seems low, what should I do?

  • Dreg navarro

    Good article

  • Rachael

    I’m going to be bringing this up with my GP. Over the last month I have developed several infections (tooth, ear, sinus, jaw, and an UTI that has now required a third round of oral antibiotics) all in all I’ve been on one antibiotic or another nonstop for nearly 5 weeks….and no relief in sight. Around the time this all I started I began having a temperature ranging from 95.2-96.9 degrees. Maybe something from this article is actually the underlying cause.

    • Anne Nabbefeld

      That is a good question, that I would like to know.

    • Karenpaul

      Yes just look up thyroid And chronic infections on the internet . According to dr broda Barnes chronic infections are one of the most common aspects of low thyroid

  • Tom Clendening

    I have Metastatic Melanoma and was treated with Keytruda for a year. It killed my Endocrine system, including my Pituitary gland, Thyroid, Adrenals, and everything else. I take NP Thyroid for HT, Cortisone 2X daily for Adrenal insufficiency. I am suffering from Chronic fatigue that’s had me in bed for 12 weeks. I am too tired to get up. I feel like I’m feverish and have spells of convulsive chills, followed by drenching sweats, usually at night. When I check it, my body temp has been at 96.0. I stopped taking Synthroid because it was making me feel bad and went to NP Thyroid. I almost immediately felt better….for about 3 months, then the fatigue started. My labs look normal but I know that they shouldn’t necessarily look normal when on NDT when the lab is testing for normal levels when on Synthroid. I would appreciate any thoughts from anyone.

    • Sarah Helen

      From my own research (because I am hypo and taking Nature Throid), measuring how you feel and your body temp is a good indicator of thyroid health. The lab “ranges” are not for every person and also I researched optimal thyroid lab results for people to feel better. If symtoms are still there your meds may need adjusted up or down. This is just me researching.

  • Jennifer

    My son will be seventeen and his regular temp seems tp be 97.6 is that normal or should i be concerend?

    • :Jean Samson

      he is fine

  • ravcolt

    Is there a relationship between a low body temperature (94) and an elevated INR level?

  • allessior

    I am taking broad-spectrum antibiotics because recently I had emergency surgery to clean an infection in my right shoulder, where a month prior to the emergency surgery I had had a Right Reverse Full Shoulder Arthroplasty. Physicians had taken fluid aspirations and so far the cultures have been negative, but there is no doubt in the minds of the physicians and my surgeon that the fluid was infected.

    They inserted a PICC line and now I take broad-spectrum antibiotics and will do so until the specific organism is identified vis the cultures or some other method, at which point they will switch to antibiotics that are typically used for that irganism.

    Unfortunately, my bofy temp is fluctuating between 99.8 and 95.5, and my calves are bloated with fluid. My physician put me on a water pill.

    Could this be a side-effect of the antibiotic treatment? Could this be a sign of renal failure? The physicians and nurses don’t seem to be concrned.

    Do you have any suggestions in terms of what I should try, like perhaps vitamin treatment, or drinking less water, or eating less/more?

    What questions should I ask my physicians?

    • Joe

      Basal temps should be quite steady… From what I’ve read a fluctuating temp suggests adrenal problems, which would be entirely normal considering you’re fighting infection. This might lead to high cortisol, which will surpress thyroid and could lead to water retention issues. TSH has been linked to edema, and rises in low thyroid states – but can also rise independently especially if there is infection present…so be careful if you test this and see it high because it shouldn’t be solely relied upon without other thyroid markers. Some docs are overly zealous with treating thyroid problems, but often its the adrenals or the liver.

      You could ask your doc for a full thyroid panel and some adrenal testing like a 24h cortisol saliva test. Also a blood creatine test is fairly reliable for kidney health. Also research diets that support thyroid and adrenal health. Supporting immune status is important so research vitamin D and medicinal mushrooms lke reishi… Plus herbs like goldenseal can help antibiotics do their job, and probiotic treatments can reduce damage to your intestinal flora.

      Finding the right people to work with is important. A decent naturopath and your doc can complement each other – but above all find professionals – my healing process speeded up when i started asking the right people!!

  • Kathy

    I have had a Low body temp,94.2 – 97.6 especially after i exert energy or have a stressful situation, for 10 months now.. about a yr ago, i think i could of had a mental breakdown, due to a long period of stress. i have hashimotos / hypothyroid and have taken synthroid and cytomel and currently trying Armour. Throughout this last yr my symptoms are, low temp, joint pain, severe short term memory problems, brain fog, hair loss, slurred speech, weak, concentration problems, slow body movements, ect… thinking it might be wilsons syndrome… any suggestions? Drs are at a loss…

    • Julie341

      I have the same thing! I’m Hashi/hypothyroid also and I have having a horrible time retaining water and water pills don’t really seem to help too much. Mine started after my father passed away, and I assumed it was stress related as well.

      • Joe

        Cortisol reduces the uptake of t3 into the cells… If someone has high cortisol, their thyroid hormones will have a hard time getting into the cells. This means thyroid symptoms like low temps, water retention, high cholesterol, thinning hair, dry skin, fatigue etc don’t go away even when thyroid hormone in the blood appear normal on blood tests!

    • Joe

      Get a 24 hour saliva cortisol test. Your symptoms sound like cortisol issues

  • MathChecker

    “And yet, when you recall the warm sun on a recent vacation, your temperature may increase a full 10 %.”

    My normal temp is around 98. If I think about my beach vacation, then my temp may go up 9.8 degrees to 107.8? I’m not a doctor but I’m calling you out on this, this is complete rubbish. This type of egregious error discredits everything else you say. Please stop writing before you hurt someone. On the bright side, my hands warmed up from the fury brought on by your carelessness.

    • That quote was referencing the temperature of the extremities, not the basal temperature.

      • Thomas Sullivan

        A full 10 %, percent, not degrees,although the previous statement, 5_ to 20_, left me puzzeled. I learned a lot.

  • Raymundo

    Could you please help?
    Low body temperature as low as 35.2 – Heart attack two years ago, reduced kidney function and pseudo obstruction (Ogilvie’s syndrome) due to complications with the heart attack (2 open heart surgeries and the second one resulted in flap and sternum removal). Also, low blood pressure episodes (the lowest one was 40/30 after Tylenol 3 was given). Also receiving IGIV due to protein immune deficiency. I am told that thyroid is fine.
    Any idea of what might be causing the low temperature now.
    The blood pressure goes down on and off. Usually is 90/60

  • Karma Dog Teacher

    Here is my conundrum — I am hypothyroid. I have hashimotos and unreliably take my meds (nature throid), so my TSH is always elevated (usually between 4-9). My base body temp is low – around 97.6. And I’m ALWAYS HOT. I’m always the hottest one in the room, sweating, when others are normal, or sometimes even cold.

    My body is obviously creating heat. Yet my TSH is high and my body temp is low. No one can tell me why.

    • Lisa G.

      Have you had your t3 and t4 tested? I’m not a doctor but I have a toxic nodular goiter on my thyroid. These goiters put off thyroid on their own whim with no regard to TSH, giving you hyperthyroid symptoms such as always being hot. Just a suggestion. If you show low levels of THS (making your lab numbers high) and high levels of t3 and t4 this might be the cause. Worth looking into. I don’t know if your going through menopause but this also will make you always feel hot when others are fine. Also speaking from experience. And you really need to take your thyroid meds every single day to control hypo, as they take 6 weeks just to stabilize in your system. Just suggestions but I hope they help.

    • Joe

      Your TSH may be elevated for other reasons – like chronic infections. But if you have constantly low body temps and a constantly high tsh, you should test your thyroid hormones. Not all hypothyroid patients are cold – stress hormones will rise to take the slack and can raise body temperature. Measuring your pulse along with temp can show up stress hormone issues.

  • kayjay

    I represent no one. I am telling you all that when the doctors are having trouble,think LYME! And only use Igenex labs in palo alto…If it is there they will find it. And of course you want a Western Blot….

    • Jonathan Cosma

      thats EXACTLY my experience. i had babesia and all the bullshit blood tests kept coming back negative, until i spent the $200 on an igenex fish test….and boom. positive for babesia

      you cant trust doctors. they just arent trained or they dont care about actually curing you

    • catb55

      I finally convinced the doctor to check me for Lyme ..I had no idea that the test can be different. How do I get the good one?

  • kayjay

    Ever since I got Lyme in 1990 my body temp has been all over.. Before that it was 98.6! Period.

  • Lucretia

    The thyroid is key to one’s pH as well. Low thyroid, low pH and then one can’t carry the negative electrons in the blood that bind the oxygen to the blood. Without oxygen the bugs come out (the virus, bacteria, fungus, parasites) and they have us for lunch. pH is critical and the thyroid is critical to one’s pH. Grounding helps raise add negative electrons that then raises oxygen levels but computers and cell phones lower negative electrons allowing for more bugs to invade our tissues.
    Also it is critical to take selenium along with the iodine. Many who think they can’t take iodine are just not taking it with selenium.
    Lastly, Dr. Flecha, MD reported anyone taking thyroid medication, dessicated or synthetic, who are not also taking iodine, double their risk of breast cancer within days of not taking the two together! I heard him discuss such with Dr. Stan Monteith but have not seen it in writing so do your homework.

    • nakimus

      generally speaking, all electrons are negative. How do computers and cell phones reduce ‘negative’ electrons in our bodies?

      • Name

        By taking them how do you think there are positive and negative charges

  • Valerie Cuan

    Good info. I love beer and bread but i have chronic candida. I know about apple cide vinegar but how much did you take and for how long to rid yourself of the allergy? Very interesting. I continuously but on and off take silver and sometimes oregano oil. Do you drink beer and eat bread now?

  • hazel ooghe

    my temp runs 96 degrees I have been sick with a bacterial infection and am on bactrum but I am highly allergic to iodine so what else can I do to get my temp to normal

    • Kasual

      Spend a week in Vegas in summer in a room without the air conditioner on and you will get your temp back up again. It could go back down if stressed again. Using a sauna is another way but not as much fun.

  • Dede Harrington Vaughn

    Omg…you’re singing my song and I didn’t know it! The last 5 weeks I’ve had, yet another kidney infection, treated with strong oral meds and accidently found it wasn’t cleared up. Took 3 grans of rocephin over 3 days last week. It wasn’t sensitive to any orals, completely. The day I went in, my temp was 97.1.

    • Dede Harrington Vaughn

      I just had my estrogen checked a week a week ago…less than 3.

  • Jennifer Svendsen

    My normal waking body temperature is 35 C. It doesn’t go up much beyond that all day, regardless of whether I am exercising, wearing warm clothes or whatever. And although it indicates I am cold, I am always feeling hot, and am sweating all the time. This is ridiculous. They have done some thyroid sub tests on me and I am pretty normal except in one or two areas that were slightly low. When they put me on medication it made me hyperthyroid and only raised my temp only to 35.5- 36 C. So they took me off the medication and I am back to 35C. This is frustrating! If I drop below 35C I will be considered hypothermic! Any ideas of what’s going on???

    • Gail

      I was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease and my temperature was hypothermic at 94.4 F or 34.6 C my lowest body temperature. The only way for me to get my temperature up was to treat my adrenals. When I take thyroid medication without supporting my adrenals my temperature drops. Stress from physical exertion can cause my temperature to drop as well. Perhaps you should get a cortisol level check, there are saliva tests and 24 hour urine tests to determine your level.

      • Jennifer Svendsen

        34 C is really low! Wow!! Thanks for replying. I don’t think it’s Addisons, but it is definitely something. They are referring me to see an endocrinologist so hopefully they can pin point it. I’m getting tired of this!

  • Mrithy

    Hi, i am someone who feels cold all the time. Even though I am living in Middle East with a lot of sun and hot winds, i can’t seem to adjust with cold AC rooms or colder seasons in desert. I start to get goosebumps if i spent more than 20 mins in a 22 degree Celsius AC activated room. My hands and feet get cold in no time. I have to keep going out of my office several times a day to heat up my body. Will there be any kind of serious issue with my body? Would like to know.

    • ozcan oz


      I have same issue. Would you like to work together ? How long do yo have it?


      • Mrithy

        Yes, I’d like to. 2 years may be. I started noticing it from the past year onward. And I don’t have thyroid or diabetics. My immune system is not that great from the beginning.

  • Kareen Downes

    Could I have a bone infection without a fever, i have a streptococcus bladder infection, and I had an episode of incontinence. I have pain in my hip and butt, could the bacteria absorb into my skin and bones?

  • Kareen Downes

    Could I have a bone infection without a fever, if i have pain. Could streptococcus found in my bladder absorb through my skin to the bones if i had an accident and was incontinent. I had the bladder infection without a fever

  • James Mendenhall

    Twice in 2 weeks my nite temperature was 95.9, and it could be common. Is that metabolic? The doctor found perfect health otherwise, but I am tired and lost drive. I had a concussion in November & lost my smell and tetanus. Could the hippocampus be injured but the thyroid giving good tests?

    • James Mendenhall

      for 6 months temp would rise to 100.7 in late afternoon and drop to 96 at nite. then it switched to 99 high and 94.4 at nite. The higher temp caused chills and weakness, but the changed low period had no symptoms. All tests were excellent, but it continues like clockwork so no infection induced situation. No one has any idea what is causing this, but if brain temp changes you have BIG problems. Any ideas ????

      • Christina

        I had similar temperature readings and had found it was my gallbladder. No stones but was just not working. Had to have a HIDA scan to measure the rate it processed to see so.

  • Cher

    where’s the treat part? how do you treat it?

    • Tresha S.

      Buy Dr. Circus’s quick dissolvin’, fast actin’, pleasant tastin’ Green and Purple Pills. Oh yeah!


      • Cher

        LOL. that’s about the size of it.

      • Cher

        Oh wow. I can add them to my red and yellow and have skittles!

      • Valerie Cuan

        What are they?

  • Roman

    I have just got in from doing physical exercise and my temperature is 33.3 C. This temperature is the norm for me after training hard. Should I be concerned because is seems to be on the low side?

    • Julie aldred

      I have just took my temp in the morning and it is 32.8 is this normal. Worried I have the flu. Had it since Wed.

  • Robert Marie Dobay

    Very good article, I have learned some valuable information. I have never really run a normal temp it has always been between 96.8/97 when I feel good. The only difference is that I am very tired when it goes too low. I always thought that it was normal and when I go to anything over that like to 98.7 I am feel like I am running a fever.
    I have prediabetes/hypertension/bradycardia/and at times tachycardia. What can I do to get this my body temp to normal.
    Oh, and when this happens to me is this why I am always hot/cold. I also wanted to include that I have had a hysterectomy and a brest lumpectomy.
    Thank you,

  • Price Weston

    Interesting article – read quite a few tonight on this subject. My body temp this morning was 96.8 F (basal thermometer) at about 5:00 AM after being up and moving around for 30 minutes so not the low. It was 97.8 at 9:30 after sitting at the computer for an hour after eating dinner. It’s not low thyroid as I take 50 mcg of T3 each morning, something I talked my doctors into as an alternative to statins to lower cholesterol levels even though my TSH was not high (about 2.2 ish before T3).

    It’s not low testosterone as I’ve been on replacement since my mid 30s (20+ years) and in the past 3 months I doubled up to see the effect. Nothing I can notice (roid rage is bogus as far as I can personally tell). When T was way below the low end in my 30s (190 ng/ml) and when I’ve been tested at or above the lab reference range (1300 ng/ml), I cannot tell the difference. When I was using patches a long time ago, the estradiol was above the high end. Again, the only difference I could tell was night sweats (which I didn’t figure out till years after patches were ended). Other men with low T or high estradiol have depression and ED. Never experiences those as result. Bedroom performance could still be daily throughout that time if my partner would have been willing. I’m tired and low energy most of the time. My temperature has always run low.

    In my 30s when I was totally sick once and losing “fluid” in the bathroom and at the sink at the same time, I visited a doctor and deliberately added some friction to the thermometer while the nurse was out to bring the temperature up from below normal to 101 just to show a fever, since I almost never get one and I didn’t want them to conclude I wasn’t sick. My temperature goes up with strept but not enough to be considered a fever. I have taken Lugol’s 50 mg/day in the past for 6+ months with no effect.

    Ramping hydrocortisone to 50 mg/day, T3 to 125 mcg/day, and iodine at 50 mg/day did manage to bring my waking temperature up 1.2 degrees but still well below normal waking temps. I gave that up as all dosages were rather high. I was hoping there would be some weight loss on the 125 mcg of T3 but no such luck.

    • Martin351

      Here are things that are known to cause a drop in core body temperature:

      – Sleep deprivation (anything under 7hrs a night)
      – Restrictive diets (Diets too low in calories, need at least 1800 if not more)
      – Diets too low in carbs for too long a period of time
      – Diets too high in processed food / Carbs * stick to meats, fish, vegetables, nuts & seeds, and whole fruits (not smoothies)
      – All medications including thyroid, hormone, or even flu shots

      Remember, your body basically wants to stay in balance by itself, not have help with medication, it doesn’t really heal that way. Not addressing the route cause, only treating it. Of that list, I’d say the biggest culprits for people are lack of sleep and diets in processed foods. Both of those are known to speed up the disease process exponentially quicker. People usually feel cold if they don’t sleep enough. People also feel the need to eat sugar when their temperature is low as sugar burns quickly and release heat quickly.

      Some things that help, other than sleeping more and eating a proper diet; cold thermogenesis. Basically cold showers, baths, walks in the cold with just shorts and a t-shirt. This causes a shock to your system to force it to want to heat up rather quickly. The closer your system is operating to it’s core temperature, the more efficient it is, and that includes losing weight.

      Ever wonder why swimmers have very lean looking bodies? They spend hours in the water which in turn sucks out their body heat forcing their body’s themselves to heat up rapidly. They have well functioning and regulating core temperature.

    • searchtruthnow

      Look into Wisons Temperature Syndrome. aka as wilsons T3 therapy

  • gig

    Thank you. very helpful article

  • Judith Acheng

    Thanks alot the imformation has been very helpful. Thanks.

  • What would you recommend at a max curative dose of Lugol’s iodine? I’ve been taking 50 mg per day for 6 months and plan to continue for a year (as Brownstein suggests), but want to help my 82 year-old mother regain some vitality, and want to know how much I can/should give her for this purpose and for how long.

  • pawel

    Very insightful article. What i would add: if youre thin due to stress,cold or whatever other reason your tolerance of external cold is hugely diminished. I suffer from this for many years living in cold climate.
    On the other hand if you wear too many warm clothes- you will sweat losing water- which acts as protection against cold.

    Thats why sauna is such a fundamental treatment.
    And why living in normal temp places think italy,california,turkey,greece,thailand is very important to health

  • Dr. John

    I’ve searched in vain for years to find an oral thermometer (preferably digital) that is accurate to at least 1/10th degree, is there something you can recommend?

    • John,

      Sorry but we do not now know of the type of accurate thermometer you are seeking.
      Claudia French

      • Ruby

        Hi. my little boy has been suffering frm high fever for 2 days. We put him.on paracetamol n diclofenac. His fever dropped but now it stays below 35 deg every nite. 34.6 . Is it normal?

    • Tiffany Thompson

      Basal thermometer? Any drug store should have.

    • Joe

      Have you found one yet Dr.John?

      People say the most accurate are the mercury thermometers. I was using a standard drug store digital one, but I thought it was probably out. Now I use a Geratherm basal thermometer as they are supposed to be more accurate. It goes to 1/100th of a degree. When I find an old mercury one I’ll test them side by side.

    • searchtruthnow

      It’s called a non metal thermometer, which is pretty good, if you don’t have a mercury thermometer.
      Digital thermometers are not accurate or consistent they run on batteries it’s too unsecure.