by Susan
(Boise, ID 83709)


I have a quick question for you. I am currently on bio-identical progesterone therapy, borderline Insulin Resistance, had total hysterectomy in my early 30's. Lately I have been cold and so I have been tracking my temperatures. They seem to be running on the low side (i.e. 97.4, 97.6, 97.3). I have had thyroid tests done and all come back "normal". I even recently had my NP check my T3 and reverse T3 levels which they say are fine. What could be causing this? Is it stress? Are the adrenals taxed?

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Feb 26, 2012
by: Wray

Hi Susan Progesterone is thermogenic so heats us up. It could be you're not ovulating. I'm not sure how old you are, but if in Peri-menopause this is a likely explanation. Normal oral body temperature in adult men and women ranges between 33.2–38.2 °C (92–101 °F). Typical average temperatures are 37.0 °C (98.6 °F). In women it varies between the follicular and the luteal phase. During the follicular phase, i.e. from the first day of menstruation to ovulation, it ranges from 36.45 to 36.7 °C (97.6 to 98.1 °F). During the 12-14 day luteal phase, i.e. after ovulation to menstruation, temperature increases by 0.15 - 0.45 °C (0.2 - 0.9 °F) due to the increased metabolic rate caused by rapidly rising levels of progesterone. Temperature ranges between 36.7 - 37.3°C (98.1 - 99.2°F) during the luteal phase, but drops down to follicular levels within a few days of bleeding. A lack of the amino acid tyrosine can cause feelings of cold. This is the precursor to T3 and T4, although you say the tests came back fine, I'm always suspicious of this! Particularly when it comes to oestrogen and progesterone, it's the ratio of these two which is critical, not the quantity. You might like to see the web site Stop the Thyroid Madness. Tyrosine drops with stress, as it's also the precursor to the stress hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline. Plus the neurotransmitter dopamine. Although a non-essential amino acid, tyrosine is one of the most important. We have more info on how to take it on our page Natural Antidepressants. Tyrosine is essential for any stressful situation, cold, fatigue, emotional trauma, prolonged work, sleep deprivation, it improves memory, cognition and physical performance. Finally a drop in blood glucose can make us cold. We have more info on our Insulin Resistance page. If you're stressed then the adrenals will be, the most overworked and overlooked glands we have. This is a site you could look at on Adrenal Fatigue. The adrenals first secrete progesterone which they then convert into progesterone. If stressed they rob other sources, notably the ovaries, this then upsets the reproductive system. Stress can stop ovulation, if this occurs then no progesterone is made, so a vicious cycle starts. Another point, progesterone is very calming as it activates the GABA receptor sites. GABA is one of the most calming neurotransmitters, so using progesterone lessens the stress response, which takes the strain off the adrenals. Take care Wray

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