The Broda Barnes temperature measurement method: a simple look at thyroid function

First things first: Daysy cannot diagnose hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. The diagnosis is always made by a doctor. If you feel unwell or have the feeling that something is wrong, never hesitate to contact a doctor and ask for advice. 

Our thyroid gland may be small and inconspicuous, but it plays a very important role in our body. It acts like the conductor in an orchestra, and has a significant influence on our metabolism, which in turn controls numerous vital processes. The hormones produced by the thyroid gland, in particular thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), act like musical notes that conduct the harmonious interplay of all bodily functions. They influence energy consumption, regulate the heartbeat, influence body temperature and the menstrual cycle. In short, thyroid hormones are the beats to which our body dances and works.

Hypothyroidism

However, if thyroid function is impaired, this can lead to a real mess in the orchestra of our organism. An underactive thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism, often leads to symptoms such as chronic fatigue, weight gain, sensitivity to cold, and even depression. An underactive thyroid can disrupt the regulation of the menstrual cycle, which can lead to irregular periods and difficulties in conceiving. It is therefore very important to keep an eye on thyroid function, especially for couples who want to start a family.

Hyperthyroidism

In contrast, an overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism, can lead to restlessness, unwanted weight loss, palpitations, and excessive nervousness. The effects of impaired thyroid function are manifold and can significantly impair quality of life.

The Broda Barnes temperature measurement method

With today’s technology, advanced laboratory tests are available to precisely check thyroid function and diagnose disorders. The problem is that those affected often do not even realize that they are suffering from a thyroid disorder, as it develops gradually and has no clear, obvious symptoms. Moreover, the symptoms are initially so mild that they are not necessarily associated with a functional disorder.

This is why a traditional method, the Broda Barnes temperature measurement method, deserves our attention. Although it is used less frequently nowadays, it can still provide valuable additional information and help to paint a comprehensive picture of thyroid health.

The method at a glance

Developed by Broda Barnes M.D. at a time when modern laboratory tests for thyroid hormones were not yet available, this method is based on the measurement of basal body temperature. In essence, the basal body temperature is directly influenced by thyroid hormones. If the basal body temperature is between 36.4°C and 36.9°C, this indicates normal thyroid function, according to Barnes. 

In contrast, an average temperature below 36°C indicates a possible hypothyroidism. This can be particularly important for couples who are trying to conceive, as impaired thyroid function can be a common reason for difficulties in conceiving.

How can I use the method?

If you use Daysy, you will quickly recognize whether your basal body temperature is very high or very low. This is nothing to worry about, but it can be an indication that you have an overactive or underactive thyroid.

Increased average value

 

Temp_Curves_Web_02 High average value 760x330.jpg

 

A relatively high average temperature (with frequent values above 36.9), may indicate hyperthyroidism, as shown in the example curve, may indicate hyperthyroidism.

Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism may include:

  • long menstrual cycles
  • low menstrual bleeding 
  • General restlessness and nervousness
  • rapid, increased sweating

However, despite the increased average temperature, the basal body temperature curve shows the typical picture with a rise after ovulation and a significant increase during the luteal phase.

Important: Whether you really suffer from hyperthyroidism can only be diagnosed by a doctor. 

Low average value

Temp_Curves_Web_04 Low average value 760x330.jpg

A relatively high average temperature (with frequent values above 36.9), may indicate hyperthyroidism, as shown in the example curve, can indicate a possible hypothyroidism. If your wake-up temperature is below 35°C, the DaysyDay app will notify you after synchronization. Temperatures below 35°C are automatically excluded by the algorithm.

Other indications of hypothyroidism can be:

  • absence of menstruation or amenorrhea
  • persistent heavy periods
  • irregular cycles
  • cycles without ovulation (no rise in temperature) 
  • short luteal phase
  • strong temperature fluctuations

However, despite the low average temperature, the basal body temperature curve shows the typical picture with a characteristic rise after ovulation and a significant increase during the luteal phase. 

Important: Whether you really have an underactive thyroid can only be diagnosed by a doctor.

Daysy is an intelligent fertility tracker that lets you get to know your very own menstrual cycle.