6 reasons you should be tracking your basal body temperatures for optimal hormone, thyroid, and adrenal health, and a step-by-step guide for how to do it!
I have almost all of my female clients track their Basal Body Temperatures (BBTs) for at least a few months, if not longer. Here’s why – this free and easy monitoring tool can give a ton of insight into some of the most common areas of health struggles women are facing.
It’s important to note that Basal Body Temperatures alone can’t definitively diagnose hormone imbalances or other conditions. But they give hints (really good hints) about what’s going on beneath the surface, and can guide you and your practitioner about what additional tests or interventions might be helpful.
What Is Basal Body Temperature (BBT)?
Basal Body Temperature (BBT) is your body’s temperature when at complete rest. Resting temperatures should be right around 98 degrees Fahrenheit, but will be higher when more energy is being used by the body for any reason. It is usually measured first thing in the morning before eating, drinking, taking medication, or even getting out of bed.
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6 Reasons To Track Your Basal Body Temperature
Tracking Basal Body Temperatures can help give valuable insights into multiple areas of health, including:
It Closely Reflects Female Reproductive Hormones and Fertility
Temperatures should be lower in the first of the menstrual cycle (follicular phase) when estrogen is more dominant, followed by a slight dip and a sharp spike around the time of ovulation, and then higher temperatures during the latter half (luteal phase) when progesterone takes over.
It’s an Indicator of Thyroid Function
Hypothyroidism will suppress BBT, while hyperthyroidism will raise it.
As a Marker of Adrenal and HPA-axis Function
Daily temperatures can become erratic in the presence of HPA axis dysfunction.
Can Help Identify Chronic Inflammation or Autoiummunity
Inflammation and autoimmunity can slightly raise BBT.
It costs nothing to take your temperature each day. You may even have a thermometer you can use already! If not, you can get a basal thermometer for around $15 here.
Tracking BBTs is almost effortless and literally takes about 1 minute per day.
How to Track Your Basal Body Temperature
- Keep your thermometer within reach of your bedside.
- As soon as you wake, take your temperature (before sitting up, drinking, taking medication, or doing anything else). Take temperatures around the same time each morning for most accuracy.
- Record daily temperatures in a tracking app like Kindara. There are several good apps to choose from, but I love that Kindara allows you to track menstrual cycles, PMS, and other symptoms along with your BBT. As a provider, I really love that my clients can share PDFs of their monthly records with me!
NOTE: I strongly discourage screens of any kind in the bedroom – if you have trouble remembering your morning temp until you get to the room where your phone has been kept overnight, consider keeping a scratchpad or small notebook at your bedside to record your temperatures, then transfer them into your phone later.
What to Do With Your Basal Body Temperature Charts
Once you have a few months of data, what should you do with it? There are lots of helpful resources online for interpreting BBTs but, I’d always recommend getting some professional guidance before making significant changes to your diet, supplements, or lifestyle on your own. This is something I do with my clients and I’d be happy to help you as well! Feel free to comment below or connect with me via my Holistic Nutrition Coaching page or social media.