Friday, 5 February 2016

Raise Basal Body Temperature Naturally with Diet: Progesterone and Candida Connection

I suffer with cold hands and feet, brittle hair, constipation, dry eyes and mouth and fatigue. Tests for hyperthyroidism always came back negative. However, I have learned that these symptoms point to low body temperature.

A chilly Body temperature is common in women and gets in the way of losing weight, getting pregnant, looking good and simply having the energy to do the things in everyday life.

How to Find your Basal Body Temperature

How the Basal Body Temperature Fluctuates Throughout the Month

The woman’s body temperature fluctuates slightly over the month (see image) but the basal body temperature should never fall below 35.5 degrees centigrade. Your basal body temperature is determined by taking a reading first thing in the morning before rising (around 6-7 am). This will give the lowest body temperature over a 24 hour period. I use a digital thermometer from Boots, the sort that is placed beneath the tongue. The average body temperature for humans is 37 degrees centigrade.

Metabolism Increase and Decrease

It should be noted here that in healthy women, a slight dip in basal body temperature will occur around ovulation (roughly day 14 or 15 of the menstrual cycle) and it will also fall around the time of menstruation.

You see, the body temperature will rise along with levels of progesterone. Progesterone is the heat-giving hormone that is dominant after ovulation (and during pregnancy). Progesterone will gradually keep on increasing during the second half of the female cycle until blood flow.

Progesterone and Pregnancy

Interestingly, I had noticed that my symptoms would ease after ovulation. They disappeared altogether when I was pregnant. My eyes were never dry, my hair was thick and sleek and I had a lot of energy. You might have guessed that progesterone increases throughout pregnancy and keeps the body toasty warm. You could say that my symptoms were kept at bay through a progesterone-dominant nine months.

Soon after pregnancy, the symptoms returned and stuck around for many years. My hair thinned and became brittle, my eyes got dry and I got tired. Why was this happening?

Estrogen Dominance

This brings me to the issue of estrogen dominance, a sneaky curse that afflicts many women suffering from seemingly unrelated health gripes. Estrogen is needed in the body for fertility and also for sperm health. It is the dominant hormone between menstruation and ovulation when progesterone is low.

However, an unhealthy diet, stress and chemicals promote the production of more estrogen in the body. This causes estrogen levels to get too high.

Increase your Body Temperature with Progesterone

When the body is stressed, cortisol is produced at the cost of progesterone. Progesterone levels fall lower than it should, bringing low basal body temperature. All of this is due to adrenal fatigue. The basal body temperature is the best indicator of how functional your hormones are.

A diet high in sugar and carbs also promotes the overgrowth of candida albicans, a yeast that lives in the gut. In advanced stages, candida can cause leaky gut syndrome, where the gut lining gets so inflamed, foreign particles from food leak into the blood stream, causing autoimmune disorders. This causes further fatigue during toxic overload that has to be dealt with by liver, kidneys and pancreas.

Estrogen dominance has been found to have a link with candida overgrowth. Infact one of the by products of candida is estrogen. Low basal body temperature would indicate an overgrowth of candida albicans.

As I am sitting here writing this, I know without checking that my body temperature is not what it should be. My hands and feet are cold despite sitting in a room of around 20 degrees. My aim is to get my extremities feeling toasty like they used to when young.

I have been on the candida diet for around forty-five days now, and although my health has shown some improvement, my eyes remain dry in the evenings, I suffer mild constipation and my hair would look dry without the application of a little coconut oil to keep it looking sleek.

In a bid to raise my body temperature, I have started taking kelp supplements with coconut oil (both found to help raise body temperature). I also am including sea vegetables, which contain iodine and complex minerals, needed to support the thyroid. Wild yam cream contains progesterone, thought to top up progesterone levels in body via the skin.

Should you Cut Carbs from your Diet?

And would you believe, another way to raise body temperature is to ingest more carbs – the very thing that the candida diet gurus advise you not to do. Well after cutting a lot of my carbs from my diet, and finding my hands and feet remain cold, have decided to include healthy sources of complex carbohydrates in my diet: porridge, rye bread and wholegrain rice.

The body needs energy to burn fuel. But not from white, refined flour, sugary cereals or carby snacks. My journey into finding health has become somewhat a winding road. It has begun with cutting carbs, taking antifungals and probiotics. Now the road has twisted to ways of increasing my body temperature. Introducing carbs back into my diet and taking iodine supplements.

X Zhang, et al. Estrogen effects on Candida albicans: a Potential Virulence-Regulating Mechanism. (2000)

S White, et al. Candida Albicans Morphogenesis is Influenced by Estrogen. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. (1997)

Article about Candida, Estrogen Dominance and Health

Why I began the candida diet
12 ways I use coconut oil for health
How yeast causes estrogen dominance
Cereals that make you fat
How to take your body temperature accurately