In humans, body temperature is controlled by the thermoregulatory centre in the hypothalamus. Thyroid is controlling metabolic heat production. This process is called thermogenesis. Thyroid is playing a role of a thermostat, keeping constant temperature of 37 degrees Celsius, which is essential the processes in our body. When healthy, the thyroid dynamically reacts to changes in temperature. When unable to maintain proper body heat, this can lead to cold intolerance.
When thyroid hormones are too much we can experience sensitivity to heat. When they are too less, we can get cold sensitivity. By Hashimoto’s both cold and heat sensitivities can be experienced. This is due to alternation between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
So, Susan, first thing to check is if your thyroid hormones are balanced. Here keep in mind the difference between standard reference range and optimal reference range, as well as asking for a complete thyroid panel blood test. Have a close look together with your physician if there is enough active thyroid hormone T3 in your blood stream. Additionally, I know that some physicians recommend their patients to raise a little bit their medication dosage during colder months.
Besides thyroid hormones, recent studies show that the immune system is sensitive to temperature changes as well as vice versa.
So, please take care and balance your immune system by:
– removing autoimmune triggers: I’ve already talked about the role of sugar, gluten, dairy, iodine, a leaky gut (mineral deficiencies), unresolved trauma and distress in triggering an autoimmune response
– reduce inflammation: make use of inflammation reducing foods; supplement with selenium, vitamin D3, adaptogenic herbs; improve your body ability to detox by weekly taking a sauna and follow the Sacred time program twice per year; work on your boundaries: physical, emotional, mental and material.
Different ways to work with boundaries: grounding, time for yourself and reflection, say ‘no’, strengthen spleen meridian
– enhance regulatory T cell function: by making use of vitamin D3, green tea, some probiotics. When talking about probiotics, I would like to say that many people with Hashimoto thyroiditis report negative reaction to probiotics. This is due to the fact that often Hashimoto’s and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SOB) go hand in hand. Regular probiotics are containing Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium which can worsen the problem, by just simply adding to the bacteria in small intestine. That is why I would suggest that Hashimoto patients make use of soil-based probiotics.
– In my practice I’ve observed that many Hashimoto’s are Highly Sensitive Persons. This means that you would experience acute physical, mental, and emotional responses to external (social, environmental) or internal stimuli. Learn to cherish yourself as you are. For example accept the fact that putting the needs of others before yours brings you joy. While having joy in pleasing others, practice putting yourself first: know your boundaries, state them clearly to others, and stand behind them when violated.