Taking your temp, Selenium and RT3, TPA’s Autumn Newsletter, and HealthcheckUSA’s discount to STTM readers

NOTE: though this post was originally written in 2011, it can still contain relevant information for you today to consider, or do further research on.

(Photo graphic by thyroid patient Sam Aliyev of Azerbaijan, Baku city.)


Thanks to Dr. Broda Barnes, informed thyroid patients know the importance of taking one’s temperature, especially just before we get out of bed in the morning. According to Barnes, we can suspect a thyroid problem if that temp is below 97.8. Conversely, healthy thyroid function (or adequate treatment) would put our before-rising temp from 97.8 to 98.2. (Menstruating females would need to be aware of higher temps right after ovulation.).

Today, we favor the mercury thermometer over digitals for accuracy. But are we using the mercury thermometer correctly? Maybe not.

A discussion between thyroid patients recently underscored the need to leave it in the mouth longer than the 5 minutes we thought was adequate. Thyroid patient Jennifer states: At 5 minutes it read 97.6, at 10 minutes it read 97.8 and at 15 minutes it read 98 degrees. After that, it stayed 98 degrees. We then discussed the fact that manipulating the muscle in the back of throat could have caused the final temp. But her experiment, as well as others, underscored that we need to be holding that mercury thermometer in our mouths no less than five minutes, and ten is probably better.


The above statement about selenium causing excess RT3 has oft been repeated from group to group for a few years. But it may be very wrong.

For example, this study shows selenium did not cause a rise in RT3, and in fact, lowered it. Here is one which shows LOW levels of selenium can result in increased RT3. This medical book states that though RT3 comes from T4, it also concludes that low selenium increases RT3.

In other words, though the enzymes that convert T4 to T3, and convert T4 to RT3, are selenium dependent to do their job, that doesn’t mean that selenium is going to increase your RT3. Bottom line, many thyroid patients love selenium, especially with its power to lower Hashimoto’s antibodies, and being anti-cancer. Suggested levels are no more than 400 mcg.

TPA’s AUTUMN NEWSLETTER IS OUT–many good articles!

TPA stands for Thyroid Patient Advocacy, and is a UK charity organization started by Sheila Turner. Check out the articles below in the latest newsletter.

Page 5: The Big Question – Is There an Anti-T3 Conspiracy. Eric Prichard critically questions why those in Endocrinology need to cite numerous anti-T3 studies, in spite of many other studies which reveal the activeness and superiority of T3. Is the UK and other dark age countries ever going to get it?

Page 9: Why I Believe T3 Should Be the Very Last Treatment that Thyroid Patients Consider. Don’t let UK’s Paul Robinson’s title fool you. He believes in the efficacy of T3, but underscores why it can be complex to dose with just T3. Especially compelling are what follows Paul’s article, titled MEMBERS SUCCESS STORY. Story 1 is about an individual who, when dosing T3 in the early morning hours, was able to get off all adrenal meds. Story 2 is about a gal’s successful transition from T4 to T3.

Page 15: Thyroid Patients Have Come a Long Way, Baby….But We Still Have a Way to Go! Though there are now numerous patient groups on the net and many lives have changed, Janie Bowthorpe (yes, me) explains how many doctors still have a long way to go in understanding how T4 and TSH fail patients, just as desiccated thyroid or T3 have turned miserable lives around.


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8 Responses to “Taking your temp, Selenium and RT3, TPA’s Autumn Newsletter, and HealthcheckUSA’s discount to STTM readers”

  1. dee

    On selenium and rt3: the study you reference only uses 1 mcg/kg/day to normalize deiodinase activity in 3 weeks.
    The average American gets more than this – about 100 mcg/day, and all in selenocycsteine in meat, not selenomethionine.
    The inadequate intake the other studies you refer to is of the order of 15 mcg/day, which is the amount in an ounce or two of meat, or in one piece of bread.

    Conversely, there are a lot of studies referencing selenium lowering t4 ->t3 conversion. I was shocked by how proven it is myself, as everyone on these webboards advises 200 -400 mcg/day. The d1 enzyme is adequate at 50 mcg /day.

    I think you should take the article down, or do more research. People read this and try what you say, and while I admire what you’re trying to do, I have to admit that it is of a very poor quality scientifically. The issue above, regarding selenium, is incredibly easy to figure out.

    cheers and all the best.

  2. Sandra

    Just googled and found your site. I had radiation in Dec 2014 and am now on Thyroxine. I have gained so much weight, and feel drugged-tired, made worse because I have ME&FM.
    Because of a stroke 2 years ago my short term memory makes it impossible for me to read many lines before I lose the plot.
    My Doc says I am in normal range, “but maybe we could possibly try T3, but it’s not free”; and all the other warnings I’ve managed to view.
    FYI For 40 yrs I kept telling Docs I had a low temp 36-37.8, but they just laughed and said I was mistaken.
    I am very intuitive about my own body, but live in NZ where we always seem to be 20-30 yrs behind the world,
    So, what do I do, where do I start,
    NB: Having internet probs. only online 2x weekly if I can get online.

  3. jaydee

    Wel, as long as we are going there, another option…and one I find more acceptable…is vaginal. And yes, I suppose either one is better as it measures your CORE temp. which is what you want.

  4. Hermine

    Dear Janie,I am not sure if I will shock you and all the others but as I am a Dutch woman, I want to give you the “old world” advice on how to take your temperature. I was taught by my mother (and all doctors I came in contact with) to always take the temperature rectal, for 5 full minutes. This is said to be the best method with mercury thermometers. You just put a little bit of vasaline on the tip and there you are, easy! Don’t be shocked or afraid…try it and see for yourself how easy and reliable this is. This summer we visited our daughter in Greensboro NC, and I found a beauty of a mercury thermometer in a store called “Rite Aid”. Perhaps you have such a store in your town? I wish everybody lots of luck!

  5. Jennifer in NS, Canada

    My experiments have also been done at different times of the day. Be it mid-afternoon when my temp usually dips or later in the evening, I almost always see a difference between 5 minutes and 10. And in my case, I fall asleep while taking my temp, I’m afraid of what would happen if I didn’t set a timer.

  6. Janie

    Nikky said:

    Just wondering if leaving the thermometer in for 10 minutes is actually the wrong approach because it could be your body waking up leading to a body temp increase over that 10 minutes. We always say we shouldn’t get out of bed before taking that temp, but just the act of waking might raise the temp? Just a thought.

    (From Janie: Jennifer’s experiments were done sometime in the afternoon.)

  7. Janie

    Jennifer in NS, Canada said:

    I’m one of the Jennifers that was discussing different thermometers and temperature experiments. I believe it is the other Jennifer that is being quoted above.

    I am still doing my experiments. I have been testing with two mercury thermometers and two digital thermometers. I have additional thermometers coming, including a Geratherm.
    My tests include comparisons between thermometers, comparisons between axillary and oral, and comparisons between left axillary and right axillary. I have tested for up to 30 minutes, checking at 5-minute and 10-minute intervals.

    Unfortunately, the results so far are inconclusive. I will be publishing my results when I am done, but for the moment, I will agree with Janie, “no less than five minutes, and ten is probably better”. I would also add that consistency is very important. When comparing temperature readings, always use the same thermometer in the same location for the same amount of time.


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