Body Temperature Part I: The Truth about 98.6
Usually when we talk about temperature it’s generally in relation to illness or fertility. You’ve heard people say, “My body temperature just runs low.”, and we accept that as “normal” for them. Heck, I was one of those people too, until I learned the truth.
I’m no physics expert, but we’re gonna talk about some very basic physics and biology “laws” for just a hot minute. I promise to keep it simple. Understanding these principles will help seal this information into your memory.
Temperature is an indicator of heat in a system.
Heat is energy.
Vibration produces heat.
Cells vibrate, and in doing so, produce heat.
Every cellular reaction in the body occurs optimally (key word!) at a specific “heat” level.
Energy (heat) produces cell voltage (imagine a cell has a battery) which alters the pH of the body.
The vibration of molecules within cells is measured electrically. The “hertz” unit is used to measure electrical vibrations (known as frequency).
If the production of energy (heat) drops in the body, cellular vibrations have slowed down and frequency (measured in hertz/ Htz) and pH are affected.
Low frequency and an acidic pH are associated with cancer, chronic disease, and mental health issues.
How’s that for a nutshell version of a basic Law of Thermodynamics and its relationship to mammal biology?
Beyond the microscopic view of body temperature, there are certainly other factors at play:
The hypothalamus (located in the brain) directs the opening and closing of blood flow to the skin. It works in tandem with the thyroid and other tiny but mighty glands and organs. Damage to any of them may affect body temperature.
Stress also interferes with, and drives down body temperature. Cold hand and/or feet are often a reflection of stress response. Conversely, warmer hands/feet indicate relaxation. We can grow used to living with chronic stress, but the body doesn’t lie.
Adrenal fatigue or insufficiency
Hormone imbalance (commonly low progesterone or estrogen dominance in women, or low testosterone in men)Unresolved emotional trauma
Heavy metal or chemical toxicity (including medications)
Some people may be born with a lower body temperature. This may be due to any of the above. Do not minimize the generational impact of toxins, unresolved emotional trauma, energetically dead food, and poor water quality on babies!
Chronic low body temperature is often a common clue or symptom of a known (or yet unknown) disorder or distress. Dr. David Jernigan writes, “The colder a body becomes, the slower the electrical oscillatory rate and therefore the thicker, more viscous, or syrupy the body fluids become. The more viscous the fluids become the more difficult it is for the body to push the fluids through the body. The lymph fluids that are normally supposed to bathe the outsides of all of your cells become progressively stagnant as it is too thick to move efficiently.”
Jernigan’s illustration above is a graphic description of what happens when body fluids become stagnant. If low body temperature becomes a chronic issue, several things begin happening:
The body becomes a home for viruses, certain bacteria, and chronic infection
Gradual cellular death (without regeneration) begins to happen
Actions of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, hormones, neurotransmitters and other body essential chemicals are compromised
Acidity of the body increases and serious disorders and diseases begin appearing.
Frequency of the body drops and negative emotions begin to predominate
It becomes even harder for the body to spit out toxins
Smooth muscle tone is affected and fluid begins leaking out into tissue and edema results
Can chronic low body temperature be corrected? You bet it can, and we’re going to discuss that next week! Remember, the wall around Jerusalem didn’t get destroyed in a single day and it wasn’t rebuilt in a single day either! And, Nehemiah didn’t do it alone. He sought out a community of like minded people with different skill sets to help him rebuild, and they persevered… even despite toxic (both physical and emotional) onslaught in the process. Your life is a story of clues, and although God is the ultimate author of each of our stories, the choices we make play a huge part in the writing of it!
Before we move on to foot clues you feel internally, I wanted to touch briefly on the toenails. If you’ve been hanging with me this long, you may remember we spent quite some time on fingernail clues. Fingernails and toenails share many traits, and you may want to go back and revisit those posts for expanded details on your distal digits. Very briefly, these are some of the “biggies” for the toes:
*Clubbed toenails – often a sign of lung, heart, liver, or digestive disorders. Poorly oxygenated blood is usually the causative agent for curved nails.
*Yellowed toenails – usually related to a fungal infection, but if most or all toenails are involved, look for other clues including swollen feet or ankles. Paired with lower extremity swelling, more toenails become involved and the nails appear to get thicker or seem to detach. These telltale tips may also involve clues related to lymphedema, lung disease, or autoimmune disorders such as psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis.
*Spoon shaped toenails – frequently a sign of iron deficiency or frequent exposure to petroleum based solvents. Know that there are “clean” nail polish and nail polish removers available, and using them instead of toxin laden products is one more way to support healthy liver function!
Chronically cold feet is a clue indicating impaired circulation. Decreased blood flow is commonly linked to smoking, heart disease, diabetes, anemia, digestive disorders, or hypothyroidism. Exercise and deep breathing techniques are two ways to improve circulation. Our bodies are designed to move, not to be still.😉
*Heel pain or pain that radiates from the heel to the arch of the foot (plantar fasciitis) is often a result of inflammation of the ligament attached to the heel bone which runs along the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is often said to be most painful in the mornings. Heel pain alone may suggest arthritis, excessive exercise, or a possible bone spur.
*Have you been told that you have (or had) stress fractures in your feet?. This is one of the most common injuries seen by our active duty military men and women in training, and is also fairly common in civilian life. Though contributing factors include improperly fitted boots, carrying heavy loads regularly, and intense exercise, the biggest factor is improper nutrition leading to weaker bones. Very often, stress fractures in the feet can be a clue for osteopenia / osteoporosis if bones are not given the proper nutrients to thrive.
Young Living’s Super Cal Plus is a wonderful supportive tool for bones that need a little extra TLC! It contains Magnesium, calcium, Vit D3 and a thoroughly helpful blend of micronutrients, herbs, and essential oils. You’ll want to remember this supplement when we chat about foot and leg spasms here in just a little bit too!
*Perhaps you’ve had a random but sudden and severe pain in your big toe? This is a pain that appears “ “magically” (if you’ve experienced it, you know what I’m talking about!), and may leave you wondering how you broke your toe but didn’t know it….. It’s THAT painful! 😳Years ago, gout was considered a rich man’s disease because of the rich diet that often precipitates a flare. Foods and beverages that may aggravate gout include alcoholic beverages, shellfish, bacon, beef, and broccoli, but the worst culprit of all is sugar in all forms, but especially high fructose corn syrup. Gout flares may also be linked to certain medications. Diuretics and certain blood pressure medications in the ACE inhibitor family, are two of the more common ones.
*Regular foot spasms are another wonder filled clue with several possibilities. Poor circulation, dehydration, an imbalance in potassium, magnesium, calcium, or vitamin D are all potential thieves of ease. Thyroid disorders and a sharp change in hormone levels (as is seen in pregnancy) are other potential causes. There are soooooo many medications that can cause a metabolic imbalance resulting in regular foot and leg spasms. Any medication that depletes any or all of these nutrients often leads to foot and leg spasms unless the deficiency is remediated.
Medications known to do this include:
💊Acid blockers/reducers (for the stomach)
💊Many common antibiotics ( the quinolone class especially)
💊Many blood pressure medications
💊Birth control pills
💊Certain maintenance meds used for breast cancer
💊A high sugar diet (yes…. Sugar may be defined as a drug!)
*Leg spasms are often diagnosed as restless leg syndrome when in reality, it’s more often than not a simple deficiency in potassium, magnesium, calcium, or Vit D that may be easily remedied with proper supplementation. In my experience as a pharmacist, I’ve found the most common culprit to be a magnesium deficiency, especially if the spasms are in the lower legs. Remember, the body is giving massive clues and not a single clue is ever an indicator that it is “deficient” in a medication.
*Generalized pain, tingling, or a burning sensation of the feet affects over 20 million people in the United states, and the clue field is a vast one. This particular clue is the result of damaged nerve fibers. Damage may happen in a myriad of ways, but the most common cause is diabetes followed by alcohol abuse. Other potential causes include chronic kidney disease, chronic hypothyroidism, lyme disease, or a vitamin B12, folate, and/or B6 deficiency. The B vitamin family is critical for nerve health, and Young Living’s Super B is a stellar opportunity to support unhappy (and perhaps malnourished) nerves.
Medications that rob the body of a variety of B vitamins include:
💊Acid reducers and antacids
💊Many blood pressure medications
💊Bronchodilators (example: albuterol)
💊Many diabetes meds including metformin (do you see the irony here?)
💊Birth control pills
💊Certain medications for Parkinson’s Disease
Oftentimes, clues can certainly be found in a pill bottle, once you start to understand the cause and effect and even put together a timeline of when the clue appeared. This is why it is so important to keep a health journal, especially when multiple clues make themselves known. Think of it as writing your personal detective story!
Our body rarely deceives us!
There is an old farm saying, “No hoof, no horse.”. The savvy horseman looks at hooves very carefully because he or she knows that a horse with poor feet will not be able to function optimally, and that a horse with chronic hoof issues often has metabolic, digestive, or rarely… a genetic anomaly . The same holds absolutely true with humans.
If you’ve had an excellent massage therapist (or perhaps even an astute pedicurist), perhaps they’ve told you a little bit about yourself simply by examining your feet while they worked. It’s lovely to have a day of pampering, but don’t depend on anyone to look for clues. It’s time to get to know your feet really well if you haven’t done so already! Our feet are an excellent barometer of overall health. Clues often appear below the ankles before any other place on the body, giving ample time to reverse the course of your personal story should it happen to be heading down a rocky road.
26 bones. 33 joints. 100 ligaments. More than 100 moving parts. What could possibly go wrong? 😬Well, take a seat….shuck the shoes 👟and socks, and take a close look at your hardworking utterly complex feet. I’m going to group feet clues into two categories: What you can SEE and what you can FEEL.
Visible Foot Clues:
*Do you see dry, cracked, peeling, blistered, red, or scaly skin, usually on the bottom of the foot or between the toes? Sometimes these clues may be accompanied by a burning or itching sensation. Athlete’s foot is a fungus known as tinea pedis that thrives in dark, damp places….an excellent reason to go barefoot whenever possible! Fungal infections throughout the body are fueled by high sugar diets. A sustained change in diet (along with allowing the feet to breathe!) often eliminates chronic foot funk. Occasionally, all of these clues may point instead to contact dermatitis. When contact dermatitis occurs, it’s most often due to a chemical / toxin exposure. It’s just one more reason to use the Thieves Household Cleaner line of products!
*Now, check your heels for cracks. Going barefoot or wearing flip flops often do not cause cracked heels, though this is a popular belief. Cracked heels is a classic sign of a struggling thyroid.
*Hairy toes. Do you have them….. Or, did you used to have them but now you don’t? The same can be said for the tops of the feet and the lower legs. Hairy toes, feet, and lower legs are a sign of healthy circulation. Nourishing hair follicles on the lowest extremities is one of the first things to go when the circulatory system starts struggling. A poor nourishment pathway in the legs starves the follicles, and hair ceases to grow. Don’t panic if you’ve never had hairy toes. Not everyone is genetically predisposed to furry distal digits. The important thing to remember is your uniqueness, and to learn to watch for these clues so that you’ll notice when something changes, or goes missing! This is a clue easily caught on men, and less easily caught on women.
*Swollen feet and ankles. So very common in pregnancy, but an important clue for those who are not pregnant. Even if you are standing all day, feet and ankle swelling should be minimal with good circulation. This is a clue that may indicate impaired circulation or lymphatic drainage. Additionally, the kidneys remove excess fluid from the body. If they are not functioning properly, excess fluid tends to accumulate in the body. An under-active thyroid may also contribute to fluid retention.
*Sores that are slow to heal on the feet are a significant clue also indicating impaired circulation. This particular clue is often seen in diabetes and peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD is a narrowing of the arteries which reduces blood flow to the legs. If nourishment cannot get to a wound, it will be slow to heal.
*If you have noticed circulatory system clues in your feet, try to avoid crossing your legs when you sit. Sitting like this further constricts blood flow and will only exacerbate the clues you’ve noticed!
*Stinky feet! You may have noticed that some people have stinkier feet than others. Feet are loaded with sweat glands: 250,000 give or take a few. But odor is not caused by sweat alone. It is caused by the byproducts of bacteria, possibly fungus, and ALWAYS the toxin load of the individual. Simply put, the more toxins ☠️ within a person’s body, the greater the odds of some rank stank. All the more reason to help your liver out and choose healthy, toxin free options whenever possible in life! #thanksYL
If you know someone with stinky feet, consider gifting them this easy peasy helpful spray for their shoes (and feet!), and get them on the path to a less toxic lifestyle.
***Stink Stank Stunk no more Shoe Spray***
👟3-4 oz glass or metal spray bottle
👟2 oz witch hazel
👟1 ounce filtered water
👟30-40 drops total of essential oil using any of the following (Purification, Eucalyptus Radiata, Peppermint, Lemon, Rosemary)
Shake well before each use!
Take some time to look at your feet at least once a week. I do a quick assessment every night as I apply Thieves to the bottoms of my feet before bedtime for immune support and Tranquil to the base of my big toe for a good night’s sleep.
See you next week…. We’re just getting started on foot clues!