I'm not sure where to post this as I think it might be more menopause related but might be cancer treatment related. *shrug* I figured all of my awesome friends here might be able to provide personal stories so I thought I would start in this forum.
Yesterday I was feeling under the weather but not terribly so. My body felt warm to the tough so I decided to take my temp. My hands were not cold so I know I wasn't imaginging things. I took my temperature and it came back 96.5. I tested it using 3 different thermometers.
I've always had a normal body temperature lower than the average of 98.6. Mine has always been 97.8 (at least prior to cancer and going into menopause).
So to those of you who were thrust into menopause as a result of surgery, what are your findings as far as how it affected your body temperature?
My body temp has always stayed around 96.5 or so. The only time it changed was it went up when I had a bladder infection right after surgery.
I had lots of hot flashes the first several months but I don't think I ever checked my temp during one. I lost my hair from chemo - now that it's winter, I have to wear a cap most of the time to stay warm. I still get an occasional hot flash, so I can go from chilly to sweaty in a manner of seconds.
My temp always ran 97.0-97.2, except right after waking or if I were out in the cold and got chilled, in which case it ran between 93.4 and 94. Since surgery, it's been running between 93.4 and 94, except when I've been sick with sinus infection/flu/UTI (it's been a bad week-plus, especially since I still had to work). Even with the fever, my temp only hit 100.3 that I know of, but I felt like I used to when my temp was over 102.
I don't know if the body temp change is surgery-related or not, but I know in my case it has nothing to do with menopause, since I was already years past menopause when I had my surgery. But since before my diagnosis in November 2010, I've stopped taking all vitamins except cranberry, and one that I used to take was Evening Primrose Oil, which is a phyto-estrogen (I can never take this again).
Body temp is regulated by the thyroid and I've seen a lot of Systers posting about post-op thyroid...and thyroid hormones do work closely with estrogen...
I don't care that my body temp is lower than it used to be... it's simply the new normal for me. I just need to make sure I tell everyone that works on me and there is a note on my emergency sheet at work. And for years, my bathroom and portable first aid kit thermometers have both been ovulation prediction models because regular ones don't register seriously subnormal temperatures.
Absolutely, low body temperature can be a sign of hypothyroidism, but it can be linked to being post-menopausal as well.
For women who still ovulate who do not take the Pill, from the time your period starts until the time you ovulate, body temps are low--in the low 97's typically. After ovulation, your body puts out progesterone and this causes the temperature to rise into the 98's. Body temp drops again when menstruation begins. As you are entering menopause, your body produces less progesterone so body temp can be lower. Mine is. I'm not sure I'm actually all the way through menopause yet, but I know I'm on the path--I had my FSH levels checked a few months ago.
So, I guess if you're worried about your body temp, talk to your doc about it and make sure there's no follow up testing that should be done.
This is such an interesting discussion. My body temp has always been lower than 98.6 Never once have I heard a doctor explain any of what has been discussed here... Checking thyroid levels, lack of progesterone...etc. (Even the female md's never said anything.)
Thanks for the info.