Try These Two Simple Home Thyroid Tests — And Take Charge of Your Health

Long before blood testing came along, many knowledgeable doctors evaluated thyroid health with two simple, reliable tests you can do in the comfort of your own home.night stand

These home thyroid tests can show low thyroid function that current blood tests often don’t reveal.

Why Thyroid Blood Tests Are Often Wrong

Thyroid blood tests, including TSH, can be inaccurate for several reasons. One is that blood tests can’t measure how much thyroid hormone is actually reaching your cells. Another is that stress can suppress TSH levels, giving a faulty diagnosis of good thyroid health.

These simple home tests were developed by Broda Barnes and Raymond Peat, two pioneering doctors who diagnosed and treated patients on the basis of primary symptoms. They understood that up to 40% of patients have low thyroid function, which can interfere with most bodily processes, resulting in a variety of illnesses if left untreated.

Today’s thyroid blood tests reveal only about 5% of thyroid dysfunction, many experts believe, leaving most other sufferers undiagnosed, yet wondering why they still feel bad even when all their blood tests indicate supposed good health.

oral thermometerWith good reason, many people are frustrated. Let these simple home tests put you in the driver’s seat to take charge of your health again.

Morning Temperature Test 

Your temperature is determined by your metabolism, and morning temperature is strongly correlated with thyroid health.   

  1. Put a mouth thermometer within easy reach before you get in bed.   Use a digital or standard thermometer.  Place it on your nightstand or somewhere right beside you before you go to sleep.
  2. Take your temperature first thing upon waking, staying as still as possible.  For greatest accuracy, this test should be taken immediately after you awaken in the morning before you begin moving around.
  3. Record your results.    A morning temperature of 97.8 degrees Fahrenheit (36.5 degrees celsius)  or less is highly indicative of hypothyroidism.


Resting Pulse Rate Test

Your core temperature, as measured above, can be artificially increased if you live in a warm climate.  So taking your resting pulse rate as well can provide the most accurate results.  

  1. Use an oximeter (finger pulse monitor) or stopwatch to take your resting pulse rate. It can be checked immediately upon waking or when you are sitting or lying down and have been at rest for several minutes.
  2. If using an oximeter, let the reading settle to a consistent level while you remain still.  This may take 30 seconds or so.
  3. If using a stopwatch, hold two fingers against the side of your wrist to find your pulse and measure for 15 seconds, then multiply by 4 for a total of one minute.  (It can be helpful to have a partner operate the stopwatch for you while you are counting your pulse beats.)
  4. Record your results.   A resting pulse rate below 80 beats per minute provides a strong indication of low thyroid function (hypothyroidism).  

If you believe you may be hypothyroid, you can make some positive lifestyle changes using a program such as the Hypothyroidism Revolution discussed here.  Continue to monitor your temperature, pulse and other symptoms, and keep your doctor informed of your progress.

In my next post, I will discuss childhood hypothyroid symptoms that many are unaware of and how they affect long-term health.

I will also discuss my progress in the program — both struggles and successes.

Please sign-up above to receive my upcoming posts via email, and leave a comment below.   I’d love to hear from you!

Talk to you soon,





10 thoughts on “Try These Two Simple Home Thyroid Tests — And Take Charge of Your Health

  1. Thank you – this has been very helpful as I know two people personally who suspect thyroid issues and I will definitely forward this information to them.
    Thanks again.

    1. Hi, Etaya. I appreciate you passing on these valuable home tests. The thyroid is involved in so many health issues, so it is good info to keep at hand. Thank you!

    1. Hi, Rui! Yes, please pass the home tests along to your friends. It’s always good for people to be empowered to monitor their own health and well-being. Hope to see you again.

  2. What great info Jen. I’ve always tried to up on my thyroid health and will run through this helpful list tomorrow.

    I’m shocked about the inaccuracy of blood tests for thyroid.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Vince. Yes, blood tests are great for some things, but not particularly so for hormones. This is because blood tests test only access the substances flowing in the blood itself. They don’t give any clue about how much hormone is getting into the cells, and the cells are where hormones do their work.

      So, for now, symptoms are often a better way to gauge thyroid health.

  3. Cool article! I’d never heard of the second test for thyroid function, but the first is spot-on. My body temperature is always around 96.8-97.

    I’ll look out for your next article about childhood thyroid symptoms. My own story on that is rather dramatic. When I started to hit puberty at the age of 10, I also started getting taller and leaner. At that point in my childhood, I had to move suddenly. Within 6 months of moving, my weight had gone from 112 to 217lbs, and I’d only grown another inch. Depressed, lethargic, etc. No one knew what was going on. The pediatrician finally gave me a thyroid test, saying how unusual it would be for an 11-year-old, but of course, that was the culprit. I guess I was one of the lucky ones that the medical tests available actually work.

    I went on Synthroid and lost about 50lbs pretty quickly (although weight gain has been an issue throughout my adult life). I’ve been on various thyroid meds for the last 25 years. For anyone who says thyroid disease is trivial or something we women make up to explain away our issues, I would challenge them to consider otherwise.

    1. Hi, Penny! It sounds like there was some stress involved in your childhood move that brought on a thyroid dysfunction. I had to move abruptly too as a child, and it was one of the most disruptive experiences of my young life.

      I’m glad your doctor discovered the thyroid connection and was able to help you. Weight problems often don’t resolve until the thyroid functions properly again. Unfortunately, many people aren’t helped much my Synthroid because it doesn’t contain any of the active thyroid hormone commonly known as T3. The liver must convert the T4 in Synthroid into T3 and sometimes isn’t able to do so.

      The Hypothyroidism Revolution program addresses liver function and provides many other quick and natural nutrition and lifestyle adjustments to help get the thyroid functioning well again. If you’re still having issues, I welcome you to follow my posts and investigate the program for yourself.

      Thanks for your insightful comments and I hope to hear from you again.


      1. At the moment I’m living in Korea and taking a thyroid hormone made only here, and it seems to be working well (unlike some of the generics of synthroid I took over the years). It’s good to know there are other options. And yes, it’s worth highlighting that stress can disrupt our ESSENTIAL BODY FUNCTIONING, which is what the thyroid is. As an adult I’ve developed a slight fatty liver, which I suspect is due to drinking alcohol, so I’ve cut back on that as well as fructose sources. But I’ll have to look into whether that has an effect on my thyroid functioning as well, thanks for the heads up!

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