Fluid retention is usually thought of as one of those harmless but annoying physical conditions that we just have to put up with. But fluid retention isn’t normal. It means that your body’s delicate fluid balance is under strain. Fluid is being driven in between your cells, into what’s called interstitial spaces, instead of being removed by the kidneys. Your tissues become water-logged. You get swollen feet and hands and headaches. You may even have swelling that makes your eyes bulge.
Fluid retention can be caused by many things–heart failure, electrolyte imbalance, hormones, kidney problems–but one primary underlying cause that is not often addressed is low body temperature due to slow metabolism. This happens when your body is not using using thyroid hormones properly.
With low body temperature, many temperature-dependent biochemical reactions in our bodies slow down. That includes the process of pumping fluid and electrolytes in and out of cells, the process of relaxing and contracting blood vessels, and creating the energy that enables our hearts and kidneys to do their jobs properly. When any one of these processes is compromised, fluid retention can result.
An easy way to find out if your metabolism really has slowed down is to see if your body temperature is consistently low, typically below 97.8 F. Some people’s temperatures can drop even when their thyroid blood tests are completely normal. This is known as Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome. People with Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome often recover completely when their temperatures are returned to normal with a special thyroid hormone protocol and their symptoms often remain improved even after the treatment has been discontinued.
For the most accurate results, use a liquid metal thermometer, take it three times a day, starting three hours after you wake up, for several days, and average the temperature for each day.
If your body temperature is consistently low, that could easily explain many troubling symptoms, including fluid retention. People with low temperatures can often recover on their own when their bodies are given proper support such as proper diet, exercise, sleep, thyroid support herbs and adrenal support herbs. On the other hand, some people will need T3 therapy in order to normalize their low body temperatures. Your doctor can call us at 800.420.5801 to get more information about how to use T3 and to discuss your individual case. The object of T3 therapy is to normalize your oral body temperatures to average 98.6 during treatment. (See “How are body temperatures measured” for complete instructions.)
Many people who are treated properly with T3 will enjoy a reduction in fluid retention. Also, women may see an improvement in premenstrual symptoms, and both women and men may see reduced salt sensitivity, lower blood pressure and fewer headaches and eye aches. They may require less diuretics to control their fluid retention.
Bhargava M, Lei J, Mariash CN, et al. Thyroid hormone rapidly stimulates alveolar Na,K-ATPase by activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2007 Oct;14(5):416-20.
Hierholzer K, Finke R. Myxedema. Kidney Int Suppl. 1997 Jun;59:S82-9.