Let’s dig into why the hypothalamus is said to be the body’s thermostat, and examine the key to regulating your body temperature.
Your hypothalamus is the center of your body’s temperature regulation.
It receives nerve impulses from structures in your skin called thermoreceptors. Thermoreceptors give information about the surface temperature of your body. They are picked up by nerve cells and passed through the spinal cord by thermal sensors connected to the posterior hypothalamus. If temperatures are lower than average, a thermogenic response initiated by the posterior hypothalamus leads to an elevation in body heat. Therefore, the conservation of that heat.
Your hypothalamus also receives information about temperature through the bloodstream. The anterior hypothalamus, particularly the preoptic area, contains temperature-sensitive neurons.Neurons that respond to internal blood temperature changes. If blood is too hot, your anterior hypothalamus initiates a thermolytic response, which helps to decrease body temperature.
Thermolytic responses are characterized by vasodilation in the skin. This causes heat to be lost through the skin by radiation and perspiration. Thermogenic responses create cutaneous vasoconstriction. Meaning the blood vessels in your skin start to get smaller, which minimizes heat loss due to radiation. Thermolytic reactions also cause a shivering effect. This increased muscular activity can increase body temperature.
Your hypothalamus is well-equipped to gauge the fluctuations in blood and peripheral body temperature.
So how do you regulate your temperature?
The number one way is thermotherapy. If you’re overheated, apply cold water or ice to strategic points in the body where veins are closer to the surface. Like your wrists, neck, chest, and temple. This can quickly lower your body temperature. If you’re freezing, putting hot packs on your neck and chest can significantly increase body temperature. Hydro-immersion also works; hot baths when you’re cold and cold baths when you’re hot can dramatically affect your body temperature.
Exercise will increase your body temperature, so movement is good if you’re cold. And of course, pay attention to your clothing. Breathable, loose cotton or silk cools, while wool and nylon can help retain heat.
However, the best way to regulate your body temperature is by supporting your hypothalamus.
For the first four decades of my life, I struggled to maintain an average core body temperature. I had hypothalamic amenorrhea due to eating disorders and obsessive exercise, and my body fat was too low at 12%, so I could not maintain my body temperature, especially if I got exposed to the cold.
In my thirties, I was a triathlete, so swimming in the Pacific Ocean, even with a wetsuit, would cause hypothermia. Only hydro-immersion therapy would help. Once I started supporting my hypothalamus, first with the Sacred Seven amino acids and then with Genesis Gold, I could regulate my body temperature without resorting to hydrotherapy. Since supporting my hypothalamus with Genesis Gold, my body temperature is slightly above average.
Some factors that can raise your body temperature include fevers, exercise, and even digestion.
If you eat late at night and then go to bed, you’ll have a hard time staying asleep because your body temperature naturally elevates during digestion, preventing adequate melatonin production.
Some factors can lower your internal temperature, including drug use, alcohol use, and some metabolic conditions, especially a low thyroid level.
Since your hypothalamus controls thermoregulation, supporting your hypothalamus to optimize your body temperature is essential.
If you have any questions about your hypothalamus and temperature regulation, I’d love for you to join me in our Hormone Support Group, where you’ll get access to our free Hormone Reboot Training.