Body Temperature and Mortality

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By Matt Stone

Two days ago, a long-term member of the 180 community alerted me of a study that sought to determine how body temperature impacted the mortality rate of patients checking into the intensive care unit for treatment.

Now I normally don’t like to put much focus on studies.  Anyone can go out and find studies that support whatever point it is that they are trying to prove.  And I think those tactics are cheap and falsely reassuring.  I have written about this at great length.  Having said that, this study is pretty interesting.

I have often quoted a passage by Henry Bieler that describes in great and specific detail what I consider to be a person with optimal health.  And in that passage Bieler writes…

It is possible for him to stand more treatments, operations and even more lung hemorrhages than any other type of patient.  He is the patient most often discharged as arrested or cured.

And of course, this patient he is describing has a nice, healthy metabolism.  “The temperature of his body is scarcely ever below 98.8, with hands and feet always pleasantly warm.” 

Hey, while we’re talking about Henry Bieler, note Bieler’s commentary on the blood of this superhero – a perfect tie in to the recent post on bleeding, low platelets, anemia, etc.:

The quality of the blood is characteristic.  A slight to marked polycythemia (more red cells than usual) occurs; leucopenia, or abnormal white cell count on the low side, is never noted.  The blood, which is of a rich, red color, clots quickly.  Fatal hemorrhage seldom occurs.” 

Anyway, this study was set up to see if there was any connection or correlation between low body temperature and mortality rate (risk of death) for patients entering the intensive care unit for treatment.  Well, there was a huge correlation, as one would expect…

The overall intensive care unit case-fatality was 1,944 of 10,962 (18%) and 828 of 6,133 (14%) for normothermia, 235 of 1,046 (22%) for mild hypothermia, 205 of 541 (38%) for moderate hypothermia, 43 of 72 (60%) for severe hypothermia… After controlling for confounding variables in logistic regression analyses, fever at presentation was not associated with any significantly increased risk for death. However, hypothermia was a significant independent predictor for death in medical patients.

Of course, we joked about how, when you go in to any doctor’s office or hospital they will check your body temperature for a FEVER.  If your body temperature is low, they ignore it.  In fact, she shared a story with me about how she went in with a body temperature WAY below normal and the nurse uttered one word…  “PERFECT!!!”

Sigh.

Anyway – I don’t want to make anyone think that body temperature is the one and only key to all health problems.  It is not.  But it is hugely significant and shouldn’t be ignored.  There are many health problems that can be improved as body temperature improves.  Low body temperature is just a sign of a much bigger story taking place beneath the surface.  And that story is much lengthier and more complex than I ever could have envisioned it being when I first went down that rabbit hole.

Anyway, get warm. Get those fingers and toes toasty.  Eat lots of tasty and soul-satisfying food, sleep well, don’t stress too hard, and don’t drink excessive fluids.  It’ll help.

84 Comments

  1. Does (herbal) tea count as “water,” or is it better? I’ve been wondering.

    Reply
    • Yes. Think of it like this…

      Basically your cells need a certain concentration of sugar and salt. Fluids dilute that concentration. When that happens you start to have urine that is too clear and symptoms of “hypoglycemia” and “hyponatremia” start to set in. Some of the first symptoms being cold hands and feet – but it could be any number of things. Fatigue, headaches, migraines, blurred vision, memory loss, brain fog, anxiety, pain… who knows?

      So just don’t over-dilute your system. Especially late in the evening. Unfortunately, people who are cold all the time constantly want to drink hot drinks to warm up and end up chugging a bunch of unsweetened tea and coffee. If you are going to drink such things, sweeten them heavily, and have small amounts – not several cups at once.

      Hope that makes sense.

      Reply
      • Matt,

        makes all sense to me!
        But why not drinking especially later in the evening?
        I think my drinking habits are messed up. Not thirsty until my big lunch – and then ( a few hours after lunch ) I start drinking a lot. If I ate hearty and salty even more. How can I change that?

        Reply
        • Eating hearthy and salty food increases your fluid needs. I drink heaviest in the mid afternoon after my biggest meal of the day. The reason I say avoid drinking too much late at night is only really appropriate if you are also eating light in the evening as well. Obey your thirst and you’ll probably be fine as long as your urine isn’t coming out totally clear. Some color is probably good. Especially if you are a cold fingers and toes kinda person.

          Reply
          • Yeah, I know I drink too much fluid, mine is often clear. (And yes, I often have cold hands/feet, anxiety, fatigue.) The problem is I often feel UTI symptoms and drinking enough seems to be the only thing that helps. I understand that with a higher body temperature and overall healthier state I won’t have as much problem with infection, but until I get there…? It seems like a sort of chicken-egg situation. I’d rather drink too much water than be on antibiotics all the time (or feel miserable).

            I guess I’ll try sweetening my tea or replacing some of it with milk or juice. I have been known to eat salt straight occasionally, as well.

          • Please look up the low oxalate diet – avoiding certain things like spinach and almonds make a difference with symptoms.

      • I don’t know if I’m in agreement on this. When I was doing my disastrous experimentation with RBTI, I didn’t drink much water and it definitely made me feel worse. And my temps plummeted during this time. Drinking my normal huge amount of water made me feel better again definitely.

        Going off the pill (pre-RBTI) made my temps rise, and since I started taking a supplement that boosted my immune system, I’ve felt much warmer, too. Ditto with drinking a lot of homemade bone broth (which is liquidy of course). I have never found liquids to correlate with body temp. Not eating enough can drop them, though.

        Reply
        • Oh and every symptom you list above (“cold hands and feet – but it could be any number of things. Fatigue, headaches, migraines, blurred vision, memory loss, brain fog, anxiety, pain… who knows?”) except the migraines and pain happened during the RBTI experimentation. Hypoglycemia I guess, but it lingered a lot longer, after I stopped, so I think it was more than that.

          Reply
  2. Heh, like everyone else, the drink-8-glasses-of-water-a-day people are ALSO trying to kill us!

    Reply
  3. In fact, she shared a story with me about how she went in with a body temperature WAY below normal and the nurse uttered one word… “PERFECT!!!”

    in regards to body temperature before hanging out on 180 I pretty much had disregarded the good old thermometer as an instrument to check in on metabolism due to typical medical observations being obsessed with fevers only. I never thought it would show up in people as being below normal and give an indication of metabolic function. I always just focused my training on a trainees personal perception of “heat” in their bodies and the sense of warmth all through the body being a sign of cellular activity with a goal of having it warm over every inch of the body. although this comes out to the same thing it definitely makes it idiot proof to check severe cases with a simple temp check via thermometer which most people have handy.

    Reply
  4. Matt,
    What does it mean if I tend to feel colder during the day, but always warm in the evening?
    If being warmer was better then the RBTI stuff is all wrong, the higher my salts and sugars the warmer I am. If the goal was to feel warm I would not drink any water and let my brix and salts go sky high.
    If I am in a colder room I will feel cold, turn the heating on an I will feel warm. Is it bad to feel cold? Or should a metabolism have enough fire to be warm whatever the weather?
    If I were to feel cold, go for a brisk walk then I will feel warm all while fasted. Is being warm the only goal, or has it got to come from within?

    What is your overall impression of RBTI looking back? I still reckon it was a supplement selling business.
    My main question at the moment, after testing everyone you tested, did anyone test out a stable 6.4 ph? It is beginning to make no sense. The body needs to keep blood ph stable, so dumps excess out in urine…. surely you would not want your ph to be a stable 6.4. If you eat a shed load of pork, urine ph plummets because the blood is dumping the waste, surely that is a good thing? If the ph did not budge would that not show a system that is not throwing off waste properly?

    Reply
    • Hi Lee, I will attempt to answer this.

      Our views are still evolving on RBTI. Do not forget Matt began exploring it initially because it was showing more efficacy than any other diet he investigated. That is still the case.

      I believe you are correct with your analysis on how the body handles pH. Blood pH cannot budge therefore saliva and urine pH must move to keep it in line. The point of RBTI is to heal a weakened system. Thus by offloading this pH balancing effort from the system, you allow it to focus more energy on healing.

      A relatively healthy system can handle perturbations in its biomarkers. A weakened system can not. The classic analogy here is the fish tank. A fish tank that is well maintained, has all its nutrients, and a good ecological cycle is well “buffered” from anything that would disturb its pH. A poorly maintained fish tank, on the other hand, will not be well “buffered” at all but will fluctuate wildly from things that should cause little or no disturbance.

      Carry this analogy back over to the body and we can see how influences that normally should have little or no effect could completely disrupt a weakened system’s attempts to heal. Far more energy is being spent on regulating biochemistry in a range that will allow healing than can go to the healing itself.

      The mineral supplements on RBTI, in my opinion, are some of the best out there. Min-Col is a multi-mineral formulated for maximum absorption regardless of the state of your digestive tract. And Algazim is iodine and other sea minerals provided in the form of frozen, dried Norwegien fjord kelp. RBTI is very careful and specific about the supplements it uses. And you don’t need to take them forever, or even purchase them from your practitioner. While working with Pippa I purchased most of my supplements from Challen’s website, but also did buy some of the vitamins from my local co-op for convenience’ sake, making sure to follow the RBTI recommendations.

      Reply
    • I’m gonna do an RBTI update soon. My thoughts are that there is an in-between sweet spot so-to-speak where you are warm and toasty but not suffering consequences of having sugar/salt too high. I can make myself really warm too by not drinking much, but I can take it too far and get headaches and get grouchy and stuff too.

      Reply
  5. Lee, wow, I am amazed at your ignorance about RBTI. High salts and sugars do not necessarily correlate with a higher body temperature. Your statement about it being a supplement selling business is way off base too, as once a person hits the healing range (and that only takes a long time if you’re in seriously bad health), supplements aren’t needed (except one that costs pennies a day, Min-Col, for all your mineral needs), as the body is pulling the nutrients it needs from the food.

    Statements like yours help no one and only serve to hurt the movement. And you make statements, then ask questions to show you have no true understanding of the system. Shame on you.

    Reply
    • Actually, Rick, I think Lee is is acting perfectly. He isnt being condescending, the only negative thing he said is he thought RBTI could be a ruse just to sell supplements. Honestly, that thought has definitely crossed my mind before, but I put faith in Matt and the ideas behind RBTI make mostly logical sense to me so I continue on.

      But the rest were legitimate questions and ones that I think a lot of people have. RBTI is strange, there is a lot to know, and Matt has only written one short book on the subject, so it is only natural that people will have many questions. That material that is available through 180DH is definitely not extensive enough to allow for “true understanding”. This of course is no reflection on Matt, there is just a lot to know about reading the numbers and what to do on RBTI. Matt doesnt know everything and he spent months learning ALL DAY.

      Jumping on people that ask legitimate questions is no way to help Matt get “the word” out to help more people. Ease up, would ya?

      Reply
  6. Looked up the Bieler passage and found it in a post titled The Hamburglar’s Metabolism.

    Well worth re-reading especially the comments re HED. Great stuff!

    Reply
  7. Matt,

    Do you consider the RBTI water/lemonade recommendations the correct amount of fluids? I was also wondering whether the light RBTI dinner is at odds with RRARF/HED. The bottom line question is will following RBTI eating guidelines help or hinder low body temp?

    Jason in Sacramento

    Reply
  8. Hey Matt,

    Just wondering about your comment on not drinking too much water. I feel like I drink quite a bit of water, but only if I’m thirsty. However, I also have to urinate quite often. My fingers are cold some of the time, but not always. Is limiting my fluid intake something I should consider? Or maybe I’m eating too much salt/sugar? I should follow my body’s desire for water if it’s there, right? Thanks. Great post!

    –Brandon

    Reply
    • It can be self-perpetuating sometimes, as taking in too much water makes your cells flush out even more water than you took in. And you get dehydrated and thirsty – particularly dry mouth, and then drink more. It’s kind of like how alcohol affects us. You drink a lot, yet get dehydrated because you pee a lot when drinking alcohol.

      You might just try switching out water with fluids that are “easier to hold on to.” Like milk, juice, coconut water, diluted juice, and foods with a higher water content – like satisfying thirst with say, an apple.

      Reply
      • Okay, great! That makes sense. Thanks Matt!

        Reply
  9. Two Questions, Matt and Chief hopefully will be able to help.

    Regarding Eat Stop Eat- I know you mention fasting causing insulin resistance in the long term, does this apply to short term fasts like ESE? I have read stories of people who have done this for years with good insulin/ Thoughts?

    Secondly chief style eating or warrior diet how is it different than how sumo wrestlers eat, why are the results so different? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Maybe because sumos are meant to become sumos.

      Calories fuel optimal potential. On high cal protocols some get fat and stong, while others get lean and fast. And some don’t gain or lose anything but become powerful in other areas of their life. Everyone will manifest their potential in their own unique way provided they are fueled optimally with foods agreeing with their mind/body system.

      Reply
      • Apex

        give me any male at the age they start training a sumo and I’ll turn em into a sumo. some might be easier to train into a sumo or be a larger sumo by genetic propensity but they all will respond in the same fashion to a sumo protocol.
        there is also a way to go about it in which all people become lean and fast on a high calorie protocol.

        Reply
        • That’s kind of my point with most things. Subtle changes make for drastically different, sometimes completely opposite outcomes.

          Reply
        • Chief

          Well yeah they obviously have some tricks up their sleeve to achieve the results they get. Probably habits to manipulate fat storage but also possibly the very food they eat. But agree it’s not just slamming high cal protocols as elite athletes do the same but remain lean. Looking forward to your post on it.

          Reply
      • oh yea, meant to tell ya I love the humor you bring.

        Reply
    • I don’t think short fasts like 24 to 48 fasts cause insulin resistance directly but if a person is “metabolically challenged” then it would be no different than dieting if there is no pigging out to compensate after fasting. Being too low in calories is the same regardless how you go about producing that calorie shortchanging.

      damn the sumo question, I recently got one from someone on my blog, 2 students in real life and now on 180 again, so my sumo post will be the next one on my blog, got like 10 post 85-90 % done …gotta stop bouncing around and just finish it lol if only i could get a sumo to pose in a photo with me wrestling I’d call it Chief vs Sumo

      Reply
      • Looking forward to all of your posts! I love free information haha. Hopefully I’ll be able to afford all the time and books I want to get in the future!I have been experiencing hunger pangs while fasting. Not super intense but not subtle either. I am pigging out when I do eat though, I guarantee you that. I remember reading that you said you become hungry at a specific time like clockwork everyday. I am wondering if the hunger is an adjustment or am I simply burning too many calories to eat only once and I should snack more. I bought some oj =)

        Reply
        • Bob,
          most likely needs time to adjust I rarely see people get “scheduled” within a few days it takes consistency even sleep time can keep it from balancing out if its not consistent and adequate.

          Reply
          • 32 tacos today. lol. Sleep! How I long for unlimited Z’s…There was a man at the bar I was at seeing me eat my tacos and I told him my “experiment” I was doing and he was like oh you cant metabolize properly with only one meal a day blah blah. He didn’t seem very bright, and was also kinda large. I told him I used to be large myself and he kind of stopped “layin down the facts” after that. I think he assumed I was tryin some fad diet deal and was mindlessly wandering through the depths of “weight” loss. Maybe I am… =P Chief, you should do a blog about people who are skinny who can eat a lot and not gain weight. I don’t understand that one. I was thinkin its like..over active thyroid shit or, they have a high metabolism to begin with but eat too often to where they dont have much growth hormone or somethin =) I could say a lot more but I must get rest, good night all.

          • Bob,
            I was wondering what you meant about having no growth hormone. I’ve always had a high metabolism and could eat a lot on any diet without gaining much, although I’ve put on an extra 15-20 pounds this past year (on high carbs!). I recently had extreme fatigue problems, with the associated adrenal fatigue-style problems. My doctor checked out various things–my thyroid is close to the hyperthyroid, but he says that’s fine and consistent with past tests. BUT, they found zero IGF-1, which pretty reliably measures human growth hormone indirectly. He doesn’t think I have a pituitary tumor, but he referred me to an endocrinologist–but I have to wait another month to get in. Hence, my question about what you meant about no growth hormone. How does that factor in here?

  10. Hey Matt, interesting blog. I’ve been a sort of unprofessional health pioneer my whole life as well. Boy, when I was seven and I thought a low fat diet coupled with lots and lots of cardio set to Paula Abdul was the ticket to health…that really fucked things up for me. The yo-yo began. A few notable stops along the way have been assorted eating disorders through my teens, an obsession with those fun packets of barely legal speed capsules sold at gas stations, fasting, diet coke binges, vitamin gobbling, vegan for ten seconds, heroin, low carb, no carb, nightly binges on crack-like diner coffee and Marlboro Lights, blah blah blah. Those are all things I’ve tried and junked over the years. What’s stuck is eating less late, eating whole foods grown locally and without fertilizers and chemicals on nutrient rich soil, removing HFCS, (until Christmas time when Hagen-Daaz puts out their Bananas Foster ice cream…) going easy on juice, eating the best quality meat I can find without driving to all ends of the earth on a weekly basis, raw grassfed milk…As for exercise, I do some calisthenics randomly but mostly, I just do my chores, take walks and run around the supermarket making scenes. It’s working out fairly well. With the exception of December’s cookie fest, I’ve been steadily holding a slightly above average weight for my height for a few years now. (I’m ’5 5″ and probably around 136.) I’m completely fine with this, as the few times in my life I’ve dipped below the 130 marker, I’ve taken on a greyish hue and prior to a serious adrenal collapse that left me bed ridden for a year, I’d run on pure, stressed out catochamides (I have no idea how to spell that word, but I’m sure you know what I’m talking about). But that stopped, so now if I lose weight I just completely lose it. It being my sanity. Totally. Anyway, I’ve spent a lot of time recently reading through all your posts, and no offense, but noticing a change in your physique over the years based on your videos and such, I’m wondering, have you too thrown away the concept of good health as being represented by sinewy, cut muscles? There’s a line of course, and I can feel it in my body when I’m crossing it, but when I’m looking my hottest by our cultural standards, no doubt- I feel my worst. Is that a conclusion you’ve drawn as well? Also, I gotta ask, is it safe to say that you know nothing? Not that you know nothing in an ignorant way, but that you know nothing in a totally over-informed-I just looked up 30 different studies on the same thing and they all had a different result- type of knowing nothing? Because if I were to read a few of your pieces and run with it, I’d be sorely dissapointed to discover that ten posts later, you’d reversed course. I mean, it’s a pretty tough sell, after reading over and over again that polyunsaturated fats could very well be THE reason why we’re all so sick and disgusting, but then to read that when one is quite ill, the intake of PUFA’s is a trivial matter that should be overlooked for the sake of high nutrient uptake? Sure, simple sugars and fats and processed crap is great when you’re body is starved and sick. Absolutely. But wouldn’t it be wise to advise a diet of molasses cookies made with butter instead of a pre-fab, trans fat flavored pie? If the whole name of the game is just about fixing one’s “numbers”, does that effectively eliminate concern for the myriad long-term consequences of a diet high in margarine and it’s sad bride, store-bought mayo? See, from what I can glean from all this, this RBTI thing is a program instituted by some dude in West Virginia…and West Virginia is not exactly hip to a lot of the research that’s come out about a lot of American dietary staples. So to preach to people, to even really consider it yourself as a West Virginian- removing all these sort of normal staples that don’t seem to affect ‘the numbers” would be pretty out there. It’s just that the sort of miraculous turn arounds this gentleman tells about, well, I’ve heard similar stories from a frugivore guy on youtube, too. I dunno, I just sort of feel like everybody is kind of chipping away at the mystery of health and bringing their research and their piece of the puzzle to the table and I think it’s really important to qualify ALL research and preach-search with the warning: Just so y’all know, I could be wrong. Before you pay me, know that I don’t know shit. This is just a hunch.

    Is that a fair statement? Are the people following you and this blog changing their approaches everytime you do, or do you think they all take it with a grain of salt? I mean, I’ve had some pretty great ideas in the past that i’ve convinced a lot of people of that I’ve ended up reversing course on and convincing my friends otherwise, but they’re just my friends. I’d feel a lot more responsibility to not sound sure of myself if I were posting a public blog. God, I know a girl who posts her own health blog and it is fucking terrible. It’s totally inaccurate, just in terms of what the hell a carbohydrate IS, but she thinks she’s the guru because she lost a bunch of weight a year ago. I can’t weight till she balloons back up.

    I’ve enjoyed reading so far, and please forgive me for being so long winded. I don’t participate in stuff like this usually, so I’m not aware of the ediquette.

    Reply
    • Big Kitty-

      Are you suggesting that mayo is margarine’s bitch? That is debatable. I think margarine is mayo’s mail order yellow bride.

      I do know something, but I do KNOW very little. That’ why I open most of my talks, including my talk before the Weston A. Price Foundation conference with the line… “I used to know everything. But then I learned so much that I hardly know anything anymore.”

      Although I get excited about new ideas and information I come across, and often write about it with a convincing tone, the long-term followers here know and understand that I’m sort of on a quest of learning. They also understand that the moment I come to a conclusion, I will immediately start trying to disprove that conclusion.

      RBTI – I think, as a whole, that RBTI can be a useful tool in some circumstances. I am very certain that there is something of great value going on with RBTI. I think management of the urine brix is the most major discovery of that movement. The belief that it’s not what you eat, but what your body does with what you eat is also reconfirmed by RBTI – and it’s a core belief I have had for a long time that gets stronger and stronger as time passes. I think Min-Col is pretty sweet too, and that there is validity to some of the primary no-foods, particularly pork.

      Anyway, thanks for the comment. This is not a site with specific commandments of health, but rather a twisting, turning health adventure/debate sanctuary. Your ideas, as well as all ideas, are welcome here and we encourage you to share yours. Especially if you share them with a sense of humor and make fun of West Virginia.

      And the body comp. thing – I gained my body fat in about 10 days, overfeeding on junk food after a long summer of endurance exercise followed by 2 weeks of low-calorie density vegan eating (blood sugar experiment). This gain in body fat fixed me from feeling totally crappy with a 96.2 F waking body temperature to 98 and weight stable in a very short period of time. I slowly had some changes in body composition for the following year, but nothing too significant. Then I did a quick bout of very high intensity weightlifting for muscle gain and added about 15 pounds of lean mass. Since then I’ve lost maybe 10 of the 15 pounds of fat I initially put on. Body temperature is still at 98+ 24 hours per day (rectal).

      I feel best when my weight is slightly above average, and worst when weight is slightly below average. I think that’s true for a lot of people. Very few people lose fat without adversely affecting their metabolism.

      Reply
      • So would you say that rectal temp is the best way to go? My waking rectal temp has been ranging from 98 – 98.4. I don’t know if that is a good gauge or not . . . still fighting cold toes, though.

        Reply
        • Rectal is best. 99 or above is ideal. But 98 first thing in the morning isn’t bad. Toes are the last thing to warm up typically.

          Reply
          • What if we all secretly use the excuse of metabolism and body temperature just to stick things in our…

      • Don’t be so modest…You could tackle peoples health problems way better than most doctors! ehhh, ehhh? Ice cream vs prozac : Yams vs Yaz haha

        Reply
      • Mail order yellow bride! Funny! I was just thinking about how all these kids I went to elementary school with ate these white bread sandwiches spread with margarine AND mayo, ingredients I found to be totally gross individually, but supremely revolting together. My elementary school was entirely populated by working class white kids in maybe the northernmost area of Appalachia, so I sort of just imagined you eating something like that on the quest for perfect healthdown there in “Almost Heaven.” Once I tried to eat at an all-you-can-eat buffet in WV. That shit was awful. All I could eat turned out to be a Dr. Pepper.

        Thanks for your reply. I appreciate your approach, and I bet there is something to the idea that it’s more so what your body does with what you put it in than what exactly you put in it. I had a really nasty adrenal collapse last year (identtified through a fairly main stream doctor, much to his shock because numbers as low as mine shouldn’t exist unless I’m having an Addisonian crisis, and I wasn’t.) and one of my first major symptoms was gluten intolerance. Now, did I suddenly develop a true allergy? Or did my health degrade so deeply that I just became too weak to process something a bit difficult to digest? I think that a life long wheat sensitivity is likely considering my mom fed me nothing but pasta and I had nothing but bloating and uh, uncomfortably loose bowels throughout childhood, but the absolute devastation gluten began wreaking on my body and the difference in digestive comfort I achieved by eliminating it was really wild. I sometimes eat a teeny bit of wheat, but it only goes smoothly (adequately smoothly-not too smoothly) when I’m feeling mentally and physically on.

        I was a server at this dump, and I worked with one of the bitchiest, wisest career waitresses you’d ever know. She smoked like a chimney, guzzled coffee until the wee hours, until she’d go home and guzzle red wine. She was in her 40′s, literally built her own home, grew her own vegetables…and she didn’t have that yellowed, shriveled look most chain smokers her age do. Whenever I’d try to get her to takso whatever magical pill or potion I was enamored with at the time, she’d regard me skeptically and always say that health probably has a lot more to do with how you feel. This is a really simple point, but I think it is quite true that how you feel effects how you digest things, and how you digest things determines your general health. So if things are going great, the fire is burning at optimal, go ahead. Eat the mayo-margarine wonder bread sandwich. Mmmmm. But it seems kinda off in what’s geared to be a recovery program.

        My mom died young acutely of the typically non-lethal sort of meningitis, but she suffered from hypoglycemia (actually diagnosed-in France when she was 15) and was very obese despite a low-fat, reasonable diet, no soda, no juice, no alcohol, no coffee….I know she obsessed over her weight when she was young, abused laxatives, etc….her autopsy showed pancreatic and liver cancer. She was extremely stressed out from an early age…I’m sort of terrified of turning out like her and I’m always looking for clues to help understand what the hell happened with her. Your posts have provided a few. Thanks.

        So what’s this, I have to shove a thermometer up my butt? What about aural thermometers?

        Reply
        • You don’t have to shove a thermometer up your butt, but it is fun. I recommend it.

          Reply
          • I just laughed so hard I cried.

          • I’m glad you are easily entertained!

          • So you jus puttin it deep in deh cheeks oi?

        • I would say keep following along. I get the impression that you, like all of us here, are looking for a deeper understanding of health. Most people, regardless of intelligence, seem to stop short at a very superficial understanding. A lot of these people are obsessed with health and weight loss in one way or another. If you keep following health bloggers like Matt that aren’t afraid to keep digging into new theories or challenge previous ideas, you will slowly gain a deep understanding. I would think you would gradually gain an understanding of what happened with your mom, but if I were to venture my own opinion, it would go something like this: “Your mom never really learned not to be in fear of food. As such, she never really learned to be in tune with her body, to relax, or to let go and eat the food. No alcohol, no soda, no coffee, no juice does not sound reasonable to me. It sounds like an overly restrictive attempt to control the body. I mostly avoid those things too, but that is my preference. If I feel like, I indulge. Absolutism is a recipe for failure. Think about the signals your mom’s thought patterns and eating habits were sending to her body. This has far more to do with her health and weight issues than what she was or was not eating.” I hope that’s some helpful insight!

          Reply
  11. So as I’m reading this post, up pops a comercial on TV for these things called “Hot booties” (basically, microwaveable slippers.) Hilarious. I don’t watch much TV so these things might be old news, but I thought the irony made it worth sharing. And this is what the world is coming to…

    Reply
  12. So I have a question. I have extremely cold hands and feet (like, it hurts to get into a warm shower because my feet are like ice all the time even if I’ve been wearing wool socks) and I have low body temp so I’ve been reading your e-books and your blog and plan to start rrarfing soon. Anyway, my question is this: when my hands do warm up occasionally (like sometimes right after eating, or if I’m in a REALLY warm room) my hands break out in hives and get super itchy. Like I’ll have to grab something out of the freezer to place on my hands to stop the itching. Have you heard of this happening before? Should that go away as my body adapts to a higher temperature?

    Reply
    • I imagine as your health improves this will start to go away. Be patient, as this might get worse initially. Lots of things get worse initially. But try to power through it until your metabolism gets high and you’ve maintained it for a while. Good luck! Feel free to hit me up in the comments section if you have any questions or concerns.

      Reply
    • Hi Kelsy,

      I’m in the same boat as you and have a love hate relationship with the shower. I desperately want to warm up, but it feels like I’m burning every time I step into it. As for the hives, are you working with an RBTI consultant? I am and when/if I get hives, I was instructed to take calcium gluconate every 15 minutes till the hives go away. Not sure if this works as I have yet to get hives, but maybe you can look into this and see if this a good protocol for you. Like Matt said, once your health improves it should hopefully go away, but until then maybe the Cal gluconate can help relieve the itching. I use to take care of a little girl that was adopted from China and she was plagued with hives. As soon as she went outside to play, she would get hives and I would have to give her medicine. I wish I knew then about the cal gluconate protocol. Anyhow, hope you can find some relief and get better fast!

      Blessings,
      Jennifer

      Reply
      • Thanks for the tip, Jennifer. I am not currently working with an RBTI consultant – I live in Alaska so I’m not very hopeful that there is one in the area…. and we currently don’t have health insurance. But I’ll look into the Cal gluconate for sure. I’m nervous about the healing phase… so anything that might help alleviate the itching would be very welcome!

        Reply
        • Kelsey,

          I know it is easier said than done, but try not to be nervous. Trust that your body will figure itself out if you are patient and fearless. I’ve been reading about a woman named Anita Moorjani and how she was declared dead(she was dying from terminal cancer at a hospital and was in a comma, but came back to life and fully recovered). She talks about her experience while in the comma and what she learned was that our greatest need in life is to be true to ourselves and to have no fear. I’m going to order her book, but she has a website that I’ve been following. She made me realize how much fear has ruled my life. Every decision I go to make has always been done with some form of fear of it’s resulting outcome. Almost as if every decision is a “make or break it” one and that the bottom will drop from under me as it always has in the past. It’s what I’d call OCD on speed! :-) What I’m realizing is that maybe it has always dropped from under me because I always expected it to. I was setting myself up for it to happen, probably because it was the only certain thing in life for me. The mind truly is powerful! That’s why Matt’s site has been really freeing because he is not like all the other health researchers/advisers out there who set fear in a person by telling them exactly what they can or can’t eat and in what way we should be moving our bodies(exercise) ect. Matt gives helpful tips, but he also realizes that everyone is different and can have vastly different outcomes. He’s also willing to admit that he could be wrong in his thinking/research and I have a lot of respect for that. Sorry for the long winded reply, but I guess what I’m trying to say is pay attention to the fear/nervousness thing. Recognize that it is there, but don’t feed into it. Know that your health and body is in your control even when it feels like it’s not. Be so sure of your healing that there is no room left for doubt! Have faith! This is what has really helped me. I wish you luck, but I have faith you won’t need it! ;-)

          Blessings,
          Jennifer

          Reply
          • Sorry meant *coma* not comma.

          • Jennifer I just have to say I LOVE reading your comments. You give me goose-bumps!

  13. Just a small thought.
    You know, there is one major absurdity about the paleo diet. The real paleo diet, thousands of years ago had one goal, get the food and eat the food. The original paleo diet was a RRARF, ETF diet which is quite contrary to the modern paleos who try to find reason not to eat something.

    We finally achieved dietary freedom, having access to all the food all over the world and they think they are better than that for not wanting it!

    Reply
    • It was full of plants and starchy foods too. I’ve been reading this book “The Clan of the Cave Bear”. It’s a fictional account of a human girl picked up by a clan of neanderthals. I don’t know how accurate it is but it certainly does seem to corroborate a lot of the principles I’ve learned since following health blogs. Fasting. Feasting. No sense of food shortage. Forget the idea that we were all struggling to survive and find our next meal. What a load of bollocks, and you will realize it’s a load of bollocks when you read a book like this and get a sense of how primitive humans actually lived. Neanderthals had grains too (at least in this book). They knew how to do things like add grain porridge to a soup broth or bake a millet cake or whatever. Animal fat too was always highly prized.

      Reply
  14. I recently met just such a man as Dr. Bieler describes. It was New Year’s eve and he came out of the cold into the restaurant I was at. He was with his wife – they came to the my table to greet some people I was having dinner with. I first shook his wife’s hand… typical cold from being in the cold with no gloves, and then he took my hand and my mouth nearly fell open! His hands were like hot toast, oozing warmth! He had a calm presence about him; I would guess him to be a man in his mid to late 60s, solidly built but not fat at all, and I heard him remark to the man with the vegan wife that he ate everything. He spoke in a thick European accent.. Poland, perhaps? Anyway, all I could think of was Matt Stone and Henry Bieler. I will never forget the feel of the heat that radiated off of this man’s hands. I have never felt that so strongly before.

    Reply
    • Nice Alana. This sounds like a page out of a romance novel haha. You’ve got skills!

      Reply
    • My dad is this type. He’s always had excellent health and just been “robust”. Unfortunately as he’s gotten older, he’s been put on blood pressure meds, statins (needlessly – he’s below 200), told to lower his calories, etc., to keep his cholesterol low, which has taken their toll. He’s still warm but not quite as robust looking as before, although still more so than most guys in their 70s.

      Reply
  15. Matt,

    Bought the Diet Recovery book–loved it..Quick question: Ive been dealing with low body temps, gut issues (heartburn, intolerances,bloating), low T3 for a while, so my diet is unfortunately restricted for doing RRAF. Ive been considering doing your approach plus supplements (vitamins, herbs for gut infection, etc..), but been getting encouragement to do the GAPS diet to heal, which makes me cringe a bit because its so restrictive, I cant have dairy/fruit/fiber, etc.. right now. Your thoughts on GAPS? Also, you write about whole foods but often suggest digestable foods such as using flour based products, would you recommend those for someone like me who is trying to heal? Silly question: are potato chips more easily digestable than potatoes…

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • I think GAPS sucks, generally speaking. Horrible for metabolism. Doesn’t seem to do that much for digestion either.

      I would eat more easily digestible food if you feel like you are having issues. Remember that lots of people get past things like heartburn and intolerances by eating to raise temps. And it can happen quickly. I for example overcame a 3-year heartburn condition by the 4th day or so of eating beyond appetite.

      Tater chips are usually fried in vegetable oil. They are dry and salty though, and can be great for bringing temps up. I just wish they were fried in coconut oil instead.

      Reply
      • I hear you on the coconut oil thing. Like, if donuts were made with legit good ingredients like sugar and coconut oil or somethin I’d shit bricks dude.

        Reply
      • Hi Matt,

        Just found your site and I’m sure it’s going to take me awhile to read through all the great info you have here, so I apologize if some of my questions have already been asked/answered somewhere else. Your perspective makes a lot of sense, however, i am curious about your comments on GAPS. I have my two small children on GAPS (If you believe GAPS “Sucks”, you may think I’m an idiot for doing this with my kids, but I was at the end of my rope and didn’t know anything different at the time) . My kids did show a lot of improvement(especially in the beginning), however, I haven’t seen any improvements lately and I was already considering going off GAPS when I ran across your site. My questions are: What is your issue with GAPS? Aside from the avoidance of grains…I haven’t seen anything so far on your sight that seems much different from how my kids eat(lots of veggies, healthy fats,pastured eggs, yogurt, kefir, fresh veggie juice, some meat, some fruit). Also, since am planning to go off GAPS, do you have any recommendations for diet recovery for children? They are too small to adequately express how they feel, so it’s a guessing game. Would you suggest going off GAPS cold turkey or slowly introducing new foods? What foods do you believe they are missing on GAPS, that i should intro first? Thank you in advance for entertaining my many questions.

        Reply
  16. Hi Matt, posting first time been lurking around on and off for a while. RBTI got my attention, thanks for your quest and spirit!

    after reading a few articles on the blog today i’m wondering if gluten/casein sensitive people are so only because of poor digestion due to mineral deficiencies, once on rbti protocol they would be able to eat gluten and casein?

    Reply
    • In general I think it is those with poor health and immune system abnormalities that have a noticeably adverse reaction to things like gluten and casein. Most people identify certain sensitivities or allergies and then go into avoidance mode, but that doesn’t necessarily solve problems and health usually continues to deteriorate. And one becomes sensitive to an increasing number of foods. It’s a strategy that doesn’t solve much, and I believe it can be harmful due to the fact that one’s diet becomes increasingly oppressive the more foods they feel they have to watch out for.

      Reply
      • Hmm, so if you don’t recommend restrictive diets plus healing regime (a la GAPS or Body Ecology) for gluten or casein intolerance (or in my case, both), what DO you recommend for healing the gut in situations like that? Do you feel the same about celiac?

        Reply
        • I find Body Ecology a great way to lose muscle mass and GAPS a great way to lower metabolism. High meat diets like GAPS also seem like they increase food sensitivities. I would suggest raising metabolic rate first (more difficult without wheat and dairy, but still doable). This increases protein turnover and speeds up healing time and other things that can rebuild the integrity of the gut wall. It also has a tendency to mitigate inflammation and normalize the immune system so that allergic reaction no longer takes place. Hopefully you can then, once recovered somewhat metabolically, handle casein and gluten without too much of a negative reaction. Perhaps not. But if it were me, I would give it a shot – because living in gluten and casein free prison in today’s modern world is not that easy.

          Reply
          • No, it’s not easy at all, but I eat tons of polenta and sweet potatoes :). My reaction to casein is minimal (skin things like eczema and psoriasis) but from gluten I get a 5 day migraine and swollen joints that put me in bed. But yes, after a year of avoiding gluten (not so much casein just because a life without both sounds torturous) and doing full GAPS my reactions are getting WORSE not better.

            I assume your diet recovery book is about raising metabolism? Ordering now…

            Do you know anything about herbalism? One of the things really common in folks with food allergies and low thyroid is a ‘damp’ pulse, which translates to ‘too much stagnant water in the body’. Often remedied with astringents (like lemon and other sour things), ‘spleen remedies’ that drain excess water, and mineral supplementation. My thoughts aren’t clear on how this relates to what you’re talking about lately, yet, but since it’s setting off lightbulbs and such, I’m sharing :).

          • I’m definitely interested in a response from Matt about the spleen remedies and lemon juice stuff. I think generally lemon juice is good for ya, less you’re further diluting your salt/sugars or somethin. My experiment hasn’t been for long, but my whole life I’ve had bad cramping and diarrhea problems from all kind of stuff, I’ve avoided dairy and gluten and it really seems like that just made my sensitivities worse over time. I have been rarrfing and started to include dairy and gluten and only once have I had a little bit of “ibs” and some tiny crampin feelings but overall its tons better and I’m not even getting adequate sleep. I know that’s bad but that’s just how my life is going right now. I wish you the best of luck and just give whatever you think makes sense a shot and see for yourself.

          • Also– so what you’re saying is that it’s due to a slow metabolism that people experience these intolerances anway? Because everything heals and moves so slowly that the liver can’t process the blood as fast and the gut lining can’t repair so fast, and a general ‘coldness’ (which is slow-ness) causes the body’s processes to start to shut down?

          • That’s a part of it sure. The immune system is usually way out of whack as well. I find many autoimmune conditions and allergies clear up as metabolism rises. Likewise, many allergies and autoimmune conditions emerge when metabolism falls. You’ll see many people lose weight and think they are super healthy, then autoimmune disease strikes and they blame it on something besides the diet that made them so “lean and healthy.”

  17. Wow – this is very interesting!! I have always had cold hands and feet. I recently (about 2 months ago) stopped drinking coffee. I went from 3 big mugs/day to zero, in about a week. I have switched out my coffee with tea – mainly Jasmine and Oolong. I drink it straight up, nothing added. I don’t want to have sugar in my tea, would honey be fine? Would that be enough to add in the benefits that you’re speaking about? Also I do tend to drink a few cups right in a row. I guess I should drink less and space them out. Thanks for the information and tips.
    I also do not drink a ton of water during the day. I find it makes me feel bloated. Instead if I’m thirsty I’ll drink raw milk or Kombucha (homemade). I find drinking liquid from those sources is refreshing and doesn’t give me the liquid-y feeling that water does. I am looking into the whole basal temperature thing, as my basal temp is 36.1 C, like what I can do to improve that and get a higher temperature. I never knew that body temp was so important!
    I’m in Canada, and am going to do the Raw milk diet/cure in the spring, once my raw milk provider has the cows on grass, fulltime. Looking foward to whatever improvements I might experience!

    Reply
    • I wouldn’t drink tea in general if you have cold hands and feet. Or an excess of any fluid. One of the symptoms of taking in too many fluids is “dry mouth” so you really have to be careful about drinking too much. It can get out of control.

      Reply
      • Thank you Matt. That is very helpful information, abeit sad. I love tea :) But, I want to improve my health, so I’m definitely willing to make changes. Thank you for your response.

        Reply
  18. Hello. I was referred to this website from a raw vegan forum.

    I’m looking for advice. I’m 39 yrs 6’2 218lbs. I’ve been in a situation this last 5 years with a low body temperature. This has made it absolutely miserable to lose weight even on a 1500 calorie diet. I DID lose weight but all of the weight loss was from starvation 1300- 1400 calories.

    I have a low body temperature. It can be between 94.8 to 96. I am colder then most people. Constantly dizzy and other issues.

    Anything I can do for increasing my temperature? I am waiting for my blood tests back. I herd it can also be a vitamin deficiency.

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  19. Hi
    I had a life threatening illness and loads of other things wrong with me AND a low body temperature.
    I ‘reset’ and fixed my low body temperature and now cycle around 37C or 98.6F. I have fixed LOADS of my ilnesses as a result and am mopping up the rest.
    Even better it cost me nothing.
    Read my story
    normalbodytemperature.co.uk
    Janey

    Reply
  20. I don’t know if my pee is clear; I keep the light off when I go. I go too frequently (I practically live in the bathroom; how I keep the light off is a mystery), so I know the amount of liquid I drink is a problem. My temp right now is 98. I still feel like crap most of the time though.

    Reply
  21. Hi Matt,

    I very much enjoyed a number of your books, but I have a question (and I apologize if this is in the wrong section).

    I know how important you consider having a strong metabolism to be, and you base that on body heat.

    So I’m a bit confused. I measured my body temperature twice today, expecting spectacular results since I rarely feel cold (unless I’m outdoors in the Canadian winter), and am in excellent health (no complaints), and with good athletic performance. Yet when I measured my temperature this morning, it was 35.9 degrees Celsius (yeah, I’m Canadian), which is well below your recommended 36.7 degrees. Later in the afternoon, I had a full glass of half and half (soooo good), and afterwards, measured my temperature again, expecting a good rise. But only 36.0 degrees Celsius.

    How do you explain this interesting contradiction?

    I’m certainly not doubting you, but I’m genuinely curious.

    Reply
    • There are lots of people that feel warm but have a low temperature. That’s why you have to assess multiple things, including symptoms and other signs, to determine whether you need metabolic “work” done.

      Reply
      • I’m having a similar issue that I’ve been wanting to ask you about…I had all the symptoms you talk about, cold hands and feet, peeing at night, no drive for competition, and especially no sex drive…(I had the abs, but didn’t feel like having sex!! whats the point eh?).
        Anyway, I’ve been eating as per your recommendations in Eat for heat and sure enough most of the symptoms have disappeared. I’ve gained about 20lbs, I’m totally attracted to my wife again (to the point where I’m dreaming about her (-:…) I don’t get up at night to urinate anymore, dripping sweat during workouts, etc…the only weird thing is that my temperatures are still usually around 97! Today is a warm sunny day and I feel slightly sweaty so I just checked my temperature and it was 96.5!! I have only seen over 98 once or twice and that was after a bath or a workout. What gives??

        Reply
        • Where are you taking those temps? If in the armpit, when the pits get sweaty the temperature in there drops quickly.

          Reply
          • I’ve just been doing oral temps.

          • Sooo….I’m a big dummy:)….Somehow the thermometer got switched to Celsius, oops. It was reading 36.5, not 96.5…So I guess I’m just a bit lower then 98.
            Sorry to question you Matt..haha.

  22. Hi, I have read two of your books and have been eating for heat for two months now. Feeling a a bit better but temps are not moving past 97′s. I can’t seem to get my sleep under control. Any advice for insomnia. I feel like this is the missing piece. Any help would be great!

    Reply
    • Most people respond to eating differently at night. For example, eating something really heavy before bed can help some. On the other end of the spectrum, many people sleep much better if they eat very light at night. So start by playing around with that some. It can also help to get out into the bright sunlight early in the day.

      Reply
  23. I’ve been following eat for heat & dr2 for 3 months & actually got my temps up 1 degree. Now that it’s warming up outside I find it hard to eat very much. My temps are in the 98 range during the day but morning temps is always 97.whatever. Still wake up at night, don’t feel any different, don’t have the energy I’m looking for so I know I still need to keep it up. All I want is to drink and eat ice cream, which, by the way doesn’t work as a warming food for me. With outside temps being in the 90′s I guess I don’t have to eat for heat, right? Just trying to figure out how to do this in the summer. Still putting salt in everything, including what I drink.

    Reply

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