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Graves Disease - Take Care of Yourself!

Updated on July 14, 2016

Graves Disease - Take Care of Yourself!

No matter what treatment option you choose for Graves disease, it's very important to spend the necessary time to take care of yourself.

My FT4 is in the normal range for the first time in over 5 years and these are the things that I did to get it there. As anyone who has graves disease knows, everyone is different and what works for me, might not work for you.

I'm not a medical professional so please check with one before you make any radical changes. I read through tons of websites on graves disease and these things seemed the most logical to my situation.

Rest and Relaxation

One of the most important aspects of Graves involves relaxing. Stress is a huge trigger and can cause your symptoms to go crazy. You need to make sure that you are getting as much sleep as possible. Your body needs a lot of downtime to heal. It's important to relax and do things that you enjoy. My favorite thing to do when I need to relax is spend time with my horse. Some other ideas...read a good book, take a walk, go out to lunch, talk with a good friend, or take a vacation.

Basic Diet Changes

The one thing that I had to do was change a lot with the way that I was eating. The most important changes that I made right away were to cut out soda and cut down on iodine. There's iodine in places that I didn't realize - like dairy foods. I had no idea that they were so high in iodine. It turns out that they clean dairy equipment with iodine and so a lot of it gets in the milk. I'm also very careful to stay away from artificial sweeteners. They are in lots of foods and drinks that you wouldn't even suspect. Read labels carefully and learn the deceptive names that they use. Fast food has a lot of bad things in it that you don't need when you have graves disease. Best to avoid it as much as possible!

Good Diet Advice That I've Found During my Research

While there is no holistic method of treating graves disease and no particular food that will cure it either, there are plenty of food options that will make you feel better. This is one area where I really struggled but with the help of these websites, I've made some significant changes and have felt much better because of it.

Treat Allergies

I knew that I had a problem with allergies but I wasn't sure if there was a connection. I asked my allergist if Graves was somehow connected to allergies and at first he said no, but then he thought about it a minute and said that it's interesting that they are both autoimmune diseases. When my graves is flaring up, I feel like there's a battle going on in my body and I find that the allergy meds really calm everything down. I'm not sure about all of the biological processes that are happening but so far treating my allergies has helped.

Do you think Allergies and Graves are somehow connected?

Graves disease is an autoimmune disease and so are allergies. I feel like my body is fighting itself all the time which is why I think there really is a connection between the two.

Do you think there's a connection?

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Get some help with your allergies

It's important to figure out what kind of allergies you have - food allergies, environmental allergies, or outdoor allergies. If you have good insurance, a trip to an allergist may prove helpful. They will not only help you figure out what your particular allergies are, but they will be able to provide you with medication to help ease your symptoms.

The Supplements That I Used

I'm not crazy about taking all kinds of odd supplements that I don't know what they are so I only take a few common ones. These all seemed to have helped me but remember, everyone is different and you might find that different ones are better for you. Also, I am not a medical professional so please check with your doctor before taking any supplements.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine - After reading many articles on Acetyl-L-Carnitine, I decided that this was one that I needed to try. It blocks excess thyroid hormone from entering liver cells, cells of the central nervous system and brain. I hadn't seen a great reduction in my FT4 until I started using this supplement.

Iron - Your doctor can usually tell you if you are low on iron. I take it because my iron is low quite often. Men should be careful about taking iron supplements since there's no way for their bodies to get rid of excess amounts.

Vitamin C - both the iron and Acetyl-L-Carnitine work better when taken with Vitamin C. It is supposed to strengthen the immune system. Natural Vitamin C found in foods is better than supplements.

Magnesium - I was having a iot of trouble with heart rhythm abnormalities and so I did some research and found that magnesium can help with that. It also helps me sleep but doesn't cause any side effects for me.

B-Vitamins - Every time I look for thyroid information, I find that B-vitamins are always mentioned in the treatment of graves. I figured these are pretty common and there's not many reported side effects so I take them too.

Enjoy the Use of a Heating Pad

I have no idea if this helps or not but it sure feels good! I put the heating pad on my neck for about 10 minutes every night. If nothing else, it helps me relax a little bit.

Natural BioRhythms

Your body has a natural cycle and by disrupting it, you are disrupting the way your body functions. Thyroid hormones, along with the other hormones in your body, are all produced at a certain time each day. If the production of these hormones is disrupted, things can go haywire.

I struggle a lot with this one but I feel better when I listen to my body. I try to sleep when I feel like I need to sleep. Eat certain things at certain times of the day. You know your body the best, so listen carefully to what it's trying to tell you.

Lots of Rest

It's so important to get a lot of sleep. They say that graves patients should get between 8 - 12 hours of sleep every night. If you are having trouble sleeping, try one of these sleep aids to see if they help any. I've never had a problem falling asleep so I haven't tried any of these. My problem with sleep involves actually getting into bed. I have so many things that I want to do that I have to force myself to go to bed or I could keep going all night. Once I'm in bed though, I'm out like a light.

The incidence of graves disease is about 5 per 10,000 people. Are you one of them?

Do you have Graves Disease?

See results

New to Graves? Looking for More Information?

Check out www.livingwithgravesdisease.com

It's a great website full of useful information!

Check Out These Great Books!!

Graves' Disease: A Practical Guide (McFarland Health Topics)
Graves' Disease: A Practical Guide (McFarland Health Topics)

This is a great book full of information about Graves Disease.

 

Try to Relax

We all have different ways of relaxing. Is there a special something that you do for yourself? I either go ride my horse or stop and pick up some Talenti Mediterranean Mint gelato. It's one of my favorite treats!

What Stress Relief Techniques Do You Use?

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    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 

      5 years ago

      Meditation, reading, artwork, walking.

    • JenwithMisty profile imageAUTHOR

      Jen withFlash 

      5 years ago

      @marsha32: I think it takes some practice! LOL

    • profile image

      marsha32 

      5 years ago

      Relax? I'm super stressed because I push myself to do too many things. I need to learn to relax.

    • JenwithMisty profile imageAUTHOR

      Jen withFlash 

      5 years ago

      @DebMartin: Excellent!! I think we all need to spend time each time enjoying things we love to do!

    • profile image

      DebMartin 

      5 years ago

      While I do not have Graves Disease, I too need to de-stress. Usually I meditate each day, write each morning and go fishing as often as possible.

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