Graves Disease Naturopath Personal Perspective
Hey there, I’m Leah, a naturopath who has embarked on a personal journey with Graves’ disease. Having experienced the challenges and triumphs firsthand, I want to shed light on this often misunderstood condition and share both conventional and holistic approaches to managing it.
But this blog isn’t just about my story; it’s about how you can take control of your health. So, let’s dive in and explore what Graves’ Disease is, the conventional medical treatments, and how I can help you on your healing journey.
My husband and I built a thriving business specialising in gluten and grain-free products.
However, amidst our successful venture, my life took an unexpected turn. I began experiencing strange symptoms such as brain fog, unusual vision issues, hot flashes, and heart palpitations. Initially, I attributed these symptoms to early menopause.
I got so sick we closed the business. Around this time I decided to try to do a university degree in nutrition to try to heal myself.
Despite numerous visits to Doctors and the hospital, due to racing heart and blood pressure and suspected heart attacks my condition remained undiagnosed.
What made my case unusual was that despite these symptoms, I didn’t fit the typical profile of a hyperthyroid patient, primarily because I was putting weight on just looking at others eating, so doctors kept ordering pathology for hypothyroidism.
It was only after persistent efforts and finding a thorough doctor that the truth came to light.
If you are suffering from any Autoimmune Disease you will understand that the last thing you want to do is Doctor shop. I was so grateful to meet this doctor (who resigned to have a family, so disappointing). I was also very grateful to have a great endocrinologist at Royal North Shore Hospital.
Yes, I went on medication. My TRAB levels were off the chart and I just had to do something quick. I was able to work with my doctor and my university lecturers to have a holistic health plan. This included medication while I needed it, liquid herbal tonics and a diet.
All this research and experience means I am in a unique position to help you and your thyroid autoimmune disease.
Understanding Graves’ Disease
Graves’ Disease is an autoimmune disorder that primarily affects the thyroid gland. Your immune system goes haywire and starts producing antibodies that mimic thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). These rogue antibodies continually stimulate the thyroid to produce excess thyroid hormones, primarily thyroxine (T4), leading to a condition known as hyperthyroidism. This hormonal overdrive can send your entire body into chaos, causing symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, weight loss, anxiety, and fatigue.(see above experience)
Conventional Medical Treatment
Typically, conventional medicine offers a few standard treatments, including medications, radioactive iodine therapy, and surgery.
Antithyroid drugs like Methimazole or Propylthiouracil (PTU) help control hormone production, but they often come with side effects and may not provide long-term relief. There are also limits to the time you can be on them.
I personally was on PTU and had blood tests every 6 weeks to monitor my TRAB, TSH and liver function. Something that concerned me, a lot.
Radioactive iodine treatment is used to destroy a portion of the thyroid, and while it can be effective in controlling hyperthyroidism, it frequently leads to hypothyroidism, creating a new set of challenges. Surgical removal of the thyroid, called a thyroidectomy, is another option. However, it’s a major procedure with potential complications.
How I Can Help You with Graves Disease Naturally?
Dietary interventions are a cornerstone, where individuals are guided to discover foods that may exacerbate or alleviate symptoms. Foods such as gluten or an autoimmune protocol diet may be recommended.
Common recommendations include a diet rich in selenium, an essential mineral known for its positive impact on thyroid function.
Additionally, herbs such as bugleweed and lemon balm are often incorporated for their potential to support thyroid health.
These natural remedies, combined with stress management techniques tailored to each individual, contribute to a comprehensive naturopathic strategy for Graves’ disease.
I focus on a holistic approach to support your healing journey, starting with a thorough evaluation of your overall health.
Together, we’ll explore dietary changes, stress management techniques, and specific herbs and supplements that can help regulate your immune system and restore thyroid balance.
I believe in empowering you with the knowledge and tools to take control of your health. Through personalised, natural treatments, we can work to minimise symptoms and potentially reduce your reliance on medications or invasive procedures.