Affecting millions of people each year, Grave’s disease is the second most common version of thyroid disease followed only by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Like Hashimoto’s, Grave’s disease is caused by the immune system attacking the thyroid. Unlike Hashimoto’s, Grave’s disease speeds up the thyroid leading to symptoms like tremors, racing heart, insomnia, and panic attacks.
The common conventional treatments include radioactive iodine (RAI) and surgery. Thankfully Grave’s can be reversed with natural treatment for the vast majority of people who suffer from it, often in just a few months.
If you suspect Grave’s disease, please get thyroid blood tests done. The best panel would include:
One good thing is that Grave’s disease shows up more easily than Hashimoto’s does. If you have symptoms from it, you’ll likely have clear and specific findings in your blood tests.
Those who are treated with RAI or surgery usually end up with hypothyroid symptoms that synthetic medications won’t help with. Here is the story showing how Grave’s disease can play out and finally do better.
‘Susan’ came to see me recently for help with her thyroid. She was 49 and was first diagnosed with Grave’s disease when she was in her mid-20’s.
She was put on medication to control hyperthyroid symptoms and had to switch to different forms because they did not seem to work. She ended up having radioactive iodine ablation in 1994 and then eventually started thyroid hormone replacement therapy with synthroid in early 1995.
She continued to take synthroid, but never really felt great on it. She then decided to switch to a more natural thyroid medication, but still continued having hypothyroid symptoms.
During the first visit, she reported symptoms of:
The lab work conducted showed that she had low iron, underactive adrenals, early signs of menopause, low vitamin D, and risk factors for diabetes.
Her thyroid tests were OK but not optimal.
We started with a treatment plan which included supplementation for Iron, DHEA, Vitamin D, and a probiotic, while changing her thyroid medication from compounded to WP Thyroid (Natural Desiccated Thyroid). I recommended a thyroid ultrasound, salivary cortisol testing (in order to assess adrenal dysfunction), repeat thyroid blood work in 3 weeks and then return to clinic for a follow-up.
Almost 1 month later, she returned to the clinic and reported that she noticed a marked increase in energy and she was able to do more around her house. She was able to “get stuff done” and was able to stay up later than she was used to.
The patient said that she was even able to go the gym, even while fighting off an upper respiratory infection! She also reported that her heat and cold intolerance completely disappeared, palpitations resolved, and that she had lost 6 pounds. Her joint pain was substantially decreased and overall felt happy and optimistic.
I was excited to see her feel so much better so quickly.
Her salivary testing showed low cortisol levels throughout the day and her thyroid ultrasound was unremarkable. The next steps included:
She will be due for labs this spring and will then return to the clinic for a follow-up.
I’ll keep you posted!