Graves disease was first identified by Irish physician Robert Graves about 150 years ago. The symptoms of the Graves’ disease can vary a lot which depends on the individual and how severe the disorder has become.
The Graves’ disease is a very common autoimmune disorder which is characterized by overproduction of the thyroid hormone. One of the most important endocrine glands in the body is the thyroid gland because it produces hormones which affect nearly every aspect of the life, like body weight, metabolism, energy levels, reproduction, sleep, hunger and more.
It is noticed that in the United States of America, the Graves’ disease is the number one cause of hyperthyroidism which is also known as an overactive thyroid gland. The thyroid gland has widespread and important roles in the body so the symptoms of the Graves’ disease are usually very apparent and they can affect the overall well – being and health in many different ways.
The primary goal of the treatment of Graves’ disease is to stop the overproduction of thyroid hormones which can help to lower the symptoms of Graves’ disease, including personality changes, eye bulging (this is known as Graves’ orbitopathy), weight loss and trouble sleeping.
The most common symptoms of the Graves’ disease include irregular periods; changes in mood, including irritability and anxiousness; weight loss despite normal or increased appetite; enlargement of the thyroid gland; muscle pain and weakness; an increase in the perspiration or warm, moist skin; trouble sleeping, restlessness and sometimes insomnia; eye problems, including bulging of the eyes, etc.
You need to talk with your doctor if you suffer from Graves’ disease before you start using some of the below mentioned home remedies for this condition so in this way you will avoid side effects.
Home remedies for Graves’ disease
Sleeping with head raised
When you are sleeping with your head higher than the rest of your body, then it can reduce the pressure of fluid in your head and eyes. This can help preventing the excess build – up of fluid in the eyes which leads to exophthalmos.
Cold compress on the eyes
Protruding eyes which are unsightly and sometimes painful is the major symptom of Graves’ disease. You should wear sunglasses to block the excessive outgrowth so you will protect your eyes. Also, you can apply a cold compress to your eyes because it can help to eliminate the excess fluid which builds up there and it can lower the inflammation.
It is noticed that cigarette smoking and exposure to tobacco and other recreational drugs is a potential trigger for autoimmune disorders, including Graves’ disease. It is not clear how cigarettes can make the Graves’ disease worse but it is very likely that the high amount of toxin present in the cigarettes (and other drugs) can raise the inflammation, damages healthy cells and tissue and it makes the immune system to release more T – fighter cells.
You should add cruciferous vegetables in your diet, such as kale, arugula, radish, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. These vegetables can help to reduce the amount of thyroid hormone which the thyroid gland produces. You should eat one or more servings of cruciferous vegetables on daily basis.
You should eat foods that are quality sources of protein, like nuts, beans, turkey and chicken. Protein is an essential nutrient which helps to build muscles and it gives you energy. The weight loss is a very common symptom of the Graves’ disease so you should eat a lot of protein because it will ensure that it can help to maintain your muscle mass. Once Graves’ disease is treated, you should get sufficient protein because it can help to restore muscle mass. You should eat two to three ounces of protein at every meal.
Vitamin D for Graves’ disease
It is noticed that the Vitamin D exerts hormone – like actions on the cells of the immune system, generating anti – inflammatory effects and helping to regulate the immune system. It is not completely understood the exact mechanisms for the role of Vitamin D in autoimmune diseases, like Graves’ disease, but it is widely accepted that this vitamin is playing an important role.
Those people who suffer from Graves’ disease are more likely to be deficient in Vitamin D and the low levels of Vitamin D can increase the risk for Graves’ disease. There are some mutations in the Vitamin D receptor gene which are linked to a higher incidence of autoimmune thyroid diseases, like Graves’ disease.
There should be done a lot more studies to definitely confirm that the supplementation with Vitamin D has beneficial therapeutic effects in Graves’ disease. We know that Vitamin D is important for the overall health so this is a reason why doctors are recommending to their patients suffering from Graves’ disease to be tested for their Vitamin D levels and then to optimize levels. You should talk with your doctor how much Vitamin D you should consume in your diet.
It is known that the untreated Graves’ disease can cause bone loss which could also lead to osteoporosis. When you are treating the Graves’ disease, then you should add more dietary calcium because it can help to rebuild and strengthen your bones. You should get a lot of calcium from dairy products, such as yogurt, milk and cheese. If you are lactose intolerant, then you can take Lactaid pills or Lactaid type products. Also, you should include foods fortified with calcium and Vitamin D, such as breads, whole grain cereals, almond milk or soy and orange juice. You should eat two to three servings of dairy products on daily basis.
You should add Omega – 3 fatty acids in your diet. They are essential fatty acids which are found in salmon, fish oil, olive oil and walnuts. They can keep your body healthy and strong. We know that our bodies are not producing Omega – 3 fatty acids in natural way so we should get them from food. You should eat one or more servings of Omega – 3 fatty acids on daily basis.
It is known that foods which have caffeine as their component, such as coffee, chocolate, tea and soda can aggravate the symptoms of Graves’ disease, such as weight loss, rapid heart rate, nervousness and anxiety. You may not need to completely eliminate the caffeine from your diet but you should talk with your doctor if you need to limit the foods which have caffeine. If you enjoy in drinking a cup of coffee in the morning and you have noticed that you do not feel awful, they you do not have to eliminate it.
Manage stress levels
There are many studies done in both human and animals which have shown that stress can ignite autoimmune reactions and worsen the inflammation. This is a reason why a high percentage of Graves’ disease patients reported experienced trauma or chronic stress before developing this disease. Some studies have shown that the stress can cause both physical and psychological changes which impact how the immune system works that is causing a downstream of neuro – endocrine alterations which can wind up leading to tissue damage and autoimmune disorders.
It is known that the stress can raise the levels of cortisol and adrenaline which can disturb neurotransmitter function and worsen the symptoms of the thyroid disease. You should build stress – reducing practices into your day because they can keep the stress away from aggravating the Graves’ disease. Some of the best natural stress relievers are volunteering for a good cause; acupuncture; massage therapy; using essential oils; spending time in nature; prayer; meditation and exercise.
Berries for Graves’ disease
You should add berries in your diet, such as raspberries; blueberries and blackberries due to their rich antioxidant content. You should always try to eat them in fresh form, but if you do not have them in fresh form, then you can use the frozen ones.
We know that the Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder which means that the immune system is attacking the healthy tissues in your body. When you eat berries, then it cannot prevent the Graves’ disease but it can help to protect your overall health. You should always choose organic berries because they can lessen your exposure to pesticides and fertilizers which will challenge your immune system. You should eat one or more serving of berries on daily basis.
https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/graves-disease . Published October 18, 2018
https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/graves-disease-a-to-z . Published October 21, 2016
https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000358.htm . Published February 22, 2018
https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/120619-overview . Published March 23, 2018