Graves disease is an autoimmune disorder that is characterized by an overproduction of thyroid hormones. It affects hunger and sleep patterns, energy levels, metabolism, body weight and more. Conventional graves disease treatment may involve medication or surgery. Natural treatment options include following a graves disease diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to help reduce symptoms.
Graves Disease Causes
- Genetic predisposition
- Poor diet
- High stress levels
- Exposure to certain environmental toxins
Graves Disease Symptoms
- Changes in mood, including irritability and anxiousness
- Muscle pain and weakness
- Weight loss despite normal or increased appetite
- Trouble sleeping, restlessness and sometimes insomnia
- Fast heartbeat
- Sensitivity to heat and changes in temperature
- Digestive problems, including diarrhea
- Tremor of the hands or fingers
- Increase in perspiration or warm, moist skin
- Enlargement of the thyroid gland
- Irregular periods
- Erectile dysfunction or reduced libido
- Changes in skin texture, including thickening of the skin on the lower legs or red bumps
- Eye problems, including bulging of the eyes
- Pain in the eyes, red eyes, sensitivity to light or vision loss
Graves Disease Treatment
Natural treatment for graves disease includes managing stress levels. Stress can trigger autoimmune reactions and cause inflammation. Research has shown that stress causes physical and physiological changes in the body that affect the immune system. Try stress-relieving activities such as meditation, exercise, massage therapy or spending time in nature.
Eat an Anti-inflammatory Diet
A graves disease diet should include plenty of anti-inflammatory foods and exclude foods that can cause inflammation in the body and trigger an autoimmune response. Avoid common allergens such as dairy and gluten, along with sugar, processed foods and GMO ingredients. Foods that should be part of a graves disease diet include:
- Fresh vegetables and green juices to help fight inflammation
- Fresh fruit for antioxidants and electrolytes
- Anti-inflammatory herbs such as basil, rosemary, parsley and oregano
- Anti-inflammatory spices such as turmeric, garlic and ginger
- Probiotics to help balance the bacteria in the digestive tract
- Healthy fats such as omega-3’s to lower inflammation
Regular exercise can help lower stress levels and reduce harmful inflammation in the body. Exercise also releases endorphins which naturally boost your mood. Try soothing exercises such as dancing, yoga, cycling or swimming. Listening to music while you work out can also help you focus on the activity at hand and feel more relaxed afterward.
Lower Exposure to Environmental Toxins
Graves disease treatment includes lowering your exposure to environmental toxins. Harmful chemicals are often hiding in household cleaning supplies, beauty products, foods and medications. The accumulation of these chemicals can cause inflammation and end up triggering autoimmune disorders. Buy organic food when possible and avoid using commercial household cleaning products. Make sure the water you’re drinking has been filtered and always read labels to reduce your exposure to toxins.
Smoking cigarettes and using other tobacco products may trigger autoimmune disorders such as graves disease. The toxins present in cigarettes and other drugs promote inflammation, damage healthy cells and tissue and cause the immune system to release more T-fighter cells, which can trigger an autoimmune reaction.
Treat Eye and Skin Sensitivity
Graves disease can cause complications with the eyes or the skin, due to inflammation. Treat eye complications by keeping your eyes moisturized. Use a cool compress lightly pressed against your eyes to reduce pain and inflammation. When you’re outdoors, always wear sunglasses to prevent damage from ultraviolet rays. If graves disease affects your skin, using soothing essential oils combined with coconut oil to reduce inflammation, itchiness and swelling. Try lavender, frankincense, rose and tea tree oil.
Talk to your doctor about alternative treatment for graves disease. If you are pregnant, graves can increase your risk of a miscarriage, preterm birth and other complications. If you are implementing natural treatments and you notice your symptoms worsening, consult a health care professional help.