Doctors often recommend lifestyle changes to manage Graves’ disease.
What is Graves’ disease?
Fundamentally, it involves a malfunctioning thyroid gland.
Because other thyroid conditions exist besides Graves’ disease, it must be diagnosed through blood testing, physical examinations, and symptom evaluation.
Even imaging testing may be ordered.
According to a recent Verywell Health article titled “What Is Graves’ Disease?” Graves’ is incurable but can be managed.
How can those with a diagnosis manage their symptoms and the severity of this illness?
The thyroid gland is intimately involved with metabolism.
Characteristics of hyperthyroidism include increased appetite and weight loss.
Because weight can be lost rapidly, it is helpful to consume more calories.
As you increase your caloric intake and manage your weight, work with a dietitian or doctor.
It is helpful to have a plan with foods containing many proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins rather than empty calories.
Foods known as goitrogens interfere with how the body uses iodine.
Because hyperthyroidism and Graves’ disease already interfere with iodine in the body, it is important to carefully maintain moderate consumption of these foods.
Thyroid hormone levels can be reduced when too many goitrogens are consumed.
Stress is a common health concern as it impacts the whole body to varying degrees.
Although all people experience stress, hyperthyroidism can also lead to irritability, restlessness, and anxiety.
Talk with your physician if you are experiencing these symptoms increasingly.
Although adjusting dosages for antithyroid medications alone may reduce the symptoms, incorporating biofeedback, exercise, prayer/meditation, or counseling can also be beneficial.
Leaving Graves’ disease untreated can lead to further complications.
If your doctor uses surgical treatment or radioiodine therapy for Graves’ disease, hypothyroidism can be the end result.
The symptoms of hypothyroidism differ from hyperthyroidism.
Generally, hypothyroidism is treated with lifelong thyroid replacement medication.
Graves’ disease tends to be more common in women and those under age 40.
Having a family history of Graves or having other autoimmune conditions can increase the risk of developing this disease.
Smoking has also been found to increase the chances of developing the disease.
Although some connections to stress have been noted, the correlation has not been confirmed.
If you have a number of these risk factors and symptoms, talk with your doctor about the diagnosis and management of Graves’ disease.
Verywell Health (Aug. 29, 2022) “What Is Graves’ Disease?”