Graves’ disease, also called toxic diffuse goiter, is an autoimmune disorder that involves the thyroid gland, one of the glands of the body that is responsible for metabolism. The most common cause of hyperthyroidism, the condition also leads to the enlargement of the thyroid. The following are the causes, signs and symptoms, and home remedies for Graves’ disease.
According to Mayo Clinic, the exact cause of Graves’ disease remains unknown, but it is believed that it is due to a dysfunction in the body’s immune system. As per the publication, the disease process involves the body’s production of an antibody to one cell compartment in the thyroid gland. Called thytotropin receptor antibody or TRAb, this antibody acts synonymously with the pituitary hormone. Also, the antibody stimulates thyroid hormone production, in addition to the hormones produced by the thyroid gland. The result is an excessive production of thyroid hormone.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of Graves’ disease are similar to those of hyperthyroidism. According to Women’s Health, these include goiter or enlarged thyroid, trouble sleeping, irritability, nervousness. Heat sensitivity increased sweating, hand tremors, rapid heartbeat, thinning of skin, fine and brittle hair, frequent bowel movement, weight loss, fatigue or muscle weakness, less frequent menstrual flow, and pregnancy problems. As per the publication, a person with the condition may also present swelling or inflammation of the eyes, as well as reddening and thickening of the skin.
While medications are available as part of the medical management for Graves’ disease, home remedies can also be done to manage the condition.
One remedy for Graves’ disease is the anti-inflammatory diet. According to Dr. Axe’s official website, the function of the immune system is enhanced thru reducing inflammation. This can also promote a healthy digestive environment, as well as reduced autoimmune symptoms. As per the publication, the person should eat green vegetables, fruits, spices (ginger, garlic, turmeric), bone broth, probiotics, and healthy fats. Added sugar, artificial flavorings, gluten, and conventional dairy products should be avoided.
Vitamins A and D
Vitamin A and D intake also serves as a remedy for Graves’ disease. According to Organic Facts, these vitamins are essential for proper metabolism of the body, as well as proper thyroid hormone production by the thyroid gland. In addition, vitamin D is believed to prevent the mutation of the receptors that initiate the disease process. Sources of vitamin A are vegetables like squash while vitamin D can be obtained from green leafy vegetables.
Another mineral that helps manage Graves’ disease is selenium. According to several studies, as cited by Graves’ Disease Cure, selenium supplementation with 200 mcg of sodium selenite counters the inflammatory processes in people with autoimmune thyroiditis. Thus, a notable result is the reduction in thyroxine production. As per the publication, the mineral also helps reduce the swelling of the eyes of the person with the disease and delay the progress of the disorder in people with mild stage of the disease.
Reducing stress is another key remedy for Graves’ disease. According to Mayo Clinic, stress triggers or worsens the condition, so it can be managed by walking, listening to music, or taking a warm bath. As per the publication, these activities promote a person’s positive frame of mind. Also, the person may coordinate with his doctor with regard to relaxation techniques, as well as exercise programs.
Grave’s disease is not as severe as cancer; however, it present symptoms that impact a person’s activities of daily living and optimal function. So, it is best to coordinate with physician if one is unsure of what to do. Medical consult can be done for adequate assessment, planning, intervention, education, and evaluation.