Holistic treatment of Graves disease can save your thyroid gland. In contrast, the usual treatment of Graves disease – radioactive iodine treatment – almost always destroys your thyroid gland permanently. As a result, you end up with underactive thyroid, called hypothyroidism. Then, you have to take thyroid hormone pills for the rest of yur life. Often, you continue to feel symptoms of hypothyroidism despite thyroid pills.
Therefore, I developed this new holistic approach to treat Graves’ disease. By employing this approach I was able to save thyroid gland of most of my Graves’ disease patients, which is so gratifying!
Holistic, Comprehensive Treatment of Graves’ Disease
My comprehensive approach to treat – and often cure – Graves disease is based on my holistic principle: SVEVM, outlined below.
Stress Managment to alleviate fear, worries and anxiety, as stress is at the root of Graves’ autoimmune process.
Nutirion: Gluten-free diet.
Exercise/Rest: Limit exercise to easy walking for about 30 minutes a day, three times a week. Rest more. Sleep at least 8 hours at night.
Vitamins: Vitamin D3 is the most important vitamin for Graves disease. But it should be in high doses and in combination with vitamin K2. In general, vitamin D3 dose should be 10,000 IU per 100 Lbs. body weight. Click here for vitamin D3 + K2 combination.
Medications: Judicious use of anti-thyroid medications and betablockers for a short term. Avoid Radioactive Iodine and thyroid Surgery.
For details, please refer to my book, “Graves’ Disease And Hyperthyroidism”
Usual Treatment Of Graves Disease
In contrast to my holistic approach, the usual treatment of Graves disease is as follows:
Drugs vs Radioactive Iodine vs Surgery:
1. Anti-thyroid drugs (Tapazole or PTU) for 18 – 24 months or even longer.
2. Administration of radioactive iodine preceded by Anti-thyroid drugs (Tapazole or PTU) for a couple of monhths.
3. Surgery, which is needed only in rare situations, when the above two choices are not feasible.
Your doctor (an endocrinologist) should discuss pros and cons of each treatment option with you.
Below is an outline of pros and cons of each treatment option.
1. Antithyroid Drugs
These drugs often control symptoms of hyperthyroidism. In the US, two anti-thyroid drugs are available: Tapazole (methimazole) and PTU (propylthiouracil.) However, in other parts of the world, neoMercazole is another drug available. However, neoMercazole is basically similar to Tapazole.
Treatment with an anti-thyroid drug typically lasts for a period of 18-24 months. As a result, usually there is a remission of Graves’ disease in about a 50% of patients.
In other 50% of Graves patients, hyperthyroidism usually recurs upon discontinuation of anti-thyroid drug.
Side-effects of Antithyroid drugs:
Anti-thyroid drugs are generally well tolerated, but occasionally side-effects may develop. These side-effects of anti-thyroid medications include:
- Skin rash
- Liver toxicity
- Suppression of bone marrow resulting in a decrease in the number of white blood cells, which can predispose a patient to serious life-threatening infections.
Therefore, only experienced endocrinologists should prescribe these anti-thyroid drugs.
2. Radioactive Iodine (RAI) Treatment for Graves’ Disease
In the US, radioactive iodine ( RAI) is commonly used to treat Graves’ disease. The dose of radioactive iodine is very small amounts (usually about 9 – 12 mCi.) However, this dose of radioactive iodine is enough to pretty much kill the thyroid gland.
Radioactive iodine usually takes about 2-3 months to be effective.
RAI Treatment Side-effects:
The side-effects of RAI include the followings:
- Most patients become hypothyroid, which is permanent. Subsequently, these patients require replacement with thyroid hormone in the form of pills, for the rest of their life. Often, these patients continue to experience symptoms of hypothyroidism despite thyroid hormone pill such as levothyroxine
- Radioactive iodine may aggravate Graves eye disease.
- It is debateable whether rai treatment side-effects include a potential for increased risk of cancer.
Please note that radioactive iodine must not be used in pregnant patients and children.
3. Thyroid Surgery For Graves’ Disease
Rarely a patient may need thyroid surgery if the above two options are not relevant.
Side-effects of Thyroid Surgery:
- Risk of general anesthesia, bleeding, and infection
- Most patients develop hypothyroidism which is permanent. This side-effect is similar to radioactive iodine side-effect. Then, these patients need thyroid hormone pills for the rest of their life. Unfortunately, many of these patients continue to experience symptoms of hypothyroidism despite thyroid hormone pill such as levothyroxine.
In addition, thyroid surgery is also quite expensive.
There are three options in the usual treatment approach: anti-thyroid drugs, radioactive iodine or thyroid surgery. Each of theses options have potential side-effects. Above all, none of them treats the underlying autoimmune disorder.
In contrast, my 5-step holistic approach – SNEVM – not only controls symptoms of Graves disease, but also cures it in many instances, as it aims to get rid of the underlying autoimmune dysfunction.
For details, please refer to my book,”Graves’ Disease And Hyperthyroidism“