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Last week we looked at the root causes of the autoimmune thyroid disease, Graves'. This week we look at solutions using FM.
** Please note: If you want the longer, detailed version of this article, then please click here **
- According to conventional medicine, there is no ‘cure’ for Graves (Wiersinga W. , 2019).
- Medical guidelines state that the aim of standard treatment for Graves (a thyroidectomy surgery or radioactive iodine treatment) should be permanent hypothyroidism, requiring lifelong Levothyroxine medication to maintain thyroid function (Wiersinga W. , 2019).
- Creating another disease in order to treat the original disease is not a cure (Wiersinga W. , 2019).
** We cannot agree with this approach. **
In Functional Medicine (FM), it is entirely possible to stop the autoimmune attack on the thyroid.
Depending on how far the condition has progressed, a case of Graves may be reversible or, at the very least, can be better managed with functional medicine, diet and lifestyle approaches.
SOLUTIONS TO GRAVES':
The solution to Graves lies in:
- Healing the gut
- Identifying the environmental trigger(s)
- Addressing ALL causes of inflammation to calm the immune system and prevent the autoimmune attack
One incredible case study from 2019 demonstrates how a 34-year-old woman healed Graves disease through natural approaches using diet and lifestyle (Brogan K, 2019). Here are key elements of her treatment plan (Brogan K, 2019):
- An Ancestral Diet
- Oral Health Care using oil pulling and Hydro Flosser
- Yoga, Exercise and Meditation
- Avoidance of Environmental Toxins
We recommend a few possible diets for Graves'.
- The Auto Immune Paleo diet or AIP
- The Paleo diet, similar to the Ancestral diet mentioned above
- The Gluten-free Mediterranean diet
A few specific diet recommendations that can help:
Avoid soy as it has been shown to have negative effects on thyroid health.
Don’t consume excess iodine and focus on low iodine foods. Too much or too little iodine is a problem and it is important to get the correct amount.
Go gluten-free. Please see Part 1 of our Graves' Disease series to understand why this is important (even if you do not notice a change).
- Check iodine levels
- Very high dose iodine can suppress excessive thyroid hormone but this is not recommended to do on your own!
- Consider selenium, zinc, iron and vitamin D
- Thyroid-calming herbs such as bugleweed, motherwort, and lemon balm
- A high-quality multi-vitamin & mineral supplement
- For immune regulation glutathione, curcumin and fish oil or cold-water fatty fish consumption
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine inhibits both T3 and T4 entry into the cell nuclei (Benvenga S, 2004), inhibiting the action of thyroid hormones.
- Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) can be helpful in many cases of Hashimoto's or Grave's (Toljan K, 2018).
Other SOLUTIONS to support the thyroid and address Graves are:
- Heal the gut
- Boost immunity
- Address infections
- Stress management
- HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) axis support
- Reduce toxin exposure
- Support the liver & detoxification
Remember the basics: Sleep, Exercise and Meditate to manage stress!
** Please check our blog next week to read our next article in the Thyroid Series on **
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