Introduction to Graves’ disease
Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease, the most common type of hyperthyroidism (a disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland and causes it to produce excessive amounts of the hormone thyroxine). This higher thyroxine level can greatly increase the body's metabolic rate, which may cause many other health problems. It is rarely life-threatening, and it is most common in women over age 20. However, the disorder may occur at any age and affect men aswell. No one actually knows what the cause of this condition is, but extensive research is being done to establish it.
The most common symptoms of Graves’ disease are: irritability, anxiety, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, brittle hair, frequent bowl movements, goiter, eye irritation, weight loss, shortness of breath, insomnia, increased sweating, etc. There is no treatment, that can cure this disease, but the treatments that are available are designed to decrease the production of thyroxine or block its action. In that way, they can control and minimize the symptoms. One’s doctor will prescribe the best course of treatment, which may include anti-thyroid medications, beta-blockers, radioactive iodine treatment or surgery, depending on the patient’s overall health, age, and the stage of the disease.
Diet for Graves’ disease
The first thing one should do before changing their eating habits is getting tested for food allergies. To do that, one must consult a healthcare professional, which will advise them in the best way of doing this. He may prescribe a purification program, or an elimination diet, etc.Also, it is recommended that one eats as many of fruits and vegetables as possible in this stage, as well as chicken and certain types of fish. If a person eats a lot of junk food, it is recommended that they gradually reduce the amount of it in their diet, until completely eliminating it.
Here is an example of a healthy diet:
For breakfast, one should drink a protein drink (made of 2 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of flax seed oil, 1 cup of mixed berries and a healthy form of protein powder). Then, one should introduce a mid-morning snack, in which raw sunflower seeds and organic apples should be on the menu. As for lunch, it is recommended that one eat grilled chicken sandwich. For mid-afternoon snack, one should drink another protein drink, whereas for dinner, organic roasted turkey and some kind of vegetable should be eaten. Also, one should introduce an after-dinner snack in which they would eat 1 cup of raw nuts.
Of course, this is just an example. A person can modify it with the help of their nutritionist. By combining a healthy diet and the medical treatment, the symptoms will be under control in no time.