There are several types of autoimmune diseases that can affect humans and make healthy living a distant dream for the affected lot. One such instance is Graves’ disease. This disorder results in a thyroid hormone generation overdrive and enlarges the size of the gland in most cases. The disease can also affect the eyes and the victims may end up with bulging eyes. However, its effect can also be seen in other body parts and CNS. It affects women more than men and in some of the affected persons, appears after childbirth or 40 years. If left untreated, it can lead to brittle bones, heart problems and serious health complications.
What causes Graves’ disease?
This disease is triggered by a malfunction in the human body’s immune system, but the real cause is yet to be revealed. As is the case with autoimmune diseases, the disease occurs when the immune system produces an antibody- TRAb-that overpowers thyroid gland and its functioning. It eventually leads to hyperthyroidism.
The same antibody that leads to hyperthyroidism can lead to bulging eyes, which is referred clinically as Graves’ ophthalmopathy. It can accompany hyperthyroidism or may appear a few months later. It can also take place without instances of hyperthyroidism.
Major symptoms of Graves’ disease
The main symptoms of this disorder are:
- Irritability and anxiety
- Heat sensitivity
- Erectile dysfunction
- Menstrual cycle changes
- Enlargement of thyroid gland
- Frequent bowel movements
- Irregular heartbeat
In some patients afflicted with Graves’ disease, the skin becomes thick and reddish. This condition is known as Graves’ dermopathy.
Treatment options for Graves’ disease
As a matter of fact, 3 types of treatments are available to treat people suffering from this disorder. They are:
- Radioactive iodine- in form of pills
- Antithyroid medicine- like Propylthiouracil and Methimazole
Doctors also advise the patients to use Beta-blockers. These drugs actually augment main drugs used for treating the disorder. They also work on the symptom quickly.
Home remedies to treat Graves’ disease
While taking medications or resorting to surgeries may help, you may also benefit by resorting to some home remedies to combat symptom of this ailment. These include making some dietary and lifestyle changes, which are not much drastic.
- Battling stress- Stress is a factor that can actually worsen symptom of this ailment, studies have found. You can resort to inspirational books, soothing music or even aromatherapy to bring down the level of stress so that the symptoms do not get aggregated.
- Food to include in diet- To get benefits from the symptoms of Graves’ disease, you need to include certain foods in your meals.
- Berries– You should include plenty of berries like raspberries, blueberries in the diet. They come with oodles of antioxidants, which can boost the immune system.
- Cruciferous vegetables- You should eat a lot of Cruciferous vegetables like kale and broccoli. Eating these vegetables can help battle over production of thyroid.
- Dairy Products– As Graves’ disease can lead to weak bones, you need to increase consumption of dairy products that are replete with calcium.
- Protein– Since Graves’ disease can make you weak, you need to eat lots of protein rich foods to get energy from within. Include animal meat and vegetable sources of protein for this.
- Vitamin D– To make bones stronger, you need to eat foods with Vitamin D. These include mushrooms, eggs and salmon. It also helps with calcium absorption.
- Omega-3 fatty acids– To make the immune system stronger, eat foods replete with Omega 3 fatty acids. This can be found in seafood, shellfish and flax seed oil.
- Supplements– If you find your diet cannot provide any nutrient that would help your immune system, try taking supplements. Of course, you need to talk with a doctor before trying a supplement.
Foods to Exclude
To stop some symptoms of Graves’ disease from getting aggravated, it is important that you reduce taking certain types of foods and beverages.
- Caffeine– Foods and drinks containing this ingredient can boost symptoms of the disorder. So, avoid fizzy drinks, coffee and chocolate as much as possible.
- Allergens if you allergic to any food it is necessary to eradicate that from your diet.