Hyperthyroidism is a condition that causes your thyroid to produce excessive amounts of thyroid hormone.

The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is the autoimmune disorder Graves’ disease. If the hyperthyroidism caused by Graves’ disease is not managed it can cause significant damage.

Because one of the symptoms of Grave’s is increased heart rate it can cause problems with your heart including changes in heart rhythm, changes in the structure and function of the heart and even congestive heart failure.

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If a woman is pregnant with Graves’ it can cause complications such as preterm birth, problems with the child’s thyroid, poor growth or preeclampsia (a pregnancy complication).

In conventional medicine, thyroid suppressing drugs and beta blockers are the usual initial treatment.

The next step would be radioactive ablation therapy, where they essentially just kill parts of your thyroid, or they surgically remove parts of your thyroid gland.

There is a place for conventional medicine, but if a person can avoid destroying or removing the gland, and requiring thyroid hormone replacement for the rest of life, certainly it is something we want to try to prevent.

Diet and lifestyle changes can make a tremendous difference in managing the thyroid gland.

The goal of a diet program for Grave’s disease is to remove all foods that may be triggering the body to create antibodies against parts of the thyroid and subsequently attack its own tissues and to complement treatment with a thyroid-slowing diet.

1. Autoimmune component

Detoxification of liver and gut

You can’t have a healthy body and absorb nutrients if your liver and gut are congested. Before you start adding anything in you have to make sure your body will be able to assimilate those nutrients.

(I start all of my clients on a Detox and Elimination protocol.)

Support healthy gut microflora

Good microflora has been shown to have a direct impact on certain types of autoimmunity.

“Alterations in both the structure and function of intestinal microbiota could be one of the common causative triggers of autoimmune and/or autoinflammatory disorders”, according to authors of International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology [1,2].

2. Hyperthyroid diet

Thyroid-slowing diet

This typically involves a diet heavy in the goitrogenic foods. But you should also be careful about overdoing it with goitrogenic (goiter-promoting) vegetables, that can slow down the thyroid too much and too fast.

Typically, steaming or cooking these veggies — like spinach broccoli, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts — reduces their thyroid-slowing abilities. Be careful about raw juicing, or large raw quantities of these vegetables.

Autoimmune protocol or Autoimmune Paleo diet (AIP)

Researchers believe that certain foods that are new to humanity (grain products, dairy products, lentils and beans, and yeasted foods), which have only appeared in the past 40,000 years, are one of the possible causes of autoimmune aliments. Meats, vegetables and fruits have been eaten for more than 2 million years.

Therefore, returning to a diet that is made of animal protein and vegetables may remove one of the main offending causes behind autoimmune problems.

Wheat and gluten products have a relationship to autoimmune thyroid disease, and eliminating gluten entirely can help some thyroid patients reduce inflammation.

Similarly, other food allergens — some common culprits are dairy foods, soy, nuts, eggs, corn and certain fruits — can cause inflammation. Consider an elimination diet or allergy testing to determine food sensitivities, and make dietary changes to reflect any allergies or problems.

diet for hyperthyroidism_2

Dr. Chris Kesser says that “sticking to the AIP diet for a minimum of 30 days gives your body a chance to begin calming the autoimmune response, healing the gut lining, reducing inflammation, and repairing damaged tissues that were subject to the autoimmune attack.”

For some people with severe autoimmune conditions that affect neurological function or cause symptoms that have a noticeable impact on daily life, we would recommend extending the reset to a minimum of 60 days.

But remember: every time you eat a food that triggers an immune response, such as gluten, dairy, eggs, etc., your body will produce antibodies that incite an attack on your immune system for days, weeks, even months if the intake was significant enough.

Committing 100% to the reset time period is crucial for a person with autoimmune disease to see the improvements they’re looking for.

It’s important to remember that the Autoimmune Paleo Diet need not be followed strictly for the rest of one’s life.

Once you have done the reset AIP diet, seek the help of professional who could help you personalise a diet for you depending on your needs.

3. Supplementation

– L-Carnitine (natural source – animal protein) [3,4]
– Selenium (great natural source – brazil nuts, seafood)
– Probiotic
– Aloe Vera Gel [5]

Focus on Your Lifestyle. Unhealthy lifestyle practices can completely undo the benefits of a healthy diet, and examining your habits is an important next step once your diet is under control. Get Help When You Need It!

Hopefully these suggestions for Graves’ disease will enable you to make an informed decision that you feel comfortable with. Feel free to contact me should you have any questions.

References:

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=23298474%5Buid%5D

[2] https://youtu.be/oJ9dAN0exkc

[3] http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/carnitine-lcarnitine

[4] http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2007/12/report_thyroid/Page-01

[5] http://www.iasc.org/articles.html and book by Peter Atherton “The essential Aloe Vera”

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