Mandy asks…

Are there natural alternatives after having radioactive iodine treatment for Graves Disease?

In 2000, I was diagnosed with Graves Disease. I was 125 lbs. and in 2 months, had lost 35 lbs. I was eating a lot and felt fine, except for the heart palpitations and shaky hands. So, I received radioactive iodine treatment immediately and have been on Synthroid and Levothroid ever since. I am interested in finding out if there are natural alternatives for my thyroid, which is no longer in working condition. Any suggestions?

Helen answers:

I want to begin with please asking you to have an open mind before I begin. This is a natural alternative that has been used for thousands of years and it really works. Although it has a bad reputation, it really is a medicine and just now is getting light of the fact that it works. If it is at all possible in your state to receive this as a treatment, please research and look into it. I begin with this story of another individual with Graves Disease.

While at the doctor’s office a few weeks back we were discussing treatment options for my thyroid disorder (I have failed radio-iodine twice now). I made the comment that the current treatment options paled in comparison to what good mj(marijuana) could do for me. Doc looked a bit surprised at this point. After his assurance that this conversation would not make it into my chart, I proceeded to tell him how I was able to tolerate this disorder without taking the meds he prescribed. He looked very confused at this point. Long story short…he convinced me to quit smoking for a few weeks to see what my labs would reveal and to see how I tolerated life on “approved meds”. Over the following 2 weeks T-3 and free T-4 went sky high (no pun intended), and my TSH returned to <0.001 (not good at all). All this while on Topezole@ 10mg , Effexor@ 150mg, and Inderal @ 660mg to control my heart rate. Started smoking again Friday night and I have completely dropped the “approved meds”. I feel great again, I’m not poisoning my body with “approved meds”, My doctor is seeing the light, and sex is better again.

Here is an article on a doctor treating his patient with medical cannabis: http://www.mcsocal.com/blog/alternative-treatments-for-graves-disease-marijuana-cannabis

General information on how Cannabis treats Graves Disease and it’s symptoms, as well as the negative effects of treatment: http://medicalmarijuana.com/medical-uses/condition.cfm?conID=51

I know this isn’t for everyone, but when there is little option left, it is good to have an open mind and really dwell into all forms of alternatives even when there is a negative social stigma around it.

Sandy asks…

do i need to have the radioactive iodine treatment for graves disease?

a had a thyroid storm and found out i have graves disease i’ve seen people talking about radioactive iodine treatment yet it sounds maybe not worth it could i just live on my meds and never have surgery or the iodine treatment and be fine???

Helen answers:

There are other treatments available.

Daniel asks…

Has anyone had treatment for Graves Disease?

Have you or do you know any one who has been treated for high thyroid? I’ve just been diagnosed and so far none of the treatments offered sound like they aren’t over done. The iodine kills it completely, the drugs eventually knock the thyroid back until low thyroid kicks in and there are so many postings making references to having the complete thyroid removed (non cancerous)

Has anyone experienced any of these treatments.

Helen answers:

I have read about where a person took a very low dose of methimazole, and achieved remission. The person in questions took less of the medication than what the doctor wanted as they felt it was too strong.  In this case the person took the medication too long and went hypo so the moral of the story is it may be worth getting a blood test to see how the treatment is going.

Susan asks…

Do you have Graves Disease? I am going in for RAI treatment and Im scared do you have any advice?

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not copy and paste info on Graves Disease or RAI Ive read it all I want to hear from anyone who actually has the disease.
Have you had RAI treatment?
Did you decide against it? if so why?
What alternative treatments are working for you?
Im scared!

Helen answers:

My advice is to STOP right now. Cancel your RAI. Do some major league serious research. KNOW what you are getting yourself into. Then reconsider if you want to go ahead with the RAI. Because RAI is FOREVER. It KILLS a perfectly good thyroid. And there is no way to repair the damage. There should be no rush to have RAI. You can change your mind and decide at any time for the rest of your life to have RAI. But once you have it, you can not change your mind and undo it.

Jenny asks…

Graves’ Eye Disease – treatment?

After taking PTU to treat Graves Disease (GD) for a year, I now have the early stages of Graves‘ Eye Disease and I am scheduled for a thyroidectomy.

Does anyone have treatment suggestions? RAI supposedly can make the eye symptoms even worse (requires use of steroids, sometimes multiple treatments needed, etc). Also, I am hoping to avoid any actual eye surgery. Thyroidectomy seems to be the best option but I was curious. Thanks!
I met with my opthalmologist and she presented RAI or thyroidectomy as two possible treatments for starters (not necessarily a cure), I am choosing the thyroidectomy.

thank you for the great feedback!

If anyone else is interested in treatments and associated response rates, this book is excellent, google books had exerpts from it which were exactly what I was looking for!

Thyroid Eye Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment By Jonathan J. Dutton, Barrett G. Haik

Helen answers:

You may want to discuss this very thoroughly with your doctor. Steroid treatments can be extremely nasty little treatments.

Graves Eye Disease is distinguished by ‘bulging eyes’ or swelling of the tissue around the eyes. I would consider very carefully meeting with not just your endocrinologist but a specialist in eye care for those with Graves.

Definitely consider a second opinion!

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