Helen asks…

Question about the Air Force and a medical condition?

My sister is in basic training for the Air Force and went into cardiac arrest. After several days in the hospital she is now diagnosed with Grave’s disease and I’m wondering if the will medically discharge her and let her come home?
I wasn’t saying anyone forced her to do anything I’m just worried about my sibling she enlisted because she wanted to follow in a family tradition and serve her country. I’m just worried since my sibling almost died so plese show a little compassion and empathy!

Helen answers:

Graves Disease is a form of hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is considered to be disqualifying for entry into the armed forces. So, she had a pre-existing disqualifying medical condition. She will be given a general discharge under honorable conditions. The source below is the medical standard for this condition.
BTW, she is not alone in being a victim of this disease. Barbara Bush, the former First Lady, also has Graves Disease.

Mark asks…

I noticed Dr Frank recommended Panoxyl – can I buy this?

Dr Frank recomended Panoxyl to someone for acne – is this a P.O.M or can I buy it at the chemist?

Soon to be hitting 40 – never had spots as a teenager but getting bad breakouts now on face, back and chest – will probably be that old thing called the Graves Disease – I blame that for everything.
Nag bag what do you mean a pre destined best answer, please?

Helen answers:


I have used this product myself, it’s very good, but I think it can only be obtained on prescription. It’s best used in conjunction with oral antibiotics (if your skin is very problematic). I still have acne, the good thing about having oily skin is at least we will age better!

I stand corrected, you can buy the Benzoparoxide cream (Panoxyl) 5% over the counter and the Aqua gel wash which comes in two strengths (2.5 and 10). You can buy both of these over the counter. Have a chat with your GP if you require additional treatment.

Looks like I need to brush up on my latin! Thank you, truce is appreciated x

Michael asks…

What should I do to help my body heal from Grave’s disease?

Is this a lifetime disease? Any particular diet I should follow?
Will I have to take the medication I’m taking for it for a lifetime? Or should my body get better.

Helen answers:

There are three types of treatment for Grave’s disease.

1. Thyroid suppressing medications. These include methimazole, carbimazole, and propylthiouracil. These medications sometimes induce a remission of Grave’s disease, and after 6 months to a year, doctors generally try lowering the dose and taking a person off of them to see what happens. If the person’s thyroid hormone levels stay normal then great! Remission! Most people going into remission stay in remission although some people have a relapse (or more than one relapse).
If thyroid suppressing medications do not cause a relapse, a person may be advised to try another option. Also, if the person wants to get pregnant or if they have side effects, they will have to try another option.

2. Radioactive iodine treatment. You may have gotten radioactive iodine in a low dose to diagnose your condition, but to treat it takes about a thousand times as much. This will kill off a large portion of your thyroid. Some people after radioactive iodine treatment don’t need any medication. Many become hypothyroid and will need thyroid replacement hormones for the rest of their lives. For a few, this treatment doesn’t work and they remain hyperthyroid.
This is not recommended as a treatment for pregnant women or children, but it’s often the choice of treatment for adults.

3. Thyroid removal surgery. They may remove half, most, or all of the thyroid, and afterwards you may have normal, low, or no thyroid function. If you do not have thyroid function afterwards, you would need to be on thyroid replacement hormones for the rest of your life.
This option is the first option in pregnant women and sometimes in people whose Grave’s disease is really severe. Otherwise it’s not used unless the patient asks for it or other things don’t work.

In some people a combination of treatments is used.

Daniel asks…

Is there anyone out there thats had a positive experience with Synthroid?

I was treated with radiation iodine for grave’s disease and will be hypothyroid soon I assume. my doctor said she’ll be putting me on synthroid soon but I’ve read only awful things and hoping there’s someone with a positive experience. or am I destined for major hair loss, large amounts of weight gain, and depression? before having grave’s I was thin and still fairly am as well as being quite happy in general will this change me tremendously?

Helen answers:

I have been on Synthroid for years without any side effects. My brother has Graves and he had to have his thyroid “zapped” twice. It came back after a few years, although the Doctor said that could not happen, but the second time it worked. He also has been on synthroid with no side effects. I think you are needlessly worrying. I have many friends that have been on it for years – most post-menopausal women seem to require it – and no side effects. Read again and see if it is not just a tiny percentage of people with these problems.

Nancy asks…

I already checked this with my Doc and he said I do not have any issues like that.?

Yes that is bad, if I were you I would check into seeing a doctor for Thyroid Issues. I had Graves Disease for 3 years without knowing it and it actually weakens all ur muscles, I couldn’t do a lot of things I used to do, this is very serious and its taken a long time to rebuild those muscles. Hope this helps.

Helen answers:


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