Laura asks…

Grave’s disease – How does it come?


I was curious and wanted to know how Grave’s Disease is set off, or how does it come? Is it only hereditary? I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, so I was wondering why the symptoms were so close to each other and how do you know whats GAD and Grave’s Disease. I hope I don’t have Grave’s Disease because it doesn’t run in my family and I am a male, but I do have GAD.

Thanks for the answers and info!

Helen answers:

Nervousness, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, excessive sweating, loss of concentration are some of the common symptoms of Grave’s Disease and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Otherwise the 2 are as remote problems as there can be.

Grave’s disease is a thyroid problem which may create issues like those said above but how can you think you have Graves unless you get yourself checked.

Read more on these 2 links to find out the differences as well as those symptom related similarities.

Http:// and

Nancy asks…

Thyroid Disease?

What symptoms do you develope if you stop taking synthroid or take it only once a week when you are supposed to daily and your thryoid has been killed by radiation therapy due to graves disease. I have lost my medical provider and have been stretching my synthriod for months…now having some nasty medical problems, still cannot afford a doctor and health clinic can’t see me till Jan. 5

Helen answers:

If you had your thyroid gland completely zapped, then you have to, have to replace the hormone in your body. You cannot make it, and will eventually go into a coma and die. You are not a borderline case, you are not-sub-clinical. You must have your pills.

That said, there is more than one drug company that makes thyroid hormones. You don’t have to go with Synthroid.

Luckily, thyroid medication is one of the most inexpensive medications that there is. You don’t have have to have insurance to afford it. (In fact it might be cheaper without insurance.) You must go to a doctor and get a new prescription. They will have to do blood work. In order for that to be accurate, you must tell them exactly what dose, you’ve been taking, and how frequently. Tell the doctor your financial situation. Ask a local pharmacist if they know of a clinic that can see you immediately.

Some of your Synthroid is better than none, but it’s not good enough. Plus, rumour has it that Synthroid has a very short shelf life. Make sure you keep it in a cool, dark, dry place. Not the fridge. Not the bathroom. And take it on an empty stomach, you’ll absorb more.

Trust me, once you get your thyroid levels back to normal, you’ll have more energy and drive, and be able to work a second job to pay for your medication and doctor visits.

And yes, I take Synthroid.

James asks…

I want to ask you about my symptoms although I know it can be anything or nothing :/?

Hi My name is Sandra.
I just want to jot down symptoms I’ve been having for several days. I’ll try to be specific so it doesn’t have to be out of the blue.

So I’ve been diagnosed with the Grave’s disease last year and just got my radioactive iodine to destroy my thyroid. Shortly after, my goiter has shrunk tremendously and many of the symptoms I’ve been having from the thyroid has mostly been recovered. And last week, we did a ct scan for this suspicious mass growing in the center of the chest but luckily it was my thymus gland that was enlarged (I’m 19 yrsold) and we’re assuming it’s definitely related to my Graves Disease. But recently, for about 4 days I’ve been having my neck swollen. I personally thought it was swollen due to lack of sleep but it’s been like this for four days and I’ve been having muscle cramps all over the places. My left side of my neck is sore and painful. It’s painful but the pain is bearable. I have this serious emotional transition. I’m very outgoing and social but I’ve been noticing a lot that I do not talk as much as I do and feel very down and stressed out. I know this emotional transition can be related to my anxiety or depression but I’ve been feeling like that for a while.

It’s really nothing to really worry about? Right?
We’re planning to do a PET scan for my thyums gland so we can know if it’s from tumors or not. That’ll really tell us if it from Grave’s disease or not…
But.. yeah.. oh and I’m EXTREMELY tired. I am tired all the time. I’ve never felt this tired after thyroid was destroyed. It’s the same tiresome from the time I was diagnosed with thyroid disorder and when it was left untreated. I don’t get it. I don’t have cold and my necks swollen i’m tired all the time….

And when I wake up, I found myself gasping for air. (this is not severe) But I do have to give a good couple of breathing to actually find myself relaxing.. I don’t know how to put this. It feels like suffocating about couple secs maybe for about 10 seconds and I’m okay.

… So frustrating please help.
And I do have slightly enlarged on the left side of the heart. I’ve had many times of heart palpitation (avg 160 bmp) and had to go to ER. I did had history of thyroidstorm about twice and luckily it was at the hospital so it lasted for about 45-60 mins.

Helen answers:

You have tight neck muscles for your problems there. The neck muscles can tighten up and press into the throat to make it hard and painful to swallow, a sore throat. That is also restricting the amount of air you are breathing because of the smaller passageway left. When neck muscles are tight they are compressing blood vessels there to restrict the blood flow in your head. That reduces the amount of fresh blood entering your head to result in a lowered oxygen level in the brain. There are three stages of lowered oxygen levels in the brain and they are; feeling very tired; getting dizzy or light headed; and passing out. To get rid of these problems you have to free the muscles back up to release the tight ones causing these problems. If the muscles are too tight you can need help with getting them released but when they aren’t too tight you can get them freed back up by doing this:
Put your hands alongside your head so your thumbs are on the front of the muscle under your ear and your fingers are on the back of the muscle, behind your neck. Squeeze your thumb and fingers together and hold. Relax your body. When your fingers and thumb touch, about two minutes, slowly lower your head as far as you can, release the pressure but hold your neck extended (lowered) for another 30 seconds.
For best results relax your body first by taking a deep breath and exhaling then remain this relaxed.
The back and neck share muscles so what happens to one area can also happen to the other. Having tight muscles in your back don’t have to be felt at all but they can cause other problems for you at times. When the muscles are tight and there is added pressure to them they can then press into the nerves leaving the spine and going to the organs. Pressure on the nerves going to your heart would cause the signal from the brain to be interrupted that keeps the heart beating properly to cause erratic heart beats. As tight muscles don’t show up on scans or tests the dr.’s don’t see this problem. To get rid of the tight muscles so the pressure won’t press them into the nerves anymore you have to free up your back muscles to get them released as well and here’s how to free them up:
(do while sitting on a chair)
Place your left hand on your left leg next to your body. Place your right hand over your left shoulder, fingers over the back and the palm in the front, and firmly pull down on them and hold. After 30 seconds slowly lower your body forward and to the outside of your left leg, keeping your left arm as straight as possible. When you reach your lap remain there for another 10 seconds, then release the pressure but rest there for another 30 seconds. Then reverse your hand positions and do your right side.
For best results relax your body first by taking a deep breath and exhaling then remain this relaxed.

Linda asks…

Question about Hyperthyroidism?

I am in the process of being diagnosed with Graves disease/hyperthyroidism. The symptoms (racing heart, anxiety, shaking, head not feeling right, heat intolorance etc.) were really bothering me, so my doctor prescribed a beta blocker. I have athsma, and he overlooked this, which resulted in me having a reaction to the medication, and being admitted into the ER with breathing trouble.
The medication has worn off, but a persistent breathlessness and tight feeling in my chest persists. My doctor did not seem too worried, but I just have to ask: Is this a symptom of Graves/hyperthyroid?

Helen answers:

A feeling of breathlessness is a listed symptom, especially on exertion.

George asks…

Can you go into a thyroid storm without a fever?

I have untreated graves disease and all of a sudden I have gotten so sick with every symptom except a fever, I get sick a lot with this but thought I don’t have a fever so I never worry but this time it’s been bad enough to make me think maybe I don’t have to have the fever ?

Helen answers:

Fever is a hallmark of a thyroid storm but it doesn’t have to present every time or for everyone. I suggest you speak to your endocrinologist.

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