Graves’ disease and treatments

Tess Thompson

  1. Goiter - a swelling in the neck just below the Adam’s apple
  2. Exophthalmos – protrusion of the eyeballs from the sockets
  3. Hyperthyroidism - an overproduction of thyroid hormones, commonly known as T4 and T3.

These characteristics are specific conditions that can be used to detect the possibility of the presence of the Graves’ disease.  It is important to note that a small goiter is not visible to the naked eye and can be established only with the aid of X-Ray or an ultrasound examination.

Graves’ disease occurs mainly between the age of 30 and 50, but it has been known to affect adolescents, pregnant women, menopausal women and older women too. Due to a marked familial prevalence, many experts hypothesize that the Graves’ disease may be triggered by a genetic disorder.
Since Graves' disease is an autoimmune disorder that appears suddenly, some believe that a viral or bacterial infection activates antibodies. Conventional medical thyroid treatment for Graves’ disease involves anti-thyroid drugs, radioactive iodine, and surgical excision of the thyroid gland.

Thyroid medications have side effects such as rashes and inflammation of nerves. These are accompanied by pain and sometimes result in loss of function. In many cases, they cause dangerous side effects, such as acute blood disorders and anemia.
When surgery cannot be used or is ineffective, radioactive iodine (RAI) therapy is used. RAI runs the risk of overcorrection and at times treatment of a hyperactive thyroid can lead to an under-active thyroid condition. If such a situation arises, hormone replacement therapy becomes necessary. The RAI therapy is a slow process and does not rule out the possibility of a relapse.

In pregnant women, young patients, and cases where the goiter enlarges abnormally, conventional thyroid treatmentusually involves the removal of the thyroid. This provides fast relief and also destroys any cancerous tissues, if present.

With surgery, however, comes the risk of injury to the laryngeal nerve. There are problems associated with removal of the parathyroid glands, and it is also possible to suffer a hematoma.
Fortunately there are alternative thyroid treatments that seek to enhance body functionality in its entirety. These treatments can provide providing fast relief without any side effects. These unconventional treatments make use of natural thyroid medication such as homeopathic remedies, herbal medications and the like in conjunction with dietary regulations and exercises. As all remedies are made from natural products and the risk of any untoward happenings is minimal especially when taken under guidance of a qualified expert.

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