Graves Disease | wiki |diagnosis | treatment | pictures | diet

Graves Disease is the most popular reason like hyperthyroidism. It is triggered by the immune system producing antibodies that stimulate the thyroid gland to increase the size of the gland and produce excessive amounts of thyroid hormone.

Early diagnosis and treatment of Graves’ Disease is essential, as it can have adverse effects on heart function, bone structure and the eyes. Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) is a condition Graves’ Disease patients need to be aware of and is associated with Graves’ Disease.

Graves Disease Treatment

With proper therapy, you can minimize the effects of Graves disease. The goal of treatment is to control over-production of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism). There are three treatment options for Graves’ disease. Your doctor or endocrinologist will recommend the best treatment for you and your particular case of Graves’ disease.

Antithyroid Medications:-

These drugs help prevent the thyroid from producing hormones. Methimazole and propylthiouracil (PTU) are generic medications that interfere with the thyroid gland’s ability to produce hormones. While effective in relieving symptoms within a few weeks, hyperthyroidism may return after the drug is stopped.

Possible side effects that may mean you have an allergy to this type of medicine include skin rash, itching, and hives. Other more common side effects that are usually temporary include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, headache, joint or muscle aches, loss of taste, and a metallic taste.

Be sure to ask your doctor to explain serious side effects you may experience and what to do should a side effect develop. One serious side effect with antithyroid medications is agranulocytosis, which causes you to not have enough white blood cells. That makes you more susceptible to infection, but agranulocytosis is rare. However, if you develop a fever or sore throat while on antithyroid medications, definitely call your doctor; it may be agranulocytosis.

If you have hyperthyroidism and become pregnant, your doctor will carefully monitor your thyroid hormone levels and adjust your medication as necessary—so that you and your baby stay healthy. In pregnant women, PTU is more commonly used than Merthiolate.

Graves Disease picture

Graves disease is a condition that affects the function of the thyroid, which is a butterfly-shaped gland in the lower neck. The thyroid makes hormones that help regulate a wide variety of critical body functions. For example, thyroid hormones influence growth and development, body temperature, heart rate, menstrual cycles, and weight. In people with Graves disease, the thyroid is overactive and makes more hormones than the body needs. The condition usually appears in mid-adulthood, although it may occur at any age.

Excess thyroid hormones can cause a variety of signs and symptoms. These include nervousness or anxiety, extreme tiredness (fatigue), a rapid and irregular heartbeat, hand tremors, frequent bowel movements or diarrhea, increased sweating and difficulty tolerating hot conditions, trouble sleeping, and weight loss in spite of an increased appetite. Affected women may have menstrual irregularities, such as an unusually light menstrual flow and infrequent periods. Some people with Graves disease develop an enlargement of the thyroid called a goiter. Depending on its size, the enlarged thyroid can cause the neck to look swollen and may interfere with breathing and swallowing.


Graves’ Disease Diet Plan

To increase the effectiveness of your upcoming radioactive iodine therapy, you may be prescribed a low iodine diet. Iodine is used in the care and feeding of animals and as a stabilizer and/or safety element in food processing. Therefore, it may be found in varying amounts in all food and beverages. The highest sources (and those to be avoided) are iodized salt, grains and cereals, some breads, fish from the sea, shellfish, beef, poultry, pudding mixes, milk and milk products.

Any fruit or fruit juices
Egg Beaters
Oatmeal with toppings – cinnamon, honey, applesauce, maple syrup, walnuts, fruit
1 slice toast
Black coffee or tea

Vegetarian or chicken with rice soup
Matzo crackers
White or brown rice with vegetable plate (fresh or frozen)
Salad – fruit or vegetable – oil and vinegar dressing
Fruits – fresh, frozen or canned
Black coffee or tea

6 oz Roast beef, lamb, veal, pork, or turkey
Potato – baked or broiled
Vegetables (fresh or frozen)
Salad – fruit or vegetable – oil and vinegar dressing
Black coffee or tea

Fresh fruit or juice
Dried fruits such as raisins
Fresh raw vegetables
Unsalted nuts
Fruit juice
Unsalted peanut butter (great with apple slices, carrot sticks, crackers or rice cakes)
Matzoh and other unsalted crackers
Home-made bread and muffins

• No iodized salt
• No dairy products or foods containing dairy products
• No foods from the sea
• Limited grain products (ie noodles, pasta, pastries) – 1 slice bread, ½ cup pasta daily
• Limited amounts of beef, chicken and turkey


  • Iodized salt
  • Any vitamins or supplements that contain iodine (especially kelp and dulse)
  • Milk or other dairy products including ice cream, cheese, yogurt and butter
  • Seafood including fish, sushi, shellfish, kelp or seaweed
  • Herbal supplements
  • Foods that contain the additive carrageen, agar-agar, alginate, or nori
  • Commercially prepared bakery products that are made with iodate dough conditioners
  • FD&C red dye #3 – this appears in maraschino cherries and occasionally as a pink/red artificial color in beverages
  • Egg yolks, whole eggs and foods containing whole eggs
  • Milk chocolate (due to dairy content)
  • Blackstrap Molasses (unsulfured molasses is fine)
  • Soy products (soy sauce, soy milk, tofu) [note: soy does not contain iodine. However, high soy ingestion has been shown to interfere with radioactive iodine uptake in animal studies.]


  • Non-iodized salt or non-iodized sea salt may be used as desired
  • Egg whites
  • Homemade bread made with non-iodized salt and oil (not soy!) instead of butter or milk or commercially-baked breads which do not contain iodate dough conditioners, dairy, or eggs
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Grain, cereal products and pasta without high iodine ingredients
  • Canned fruit
  • Natural unsalted nuts and nut butters (peanut, almond, etc)
  • Sodas, beer, wine, lemonade, fruit juices
  • Coffee or tea. But remember, no milk or cream and no soy-based non-dairy creamer!
  • Popcorn popped in vegetable oil or air popped, with non-iodized salt
  • Black pepper, fresh or dried herbs and spices, all vegetable oils
  • Sugar, jam, jelly, honey maple syrup
  • Matzoh crackers


  • Avoid restaurant foods since there is no reasonable way to determine which restaurants use iodized salt.
  • Consult your doctor before discontinuing any red-colored medication or any medication containing iodine (i.e., Amiodarone, expectorants, topical antiseptics).
  • Avoid all herbal supplements (especially when one is not sure how much iodine they contain).
  • What is Thyroid Eye Disease (TED)?

    Thyroid eye disease (TED) is an eye condition in which the eye muscles and fatty tissue behind the eye become inflamed. This can cause the eyes to be pushed forward (‘staring’ or ‘bulging’ eyes) and the eyes and eyelids to become swollen and red. In some cases there is swelling and stiffness of the muscles that move the eyes so that the eyes are no longer in line with each other; this can cause double vision. Rarely TED can cause blindness from pressure on the nerve at the back of the eye or ulcers forming on the front of the eyes.

    TED is an autoimmune disease. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the back of the eye and causes inflammation. It is mainly associated with an over-active thyroid due to Graves’ disease, although it does sometimes occur in people with an under-active or normally functioning thyroid. Graves’ disease is the most common cause of an over-active thyroid (hyperthyroidism) in the UK. TED is also known as Graves’ osteopathy


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