Hormones - Hyperthyroidism and Grave's Disease

Hyperthyroidism is a condition of the thyroid gland where there is an over-production of thyroid hormones. Although not as common as hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormones), hyperthyroidism still affects many Canadians. The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Grave’s Disease, affecting 1 in 100 Canadians. Grave’s Disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes the thyroid gland to become overactive. The presence of high levels of thyroid hormones can affect many vital body functions and hence, can lead to a variety of symptoms.

These may include:

• Rapid weight loss
• Increased appetite
• Anxiety, irritability and mood swings
• Restlessness and tremors
• Heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, chest pain
• Sleep concerns
• Fatigue
• Shortness of breath, laboured breathing
Additionally, the 3 most common complications of Grave’s Disease include:
Goiter – an enlargement of the thyroid gland which can cause difficulties swallowing, and coughing.
Thyroid eye disease – symptoms can range from tearing of the eyes, sensation of dust or sand in the eyes and light sensitivity. In extreme cases, the swelling of eye muscles and tissue causes the eyeballs to bulge and limiting eye movement.
Thickened skin – some people with Grave’s Disease experience thickened patchy lesions over the legs and feet.
The approach to treating Grave’s Disease can be similar to treating Hashimoto’s since there is an auto-immune component to both conditions. Your Naturopathic Doctor may support your treatment by addressing underlying conditions such as food triggers, gut health, viral infections and environmental toxin exposures.