Graves’ disease is the most common form of hyperthyroidism. It occurs when your immune system attacks your thyroid gland causing it to overproduce thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone is used by the body to regulate metabolism, temperature and mood. Although rarely life-threatening, there is no cure, treatments exist that can help to ease symptoms. Graves’ disease occurs more commonly in women after the age of 20 than other groups of people.
If you suffer from Graves’ disease you most probably have symptoms of insomnia, rapid heart rate, nervousness and tremors. Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center recommend the use of L-carnitine to help prevent or reduce these symptoms of a hyperactive thyroid gland. This supplement may also help to normalize body temperatures. Discuss any additions to your supplements or medications with your primary care physician to ensure that you do not interfere with the actions of other medications or adversely affect any underlying medical condition.
Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and considered an herb that helps to ‘calm’ an individual. It has been used to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep and appetite and ease pain, according to the UMMC. You may find that it can help to ease the symptoms of nervousness and insomnia caused by an excessive production of thyroid hormone. Users of lemon balm extract have also reported improved mood and increased calmness and alertness.
Glucomannan is a fiber from the konjac root available at health food stores in bulk powder or a gelatin capsules. This is not an essential nutrient but a water soluble dietary fiber that has been used in Asia for centuries. Research led by Adil Azezli from Istanbul University, found that the use of this supplement was a safe and well tolerated adjunct therapy to the treatment of symptoms from hyperactive thyroid hormone production. Their research was published in the “Journal of American College of Nutrition” in 2007 and showed that the supplement decreased levels of circulating thyroid hormone in the body by affecting the metabolism of the hormone in the liver.
Calcium and Vitamin D
Hyperthyroidism can contribute to bone loss and osteoporosis, according to MayoClinic.com. If you suffer from Graves’ disease it is important to get enough calcium and vitamin D to prevent the formation of early osteoporosis. It is the combination of both calcium and vitamin D that increases the absorption of calcium into the system and the formation of bone. Recommendations from the Institutes of Medicine, are for 1000 milligrams of calcium for adults 19 to 50 and 1,200 milligrams for women over 51 and men over 71. This calcium should be taken in conjunction 600 IUs of vitamin D for adults 17 to 70 years and 800 IUs for those over 71, notes the IOM. Before making any supplemental changes to your treatment of hyperthyroidism you should speak with your doctor to ensure they do not interfere with other medications or underlying medical conditions.