Graves’ disease is a common cause of an overactive thyroid gland. It is an autoimmune disease. The immune system produces antibodies that attack the thyroid gland and trigger it to produce abnormally high levels of hormones. This causes everything in the body to speed up and commonly produces symptoms such as nervousness, excessive sweating, heat intolerance, a tremor and insomnia.

People with Graves’ disease are at risk of developing an eye condition because the immune system can also make antibodies that attack the muscles and connective tissue surrounding the eyes. This can cause symptoms such as eye protrusion, eyelid retraction, and double vision.

Eye disease occurs in approximately 1 in 20 people with an overactive thyroid gland. It can be difficult to treat because normalizing the thyroid hormones does not correct the eye problem. In order to overcome the eye condition we must help the immune system in the same way we address all autoimmune conditions. These are my suggestions on how to do that:

  • Overcoming autoimmune disease involves healing a leaky gut. When the gut becomes excessively permeable (leaky), toxins and wastes in the gut are allowed to enter the bloodstream. This places an enormous burden on the immune system and liver. It causes the liver to manufacture large amounts of inflammatory chemicals. If you want to heal a leaky gut, you need to stop eating foods that irritate and inflame the gut; these include grains, (particularly gluten containing ones), dairy products, legumes, and sugar. Some people need to restrict other foods as well.
  • Inflammatory chemicals produce symptoms such as fatigue, pain, swelling, redness, or loss of function. The herb St Mary’s thistle, found in Livatone Plus helps to reduce the liver’s production of inflammatory chemicals.
  • People with a leaky gut typically suffer with an overgrowth of harmful microbes in their gut. Bad bacteria, Candida and other organisms can inflame your gut lining and steal your nutrients from you, leaving you malnourished, even if you follow a healthy diet.  BactoClear capsules can help to give your gut a good cleanup. Glutamine is wonderful for healing a leaky gut; it is the preferred fuel source for intestinal cells, therefore helps to heal and seal the gut lining. Glutamine can be found in my Ultimate Gut Health powder.
  • Stress is a major driver and aggravating factor in almost all cases of autoimmune disease. The stress might be due to work, finances or relationships, but sometimes the stress is purely due to the symptoms of the autoimmune disease, and the resulting fatigue and fear. Magnesium is a wonderfully calming mineral that almost no one gets enough of. It relaxes your mind and muscles and helps to improve sleep quality.
  • In my experience, most people with thyroid problems or autoimmune conditions don’t have optimum levels of vitamin D or selenium in their body. These two nutrients are wonderful for calming down inflammation and can help to reduce the auto-antibody production seen in autoimmune conditions.

For additional information on helping thyroid conditions see the book Your Thyroid Problems Solved.

The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.

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