For at least a year and a half, possibly longer, I’ve had Graves’ disease, also known as hyperthyroidism. And I have a very serious case that has made me extremely sick. With this illness, the thyroid goes crazy and pumps out huge quantities of hormones, sending them throughout the entire body. In other words, we go into overdrive and all balance is lost. It seems to be a disease that is more common with women, although about 1/3 of my doctor’s patients are men.
But I have come to the conclusion that doctors cannot cure my disease and I am on my own.
My History With Doctors
I am not a person who races to the doctor with every cold or case of the sniffles. In my adult life I have been to a doctor when I had my two children and when I broke my wrist. That’s it. I’m definitely not invested in the medical community.
However, I finally went to a doctor about my disease because I felt so terrible I could no longer function. I first went to a cardiologist because my heart was pounding so loudly and so alarmingly that I was frightened. I was afraid that I had serious heart disease. As it turned out the cardiologist diagnosed my thyroid problems in about 15 minutes and sent me to an endocrinologist, a medical specialist who deals with the endocrine system, which includes the thyroid gland.
Methimazole: The Good and The Bad
What they have done is to give me a drug [naturally] called Methimazole. When I am taking the drug I feel much better and my symptoms practically disappear. But twice now I have quit taking Methimazole and within a few days all my symptoms returned. This tells me that the drug is not healing my Graves disease. Don’t misunderstand: I am extremely grateful to be symptom-free, even temporarily, but HEALING my thyroid must be the most important consideration.
I cannot continue to take Methimazole much longer or it will damage my liver.
The only other treatment option is for my thyroid to be destroyed and I would then take thyroid medication every day for the rest of my life.
Why I Refuse To Destroy My Thyroid
I have no intention of destroying my thyroid for two reasons. The first is that thyroid hormones are a very basic function of the body and they’re too important to my well-being. It seems perfectly clear to me that no drug can ever take the place of such an important gland.
Secondly, I have talked to people who have had their thyroid destroyed and none of them are very happy about it. The body is a very sensitive and delicate mechanism which changes from moment to moment. A correctly functioning thyroid instantly adjusts to the needs of the body but drugs do not have that sensitivity. It is impossible to take a set amount of thyroid medication every day and have it perfectly suit your body. The people I’ve talked to say that they often feel pretty bad until their medication is adjusted. In other words taking thyroid medication will link me to a doctor with a titanium chain for the rest of my life.
My Graves’ Disease Symptoms
I don’t know how bad the symptoms are for other people with a hyper active thyroid. I can only speak for myself — but I can tell you it’s been incredibly bad.
* First of all, my heart has behaved in an alarming fashion. I have wondered if I was having a heart attack. Fortunately, it seems to be undamaged.
* I cough and cough and then I cough some more. I spend part of every single day coughing. It’s not only unpleasant but I often have sore throats and strained muscles from all the coughing.
* I am super congested and have been using Kleenex by the truckload.
* I’ve been so hot that I feel like I’m going to burst into flames. The last two summers have been almost unbearable. Atlanta isn’t known as Hotlanta for no reason. We’re very hot and humid in the summer and the days that were in the high 90s, combined with my overheated body, have been pure torture.
* My muscles have been very weak, especially my legs. A couple of times when I’ve been on the floor for some reason I wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to get up.
* The worst symptom to me is that I am very out of breath. Sometimes just walking up the stairs of my home has me so out of breath that I am desperately gasping for air.
* And lastly, there are days when I just feel AWFUL! I am frequently tired and have no energy but on some days getting dressed is a major accomplishment.
What Am I Going To Do About My Graves Disease?
There are times when all of us are sick with a cold or the flu or an upset stomach. During these times, miserable though they were, I knew that I was a healthy person and the misery was temporary. But with the Graves’ disease I have felt, for the first time in my life, like a “sick” person. It’s a horrible experience.
I have made a commitment to deal with my Graves’ disease in a natural way. I’ve already discovered ways to heal some of the symptoms. I’m using a supplement that is helping my heart to be normal. My muscles aren’t weak and I don’t feel desperately sick anymore. I still have my cough and I’m out of breath part of the time but these two symptoms are not as severe as they were.
I am a walking, breathing experiment. I am confident that I can totally cure my Graves’ disease and when I do I will be glad to share my methods with other thyroid sufferers. Wish me luck.