Graves’ Disease Case Study – Sue Brown
Perhaps I am a-typical because I first started with Graves Disease symptoms in 2001, diagnosed in 2002 when I first consulted my GP. My journey therefore has been a long one. I was told it was hereditary and my mother was hypo-thyroid so I didn’t delve further at that point into why I was affected. The GP referred me to an Endocrinologist and his Registrar told me that I should have the RAI – it was a no brainer she said and very straight forward. She gave me some leaflets to read.
I decided that my thyroid gland had served me well for 55 years and should be given the opportunity to mend so I took Carbimazole for the two years. When I came off the drug I was fine for 4 more years and think I would have continued to be so had one of my sons not died suddenly. Within a few weeks, my hyper-thyroid symptoms were back. I persuaded the consultant to let me take the Carbimazole again as I just didn’t feel happy with the thought of RAI. I also started to realise that stress could have something to do with it.
Again the anti thyroid drug worked for me and I took it for two years. A year later, after a really horrendous house move the Graves’ disease returned, which was when I started to really understand that stress must be at the heart of what was wrong. It was then that I researched in earnest and thankfully found Svetla’s website, bought her books and read as much as I could about Graves Disease in as many places as I could find information as possible.
My new GP (after the house move) referred me to the local hospital where I saw the Consultant’s Registrar who was actually very rude and dismissive of my views. She ended up choosing not to treat me as I wouldn’t have the RAI so the ball was back in my GP’s court. He was supportive and could understand why I didn’t want RAI but wasn’t a specialist himself so was in many ways guided by my previous experiences. I was back on the Carbimazole which continued to work for me.
Fortunately as I was by then age 66 I decided I had to retire as my job was particularly stressful, with lots of driving and jumping through too many hoops. I also started meditating daily – well, mine is a combination of traditional meditation together with self healing through self-hypnosis, as I used to be a Clinical Hypnotherapist in my spare time. I feel these two things have been the most significant in the healing process.
Eventually the Carbimazole was reduced and I took 5 micrograms of Thyroxine a day too. I had very regular blood tests but I don’t get printouts of these and thyroid antibody tests aren’t routine here. I asked for one in Spring of 2012 and it came back with a reading of 24. I requested another one in May 2013 and I was then no longer making any thyroid antibodies. My GP had previously told me he thought I would always make them, as after all this time, I wouldn’t get rid of the Graves’ Disease unless my thyroid gland burnt itself out and I went hypo.
I’ve always eaten healthily – no processed food – everything home cooked but I now buy as much organic produce as I can. I’ve really started to listen to my body and cut down red meat consumption by half and reduced the amount I eat for my evening meal as I always felt a little too full after that meal. I also eat earlier in the evening. I’m not usually at home in the middle of the day so it isn’t convenient to eat my main meal then. I eat more white meat and fish than I used to. I started to drink aloe vera juice daily and bought a copy of Dr. Peter Atherton’s book on the benefits of aloe vera. I had a mineral test and was deficient in selenium so I took that for a few months and also take an excellent food state vitamin and mineral supplement, plus a food state antioxidant daily. I only allow myself one cup of coffee a day. I don’t now take any prescription medicines.
I stopped taking Carbimazole on 20th October 2013 so am now in my 18th week since then. I feel absolutely fantastic and have no hyper symptoms at all. As the prognosis was for the return of my Graves’ Disease within 6 weeks of stopping the medication, I feel that I have at last got rid of it. My blood tests have been fine. I was so determined to get better and I knew it was possible from reading Svetla’s publications. There is no quick fix and as Svetla says, it isn’t easy as there are so many small things you need to do and you need to stick to it like glue, but then it just becomes a way of life. I’m very energetic and play golf three times a week and walk quite often too. Although I live on my own I have lots of friends who I see regularly as well as family. I didn’t have any friendships I needed to get rid of, which was good. I enjoy a glass of wine with a meal but avoid excesses of everything. I’m not missing out on anything I want to do and feel really content with my life. I hope this can be of encouragement to others who are wanting to recover from Graves’ Disease – good luck!