When I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, I was given a prescription for Methimazole and Propranolol. I was experiencing a high pulse rate, palpitations, and initially I wasn’t doing anything to manage the symptoms. A few months had passed before I decided to take Bugleweed, and then I eventually added Motherwort. Looking back this probably wasn’t a smart decision, as I should have either taken the medication, or I should have taken the herbs sooner. But either way it is important to do something to manage the hyperthyroid symptoms.
I work with a lot of people who have hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease. Many of them are taking antithyroid medication initially, some are also taking a beta blocker, while others have already been taking herbs such as Bugleweed, Motherwort, and/or Lemon Balm. Sometimes there will be people who are taking the medication AND taking the herbs at the same time. And there are some people I speak with who aren’t taking anything for symptom management.
The Pros And Cons Of Taking Prescription Medication For Symptom Management
Even though I’m a natural healthcare professional, I do realize that there is a time and place for taking medication. And when someone has a very high pulse rate and heart palpitations, this would be one of those times when taking medication may be a wise choice. Although I personally chose not to take the prescription medication and did fine with an herbal approach, some people don’t do well when trying to manage their symptoms with Bugleweed and/or Motherwort.
Keep in mind that the medication is much more potent than any herbs you can take. This can be both a good and a bad thing. It’s beneficial when someone has moderate to severe cardiac symptoms which can’t be controlled by the herbs. When this is the case, taking the medication can prevent someone from needing to receive radioactive iodine treatment or thyroid surgery. So even though I frequently talk about the medication not addressing the cause of the condition, I’m fine with someone taking it on a temporary basis while I try to detect and correct the cause of the problem.
The downside is that these medications can be toxic to the liver. This is especially true with antithyroid medication such as Methimazole (Tapazole) and PTU. And this is one reason why most endocrinologists will monitor the liver enzymes. In addition to affecting the liver enzymes, some people will experience side effects when on the medication.
The Pros And Cons Of Taking Herbs For Symptom Management
The obvious benefit of taking herbs such as Bugleweed and Motherwort is that they represent natural methods of managing the symptoms. And unlike the medication, people rarely experience side effects when taking the herbs, and these herbs typically won’t put stress on the liver. As I mentioned earlier, I took Bugleweed and Motherwort to manage the symptoms, and did so for a number of months. And many of my patients also take one or both of these herbs for symptom management.
The main disadvantage of taking the herbs is that for some people they aren’t potent enough to manage the hyperthyroid symptoms. Although it usually takes some time before these herbs begin helping with the symptoms, I’ve had some patients who took higher doses of these herbs and gave them a sufficient amount of time to work, but still didn’t notice an improvement in their heart rate and/or the palpitations. As a result some people do need to take the medication.
Which Hyperthyroid Treatment Method Should You Choose?
So which method should you choose to manage the hyperthyroid symptoms? Should you take the medication? Or should you try taking the herbs? This of course is something for you to decide. As I mentioned earlier, many of my patients are taking antithyroid medication and/or beta blockers when they first consult with me, and I never tell anyone to stop taking the medication. And if someone is taking the herbs and they are doing a good job of managing the symptoms then I’m also fine with this.
However, if someone is taking a healthy dosage of Bugleweed and/or Motherwort, and if these herbs aren’t doing a good job of managing the symptoms, then it might be a good idea to switch to the medication. On the other hand, some people who initially take the medication experience side effects, and as a result decide to switch to the herbs.
Ultimately it is up to the person as to which treatment method to choose to manage their hyperthyroid symptoms. What it comes down to is that the medication can help, but taking the meds might lead to side effects and can put stress on the liver. Bugleweed and Motherwort can also manage the hyperthyroid symptoms, but these herbs might not be potent enough to do this in some people. And so you need to consider these factors when deciding whether taking the medication or the herbs is the best option for you.