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Thyroid Eye Disease & Natural Treatment Methods

Thyroid Eye Disease, also known as Graves’ ophthalmopathy, is an inflammatory eye condition which affects a small percentage of people with Graves’ Disease, as well as some people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  It involves the same antibodies which attack the thyroid gland, as these antibodies can also attack the tissues of the eyes.  Of those people this condition does affect,  only a small percentage will have severe symptoms. The good news is that this condition will self-resolve in most people, but it still can cause problems that remain, most commonly exophthalmos (bulging eyes).

Although this condition usually self-resolves, sometimes conventional medical treatment is necessary to help manage the symptoms.  For example, corticosteroids are used in some cases to help with the inflammation.  And in some cases more extreme treatment methods are used, such as radiation, immunosuppressant drugs, and sometimes even surgery.  

Natural Thyroid Treatment Methods To The Rescue?

Can natural thyroid treatment methods cure thyroid eye disease, or prevent it from developing for someone who currently isn’t stricken with this condition?  Let’s first answer the second question.  If someone has Graves’ Disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and is following a natural treatment protocol, if this is successful in restoring their health back to normal then it should prevent thyroid eye disease from developing.  And even if it doesn’t completely cure their condition, since this protocol will help to strengthen the immune system and optimize their overall health, there still is a good chance it will prevent the occurrence of thyroid eye disease.

On the other hand, for someone who already has thyroid eye disease, natural thyroid treatment methods still can help.  However, it isn’t always successful, especially in severe cases.  For example, if someone has exophthalmos, following a natural thyroid treatment protocol might not help to reverse this.  Does this mean that someone with severe symptoms shouldn’t follow a natural thyroid treatment protocol?  Not necessarily, as while there are cases where such a protocol can’t reverse thyroid eye disease, in many cases it can either reverse the process or at the very least manage the symptoms without you having to worry about the side effects which are common with conventional medical treatment.  So while there are no guarantees, it definitely is worth a try in my opinion.

The Risks Of Receiving Radioactive Iodine Treatment

Some studies show that radioactive iodine therapy can worsen thyroid eye disease, although this doesn’t happen in all patients.  Anyone who has read my previous articles realizes that I’m not a big fan of RAI, even when people don’t have thyroid eye disease.  While some people do need to receive radioactive iodine therapy, it usually should be a last resort, after everything else has been tried.  So whether or not you have thyroid eye disease, in my biased opinion I would highly recommend that you at least consider giving natural thyroid treatment methods a try.

For those people who do receive radioactive iodine therapy and have an increase in their thyroid eye disease symptoms, in most cases corticosteroids will be recommended.  If you have thyroid eye disease and received RAI, and are now experiencing a worsening of your symptoms, you might wonder at this point whether or not natural thyroid treatment methods would be effective.  Even with people who have received radioactive iodine therapy, natural thyroid treatment methods can potentially help.  While there is no guarantee that someone who has received radioactive iodine therapy can have their condition completely cured, some people can have their health restored back to normal if their thyroid gland wasn’t completely obliterated, and many others who can’t be cured still can benefit greatly from following such a protocol.

A Summary Of The Different Treatment Options You Have With Thyroid Eye Disease

Treatment Option #1: Conventional Medical Treatment.  As mentioned above, there are numerous medical treatment approaches depending on your condition.  Many people with this condition are prescribed steroids to help with the inflammation.  Others with more severe symptoms might receive more harsh treatment procedures.  I’m not going to sit here and bash these medical treatments, as sometimes they can do a good job of managing the symptoms, which no doubt is important.  On the other hand, just like any other type of medical treatment, they can also lead to different side effects.  So if you do choose the medical treatment option, just keep in mind that this is usually just a temporary solution, although this might be fine since many times this condition will self resolve anyway.

Treatment Option #2: Natural Thyroid Treatment Methods.  I’m obviously biased towards using a holistic treatment approach, as my goal is always to try to get to the root cause of the problem.  Once again, I do think symptom management is important, and because of this, sometimes it is necessary to take drugs.  However, in my opinion this should be temporary if at all possible, as if one chooses a natural thyroid treatment protocol and at the same time takes medication to control their symptoms, then I see nothing wrong with this.  On the other hand, for those people who simply take the advice of their medical doctor without wanting to try to restore their health back to normal, I’d be lying if I told you that this doesn’t frustrate me.

I realize that many people are skeptical when it comes to both the safety and effectiveness of natural thyroid treatment methods.  I just wonder why they aren’t just as worried about the potential short-term and long-term side effects of the conventional medical treatment.  When following a natural thyroid treatment protocol, in most cases the worst case scenario involves the person not responding.  With regards to receiving medical treatment, the worst case scenario is usually an extreme exacerbation of their symptoms.  Actually, it can be worse than this, as there is always the risk of fatalities when receiving any type of surgery, and even with corticosteroids, although in the latter case it usually takes years for these drugs to lead to serious health issues which can cause death.  But my point is that there is usually very little risk in treating your thyroid eye disease condition naturally under the guidance of a competent holistic doctor, but there can be substantial risks with taking the medical route.

Treatment Option #3: Combining Conventional & Natural Treatment Methods.  As I briefly mentioned earlier, this is an option I have nothing against.  Some people want to try to restore their health back to normal, but at the same time want to take medication to help manage their symptoms until the natural thyroid treatment methods “kick in”.  To be frank, when dealing with a condition such as Graves’ Disease, not only am I supportive of this approach, but in many cases I would actually recommend it.  My concern is not so much the progression of the thyroid eye disease, but rather that the symptoms of Graves’ Disease itself can become dangerous, specifically the increased pulse rate and heart palpitations. 

Treatment Option #4: No Treatment.  Since many cases of thyroid eye disease will self resolve without any intervention, this is yet another option you have.  Many people will choose to receive no treatment, especially if their symptoms are mild.  If this is the case, you might decide not to choose either medical or natural treatment methods, and hope that the condition goes away on its own and doesn’t become any worse.

In summary, thyroid eye disease is a condition that is rare, and when it does affect someone, the symptoms are usually mild and warrant minimal or no treatment.  However, in cases where the symptoms are moderate or severe, medical treatment might be able to help manage the symptoms, but you might want to consider a natural thyroid treatment protocol to potentially cure this condition.  This of course not only will help with the symptoms, but even if your condition can’t be cure, it still can prevent the condition from progressing.  If you want more information on this condition, the best book I have read so far on this topic is called “Thyroid Eye Disease: Understanding Graves’ Ophthalmopathy”, which was written by Elaine Moore.  Anyone with thyroid eye disease definitely needs to read this book.

Other Articles You Might Like To Read:

Thyroid Antibodies & Autoimmune Thyroid Conditions [1]

How Chronic Stress Can Cause A Thyroid Condition [2]

Thyroid Blood Tests vs. Saliva Testing [3]

Combining Natural Thyroid Treatment Methods With Conventional Treatment Protocols [4]