Grave’s Disease – CAM Support Protocol

This semester I had to submit several very short assignments providing suggestions for complementary alternative medicine support protocols for various conditions. The entire assignment had to be less than 500 words so it was difficult to expand on any one thing; however, I thought I’d share these briefs with you all just in case they are helpful in anyway PLUS some people only have time for a quick read. Maybe one day I will expand on each point and give specific suggestions :).

CAM Support Protocol for Grave’s Disease

Grave’s disease (GD) is one of several hyperthyroid diseases. Typically, GD is caused by autoantibodies that activate TSH receptors and increase T4 and T3 levels. (Banasik & Copstead, 2019). Symptoms of GD are protruding eyes, enlarged thyroid, diffuse toxic goiter, sweating, weight loss, loose bowels, fatigue, muscle weakness, and tachycardia (Bhor, Damdhar, Kokate, Salve, & Andhale, 2016).  In some cases, pharmaceutical intervention may be required, especially with cases of Acute GD. GD can be a life-threatening condition; therefore, it is important for the patient to consult with a physician before starting or in conjunction with a CAM protocol. Conventional approaches to treating GD include radioactive iodine therapy, thyroidectomy (removing the thyroid gland through surgery), and medications.

Persons with GD should:

  • Eat a whole food diet, consisting of frequent small meals and increased caloric intake. Increase anti-inflammatory foods as well as foods high in antioxidants.
  • Individuals with mild cases of GD may include raw foods such as cabbage, kale, broccoli and others from the Brassica family; however, acute GD sufferers should avoid large consumption of those foods.
  • Helpful supplements are:  Fluoride 3-10 mg/day, L-carnitine 2-4 mg day, Indole 3 carbinol 200-400 mg/day. Herbs: Lycopus species, L. officinale, M. officinalis taken three times per day as either tea (1-3g/dried), tincture (2-6 mL) or extract (1 -3 mL) (Pizzorno & Murray, 2013).
  • Manage stress- stress can trigger an autoimmune response, patients should incorporate stress reduction strategies. In order to find ideas that work for the individual, it is important to talk to the patient to determine what their personal stress triggers are. Some ideas are: participate in yoga, meditation, or deep breathing activities, spend more time in nature, limit unnecessary commitments, improve financial management skills if money issues contribute to stress.
  • STOP smoking and drinking caffeine.
  • Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption
  • SLEEP – at least 8 hours each night
  • Reduce exposure to environmental toxins


Banasik, J.L. & Copstead, L-E. C. (2019). Pathophysiology. (6th ed.). St. Louis: Elsevier.

Bhor, R. J., Damdhar, H., Kokate, G., Salve, M., & Andhale, S. (2016). A review on sign and symptoms of graves’s diseases as thyroidal diseases and its treatment with anti thyroidal drug. Research Journal of Pharmacy and Technology, 9(11), 2027-2033. doi:

Levy, J.L. (December 2015, 19). Graves’ disease: 7 ways to help manage hyperthyroid symptoms. Retrieved from

Pizzorno, J.E. & Murray, M.T. (2013). Text book of natural medicine (4th ed.). St. Louis: Elsevier.


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