I can only imagine how you feel, if you just left the doctor’s office with: “Your child has Graves’ Disease/ Hyperthyroidism”. No more explanations, at least not enough for you to understand what happened and where did you go wrong.
I do understand though how you feel- as a mother, and as a Graves’ disease ex-patient.
But you still probably don’t. Things like that just happen, even with little kids, teenagers, or young people who are just entering their lives. Unfortunately it began to happen very often, even too often recently, as I can see from the emails I receive from concerned and devastated parents. Graves’ disease is no longer booked for women 45-55 years old.
So, these are a few suggestions you can carry out to help your child overcome hyperthyroidism or Graves’ Disease:
1. Make sure that your child is not engaged in too many activities at school or out of school. If you, or the child feels it’s “overloaded”- quit them, better safe than sorry.
2. No excessive physical activities- like too many sports, too much time spend at sports- actually, if you can stop them for some time, that will be even better. The reason is that the child may get palpitations and all the active sports actually “charge” him even more. He/ she will have time in the future to do them don’t worry about this.
3. Relax at least 11 hours daily, I mean not sleep but relax.
4. Meditation, or yoga, or both- if you can teach your child to do this, you’ll help him a lot.
5. Diet – avoid any coke, or aspartame containing drinks. Read the labels. Fresh juice is better than any soft drink.
6. Avoid foods with high iodine content- nuts, sea food, fish.
7. Your child needs to eat more goitrogenic foods- these are foods, usually leafy vegetables that naturally inhibit the iodine overproduction. Broccoli, cauliflower, any green leafy vegetables.
8. No multi- vitamins containing iodine. Check the labels.
9. Vitamin B complex- good for the nervous system, buy at any store over the counter.
10. Selenium is recently reported to have an excellent effect on hyperthyroidism, consult your family practitioner for the corresponding dosage.
11. Last but not least- I would not recommend RAI or thyroidectomy to any child, but the corresponding medication, prescribed by your endocrinologist should be taken accordingly to avoid any future thyroid complications like thyroid storm.
My experience shows that children recover more quickly than adults and in just few months if you keep in mind the above suggestions your child will feel much, much better.