Graves' Disease Diet Guide: What to Eat with Hyperthyroidism

Graves’ Disease Diet Guide: What to Eat with Hyperthyroidism

Can your diet change the course of Graves' disease?

Do certain foods make hyperthyroidism worse? Do certain foods make it better?

Can you lose weight by eating certain foods if you have this disease?

The truth is that changing your diet can certainly impact the progression of Graves' BUT you must be doing it the right way.

In this Graves' disease diet guide you will learn the answer to all of these questions and more: 


Can you Cure Graves' Disease? 

One question I get asked all the time is this:

Is Graves' disease curable?

And the answer is, maybe (at least in some situations).

In order to dive into how it might be possible to cure Graves' disease, we need to really discuss what this condition is. 

While it is true that Graves' disease is a type of Hyperthyroidism, that isn't the underlying cause of Graves'.

Graves' disease is an autoimmune disease.

Causes of graves and hyperthyroidism

By definition, this means that your immune system has malfunctioned to the type that it is accidentally attacking your own tissues and causing problems.

In the case of Graves', this attack comes from antibodies (that your body produces) that look very similar to the natural hormone TSH (which stands for thyroid stimulating hormone).

These antibodies that your body creates sit on the receptors in your thyroid and cause your own body to accidentally pump out lots of thyroid hormone into the bloodstream. 

This causes all of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism and Graves' such as:

  • Anxiety or mood changes
  • Heart palpitations and rapid heart rate
  • Weight loss (initially) but usually followed by rapid weight gain (following treatment -> more on this below)
  • Hot flashes or heat intolerance
  • Reduction in energy levels or fatigue
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping

We know that Graves' disease results from too much thyroid hormone but the real cause of this stems from the immune system. 

So the real question becomes this:

Can we calm down the immune system that is causing the attack on your thyroid gland?

And the answer is not clear for everyone, but in certain individuals it most certainly is.

And that's where dietary intervention comes into play when treating Graves' disease.

For many people, it might just be one of the most important aspects of treatment.

Before we dive into the specifics of changing your diet let's talk about certain scientifically proven facts surrounding Graves' disease and autoimmune disease. 

The Gluten and Graves' Connection

The first thing you need to realize and accept is that there is a proven and scientific link between Celiac' disease and Graves' disease.

Many studies have shown that patients with Celiac' disease (1) are significantly more likely to present with Hashimoto's thyroiditis and or Graves' disease - both of which are autoimmune diseases of the thyroid.

This connection stems from the link between intestinal inflammation, gluten and the initiation of autoimmune disease through molecular mimicry and inflammation. 

Some patients may have "silent" Celiac disease meaning that they have NO intestinal symptoms related to the disease.

This is particularly concerning if you are a patient and you hope that your Doctor knows this information.

Most of the symptoms of Celiac' disease tend to be extra intestinal - meaning that they do NOT exist in the GI tract.

Non-specific symptoms like depression, anxiety, migraines

Graves disease and intestinal permeability

Why is treating and finding Celiac disease in hyperthyroid patients important?

Removing gluten from your diet may improve the following areas:

  • Increase the absorption of nutrients
  • Increased absorption of medications (like thyroid hormone)
  • Reduced levels of inflammation
  • Improvement in intestinal permeability
  • Reduction in autoantibodies in certain people and conditions

While all of these areas are important one VERY important aspect is the last one. 

Some studies have shown that adopting a gluten-free diet (2) in those with Celiac' disease may result in a REDUCTION of thyroid antibodies.

This makes testing for and treating Celiac' disease your number 1 priority if you have hyperthyroidism.

Please note, however, that if you don't have a thyroid anymore (due to it being removed or ablated) then your treatment will likely be different - we will go over this below. 

So what does this mean for you if you have Graves'?

At the very least you should be TESTED for Celiac' disease through serum and I recommend taking it a step further by removing gluten from your diet for at minimum 90 days.

You can get tested for Celiac' disease with these serum markers:

  • Tissue transglutaminase antibody
  • Gliadin peptide antibody
gluten antibodies case study

The presence of these antibodies indicates that you do indeed have Celiac' disease and should remain gluten-free indefinitely. 

But even if you test negative for these antibodies I do think you should seriously consider going gluten-free for 90 days.

Going gluten-free helps reduce intestinal inflammation and promotes (if done correctly) healthier food choices. 

You can read more about the gluten and Hashimoto's connection including recommendations on how to eliminate it from your diet in this post.

The connection between your diet and Graves' goes even further than just gluten, however: 

Download my Free Resources:

Foods to Avoid if you have Thyroid Problems: 

I've found that these 10 foods cause the most problems for thyroid patients. Learn which foods you should absolutely be avoiding if you have thyroid disease of any type. 

The Complete List of Thyroid Lab Tests:

This list includes optimal ranges, normal ranges, and the complete list of tests you need to diagnose thyroid hypothyroidism correctly!

Download more free resources on this page

Food Sensitivities and Intestinal Inflammation

Another important consideration for your diet is whether or not you have food sensitivities. 


Because food sensitivities promote intestinal inflammation which promotes increased intestinal permeability.

Don't let this confuse you because it's actually quite simple:

If you eat food that your GI tract (stomach) reacts to it will respond with local inflammation.

This inflammation damages the protective layer that your GI tract is supposed to provide and turns this protective barrier from a solid wall to a "leaky" net.

dysbiosis with a poor diet

Then, instead of blocking the absorption of harmful bacteria or proteins, these complexes are absorbed into your bloodstream and cause issues. 

I've simplified the process in explaining it but that doesn't change how you approach treatment for the problem.

What is it?

You get rid of the inflammation causing the problem!

What does this mean for you?

It means that if you have Graves' disease there is a high chance that you are reacting to certain foods or food groups that may be worsening your immune function and intestinal tract.

The good news is that you can treat this problem by simply testing for these sensitivities and then avoiding whatever foods are causing your problems. 

If you want to get testing make sure you get evaluated using a delayed IgG food sensitivity test.

This is more accurate in diagnosing "chronic" food sensitivities that you may be silently reacting to with inflammation. 

You will want to get this test over the more conventional food "allergy" testing that most physicians are aware of. 

You can read more about this type of testing here.

The combination of food sensitivity testing if coupled with a gluten-free diet is VERY powerful for patients with Graves'. 

Does Graves' cause Weight Loss or Weight Gain? 

When we talk about changing your diet if you have Graves' disease we need to talk about which problem you are struggling with. 


Because it matters whether you have ACTIVE Graves' disease or whether you suffer from hypothyroidism related to Graves' disease treatment. 

Many people are confused about whether or not Graves' disease should cause weight loss or weight gain. 

If your body creates too much thyroid hormone shouldn't that lead to weight loss, not weight gain?

Well, you are correct. 

UNTREATED Graves' disease leads to weight loss, but if you know you have Graves' changes are high that you are being treated and THAT is most likely causing weight gain. 

The treatment for hyperthyroidism is to slow down the thyroid and all of the treatments related to Graves' and hyperthyroidism have been shown to cause weight gain (3) (not weight loss). 

So it matters whether or not you've been treated (and how you've been treated) when we talk about your diet. 

weight gain in hyperthyroid patients after thyroidectomy

Eating for those with Active HYPERthyroidism

For those with ACTIVE hyperthyroidism, meaning that they have NOT undergone thyroidectomy or RAI, these patients need to be very aggressive about their diet. 

I've come up with guidelines below that you should follow if you want to reduce inflammation and try to REVERSE your antibody level and disease state. 

These recommendations should be adopted ASAP and aggressively, but realize that it may not be sufficient in every person to slow down or halt your disease state. 

In most instances, you will need to include supplements and other treatments as well. 

It's also very important to be aggressive about your dietary changes at this point because if your disease state progresses then the next step is thyroidectomy or radioactive iodine ablation. 

These therapies leave you hypothyroid and almost always lead to weight gain long term. 

So the best treatment option is to halt the disease state BEFORE these therapies become necessary. 

Foods to Eat

While changing your diet for Graves' you should focus on eating certain foods and avoiding others.

The exact foods YOU need to avoid will depend on your IgG food sensitivity testing, but you can adopt these changes almost immediately: 


(Organic whenever possible)

  • Broccoli
  • Arugula
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Collard Greens
  • Sweet potato/Yams
  • Asparagus
  • Bok Choy
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Kale
  • Zucchini

(Organic whenever possible)

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries

(Organic or grass-fed whenever possible)

  • Wild caught fish
  • 100% grass-fed + organic beef
  • Pastured + organic eggs
  • Pastured + organic chicken
  • Pastured + organic pork
  • 100% grass-fed + organic processed meats

(Cold Pressed)

  • Animal fats (pastured or 100% grass-fed)
  • Coconut oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Almonds/Almond butter
  • Avocado
  • Cashews
  • Coconut butter
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Brazil nuts

While the type and kind of food matters so do the amount and macromolecule ratio of each food group. 

If your goal is to reduce autoimmune function and inflammation then sticking to these foods (and avoiding those below) will serve you well. 

If your goal is weight loss I recommend that you look deeper into managing your macromolecule ratios and take further steps in my weight loss guide.

*Please note that this is NOT a complete eating guide, but does include recommendations to help you get started. 

Foods to Avoid

  • Gluten (we've discussed this above)
  • Dairy products (especially low fat dairy products)
  • Refined carbohydrates like breads 
  • Inflammatory fats and industrial seed oils (sunflower oil, safflower oil, canola oil, corn oil, etc.) 
  • Processed foods with preservatives (avoid food with ingredients you can't pronounce)
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar

Even more important than eating the RIGHT food groups is avoiding the WRONG food groups. 

You need to make sure you are simultaneously doing both.

Eating for those post thyroidectomy or RAI (and now HYPOthyroidism)

It's worth talking about patients who fall into this category. 


Because once your thyroid is ablated or removed you go from having hyperthyroidism to hypothyroidism. 

This shouldn't be surprising, but this point is missed by many patients. 

Many people still focus on how they have hyperthyroidism once their thyroid has been removed which can confuse them when they search for information. 

thyroid metabolism reset poster for side bar

If your thyroid has been removed or ablated then you are by definition hypothyroid and you are reliant upon thyroid medication indefinitely. 

This also means that your treatment is DIFFERENT! 

Hypothyroid patients are treated differently than HYPERthyroid patients. 

And, by the way, once you have your thyroid removed (or ablated as the case may be) you are not only hypothyroid but the chances are very high that you are going to gain weight. 

You can learn more about eating and changing your diet if you have hypothyroidism secondary to thyroidectomy or radioactive iodine ablation in this post

Using Supplements with Dietary Changes for Better Results

While making dietary changes (as indicated above) is a great idea and your first step, it certainly shouldn't be your only step or last step. 

To augment the benefits of changing your diet you can get even more benefit by adding specific and targeted supplements to your regimen.


Our goal here is to reduce inflammation, improve GI function, reduce intestinal permeability and naturally normalize your immune function. 

Changing your diet does this to some degree, but you have to realize if there is existing damage to your GI tract then it may take more than just food to improve the situation.

Likewise, especially as it relates to nutrient deficiencies, often times patients are deficient in certain nutrients (especially Vitamin D, Zinc and Selenium) which NEED to be replaced in order to improve immune function. 

With this in mind, I recommend that you strongly consider adding some of the following supplements to your new dietary changes. 

Focus on supplements which promote normal intestinal health: 

  • Probiotics (high dose): Taking high dose probiotics can help normalize intestinal microflora, reduce inflammation and may even promote normal caloric absorption. Taking probiotics has been shown to reduce to improve a variety of symptoms ranging from depression to diarrhea through these mechanisms. In order to get these benefits, you MUST be taking high enough dosages of high-quality probiotics. In active Graves' disease, you will want to use 50-100 billion CFU's per day (with meals and in between meals). 
  • L-glutamine + DGL: L-glutamine is a critical building block in the repairing of your intestinal tract. Taking high doses of l-glutamine can restore proper function to your GI tract and improve immune function in the process. It also may reduce sugar cravings (added bonus). You need to use at least 5 grams per day to get these benefits. I also recommend that you take it with other GI enhancing supplements like DGL, aloe and slippery elm which can further enhance GI benefits and cool down inflammation. 
  • Pepsin + HCL: Low stomach acid may lead to a reduction in nutrients (iron, B12, etc.) and may promote decreased immune function. While taking other GI supplements (and especially if you have a thyroid disorder) taking HCL with pepsin can help improve GI function dramatically. Normal stomach acid is also required for thyroid hormone absorption (which is important if you are taking thyroid hormone replacement medication). 

Supplements to cool down inflammation: 

  • Fish oil: Fish oil has been shown to reduce inflammation and can help treat depression and chronic pain. These benefits come from the balancing of the omega 3 & 6 fatty acids that occur when taking fish oil. An imbalance in this ratio promotes inflammatory pathways in the body. When taken properly fish oil can help with weight loss, reduce fat mass directly, increase skeletal muscle mass and reduce inflammation. To get these benefits you will need to take 2-5 grams per day (that's 2-5 capsules per day assuming each soft gel is 1,000mg). 
  • Alpha lipoic acid: ALA is a VERY potent anti-inflammatory agent which has been shown to help reduce blood sugar levels, reduce inflammatory markers and help with weight loss. This supplement should be taken in doses up to 1,200mg-1,800mg per day for best results for at least 3 months. 
  • Quercetin (with bromelain): Quercetin is another powerful anti-inflammatory agent and is especially powerful when coupled with bromelain. Bromelain and quercetin can also help improve immune function and improve the GI tract as well. Take 1-2 caps each day for best results. 

Supplements to ease immune function: 

  • Zinc picolinate: Zinc is a mineral that many people are deficient in (especially thyroid patients). Zinc plays a very important role in immune regulation, it's also a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. Taking zinc can actually help normalize thyroid function as well. When using zinc make sure you get zinc bound to picolinic acid which increases absorption. You will want to use 30-60mg per day. 
  • Selenium: Zinc should almost always be taken in combination with selenium due to how they interact with one another. In clinical studies, selenium has been shown to reduce thyroid antibodies and also has many of the same benefits that zinc has. Take 200-400mcg per day for best results (couple it with zinc). 
  • Vitamin D3 + K2: Unless you are getting 20-30 minutes of uninterrupted sun EACH and EVERY day during noon to 2pm chances are VERY high that you are deficient in Vitamin D. Studies have shown that people with low Vitamin D levels are much more likely to develop autoimmune disease due to how Vitamin D interplays with your immune system. Take 2,000 to 5,000 IU's daily until your serum Vitamin D levels get to the 40-50ng/ml range. You want to supplement with Vitamin D3 ONLY, avoid Vitamin D2 formulations. Also, take Vitamin K2 with Vitamin D3 for best results. 

Back to you

So what's the takeaway here?

Your diet is a critical component to managing and treating Graves' or hyperthyroidism but it must be done correctly.

You need to alter your diet based on what type of treatment you are undergoing for Graves' and add in additional therapies such as supplements for best results.

I recommend going gluten-free and removing the food groups listed above if you aren't sure where to start.

Now I want to hear from you:

Do you have Graves' disease?

Has diet helped you reduce your disease?

Has it helped with weight loss? 

Why or why not?

Leave your comment below!

References (Click to Expand)

what to eat if you have graves disease

Dr westin childs photo

About Dr. Westin Childs

Hey! I'm Westin Childs D.O. (former Osteopathic Physician). I don't practice medicine anymore and instead specialize in helping people like YOU who have thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, and weight loss resistance. I love to write and share what I've learned over the years. I also happen to formulate the best supplements on the market (well, at least in my opinion!) and I'm proud to say that over 70,000+ people have used them over the last 6 years. You can read more about my own personal health journey and why I am so passionate about what I do here.

P.S. Need more help? Check out my free thyroid downloads and resources.

52 thoughts on “Graves’ Disease Diet Guide: What to Eat with Hyperthyroidism”

  1. Graves, Dengue fever and Scurvy have remarkably similar symptoms. Any high metabolism breaks down tissue faster, leading to scurvy and acidosis(One of the biggest lies told by western medicine is that acid isnt a problem, we have multiple biological system specifically to prevent it). When Dengue gets dangerous aka hemmorrhagic, its really just scurvy and rhabdomyolysis.

  2. My Grave’s began in 1997 the week that I weaned my first daughter. The almond trees were in bloom and my allergies were terrible as a result. My immune system was totally crazy due to weaning and allergies and an attack on my thyroid was the result. Never did get it calmed, after years of Tapazol treatment and so had TT in 2002. If you are super high you eat tons and lose a little weight. If you are only a little high we may well eat quite a bit and gain. I had three more children and never felt right UNTIL in 2014 I finally took the advice to go dairy free and almost vegan. After three years on a whole foods plant based diet I feel better than I have in 20 years. It was like turning back the clock! I now rarely get sick and I also got rid of almost all my joint pain. I cannot say enough about unprocessed plant foods have helped me! I also now walk 2 miles a day and do yoga, things I could not do before my diet changes. Also, my HDL is now 61 and my LDL is 55. I eat 7 raw walnuts with my breakfast bowl every morning to start the day with some Omega-3s. I wish so much I would have known all this back when I first got Grave’s because I probably could have totally healed naturally without having to go with the TT. But live and learn and I am now passing down these valuable insights to my three daughters so they will be prepared (my grandmother also had Grave’s and my dad died of an autoimmune reaction to a flu shot–autoimmune neuropathy). So thanks again for all the great tips–you are truly helping those of us who have these conditions!

    • Thank you for your story. Are you and your dads family Scandinavian by chance? I feel we are susceptible.

      I also had an autoimmune reaction to a flu shot. Then was diagnosed with SLE ( Lupus). I did a gut healing protocol called GAPS (similar advice as this but it’s an elimination diet and more intense).

      Now I had a post partum hyperthyroid attack and was hospitalized. But I know it was the gluten and other triggers.

      The GAPS author Dr Natasha has a chapter on how an immunological panel MUST be done before every vaccine.

      Flu shots are a racket. And why the hell would I trust a new covid shot?!

      It is a public health disaster

  3. Dr. Child’s,

    I have had my thyroid out for 3 years now because I had graves. My biggest problem is no matter how hard I try with diet and exercise I cannot loose a pound. I have gone from a 116-155 pounds in this time period. I went from 137 thyroxin to 75 and then she added 5 much of l-sodium with it. And it has not helped me at all. I have been reading every thing you wrote in hoping you could direct me in the right direction I am only 5 feet and in need of some help.

      • I have overcome my brain fog symptoms and am very clear minded now. But, as I read this it is confusing, and I even understand it, but i can see how other people do not. These differences in the states of Graves… why not triage people via the articles and just separate the stages and have people click on a link to go to the stage they are at?

        • Hi Rachel,

          This article was written a while ago before I had more resources for hyperthyroidism. I have further information which outlines the various stages and how these stages are treated. At some point, I will come back to this article and take a look to see if I can clean it up.

  4. What kind of a diet should a person be on if they haven’t had athyroidectomy or RAI but has Graves in remission due to medication. Take in mind that person still has almost every symptom of hyperactive graves but is in normal stages but has gained probably 25 lbs since being in normal stages. We have went nonprocessed-low carb and recently the doctor told that person to become stricter with low carb and go gluten free to improve gut health (labs have been completed showing no celiac disease). Does this sound like that person is on the right track for dieting? Also this person takes THRIVE (Le-vel) supplements. Also wanting to know what food this person should avoid. Thabks a tons, SW

    • Hi Stacy,

      If you are taking medication to reduce thyroid function then you will want to follow a diet designed for those with hypothyroidism.

  5. I have recently been diagnosed with Graves. My iodine is low and My levels are crazy. My T3 is 6.75 and T4 is 47.9.
    Yet, I am consistently gaining weight. I’ve read that is might be hormones or insulin, but I’m not diabetic. I’m at a loss as to what to eat since I’m gaining instead of losing.

    • Hi He,

      Diet is only one therapy that may help improve your overall hormone status. You should also consider other factors such as hormone imbalance, exercise, lifestyle factors, etc.

  6. Is there a way to safely taper off methimazole meds for Graves Disease that can optimize remission? My labs are now normal after only 3 months on 30 mg methimazole a day. I’m afraid of becoming hypothyroid now, which I read is very possible. The doctor ( he is not an endocrinologist) reduced my meds to 20 mg / day but I’m wondering if this is too much. Thanks for any info you can provide.

  7. Dear Dr. Child’s,

    I had open heart surgery Jan 2016 to replace the aortic valve while I was in the hospital my thyroid readings were out of control they put me on the generic for Tapazole 10 mg that medicine raise me so high that they took me off the medication after three visits to the office when I got out of the hospital I went to a new Endro Doctor who diagnosed me with graves disease and told me it was genetic and I was producing too many hormones and he also kept me off the medicine for a year and a half this past December my TSI levels we’re going down but was still high so he started me on 2.5 mg of Tapazol and I had the same reaction that I had before on 5 mg even 10 mg when I returned from my normal visit I told the doctor about my problem I was so fatigued so wiped out which is a reaction I usually get when taking Tapazole his answer was I will take you off the medicine and see you in three months when you return we will talk surgery or iodine treatment I said do you realize I had open heart surgery he said oh that’s OK you can have the surgery I spoke to my cardiologist he said no surgery no iodine treatment and I should ask the doctor when I return what is the bottom line can I stay on the diet that I am now on which is actually the diet you talk about. My question is I don’t have any problems with dairy foods is it OK to eat them while following your diet I try to eat gluten-free products to replace the bread items and wheat I already take vitamin D3 I eat Brazil nuts for selenium and I also take vitamin C Probiotics and the doctor the cardiologist has me taking B6 250 mg three times a week .
    Thank you for your assistance on the above .

    • Hi Linda,

      Rule #1 that all Doctors know about is to basically avoid checking thyroid function in the hospital (except for a few select reasons). The reason is because stress to the body will always alter thyroid function and may not result in accurate measurements.

      It would probably be best to recheck your levels under normal circumstances and go from there. But you will want to completely recover from your most recent operation first.

  8. Dear Dr. Child’s

    I am 53 years old and I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease I am taking Methimazole 20 mg daily, my question is: can I take all the supplements that you advise without side effects?

    Thank you Doctor, your information has been very helpfull.

  9. I was diagnosed with Graves’ 12 years ago and was on a very low dose of PTU for 8 years. I have been remission according to my TSH, T3 and T4 for about 3 years, but my antibody level is in the 400s. I chose not to RAI or surgery. I definitely noticed an improvement in how I felt when I ate gluten-free. In fact, that is when I was officially in remission. The symptoms I experienced when eating gluten were more like a seasonal allergy – sneezing, congestion, fatigue. I have not been feeling well for the past year and think it is because I have been eating gluten again. There is definitely a connection for me. So I have to get back on track. However, is it necessary to get rid of all dairy? I am not a big animal protein eater. I do eat some though.

  10. I have Graves‘ disease. I took medications for 1 year and went in remission. It has been 12 years now. A year ago I removed gluten from my diet because I noticed some unwanted effects.
    Last month I unknowingly eat gluten and I had a very strong reaction. A few days later I checked my hormones level because of low sex drive and fatigue. I found out that my TPO was 393 IU / ml while my T3 and T4 were at the perfect rate. I am now on bio identical hormone replacement and the result is already
    I was very concerned about my TPO. I searched the net and I found your blog. I am starting your recommendation ASAP.
    My question is this: because of the high TPO, my endocrinologist wants me to undergo another nuclear test. But I think this is a waste of money and an unnecessary exposure to
    radiation. I don’t want to take the test. Am I right?
    Thank you for your reply

  11. Hi Dr. Child’s, I had a thyroidectomy 10 years ago and a hysterectomy 2 1/2 years ago (left 1 ovary). I am now 52. For the past 9 years they have only had to adjust my synthroid one time from 150 to 175. This past year I got really serious about cutting out all sugar and carbs including things like beans, quinoa etc. I have only lost 8 pounds from August thru now, eating 800-1200 calories a day. In the meantime my Dr. has had to adjust my meds from 200 to 175 in October, from 175 to 150 in December and now 150 to 137. I am very frustrated with trying to understand why I am always hyper and still unable to lose weight??? If you can give me any insight as to what’s going on I would sooo appreciate it!!! The last 4 weeks a very strict ketogenic diet but only healthy fats and no loss???

    • Hi Linda,

      It’s hard to say for sure but you are most likely damaging your metabolism by reducing your calories which is reducing thyroid conversion and therefore thyroid function. Those patients who are status post thyroidectomy tend to hold on to weight tighter than those with a functioning thyroid and they are reliant upon thyroid medication more so than those with a thyroid.

  12. Hi, I’m a keen 45yo cyclist with a stressful life that has been sporadically suffering for years with symptoms (fatigue, palpitations, night sweats, muscle spasms) which have been put down as a variety of shrugs and stabs in the dark at syndromes CFS, IBS, stress response adrenal fatigue etc. and only of late has this been diagnosed as Hyperthyroidism and Graves Disease. I am only 10 weeks into treatment with carbimazole (originally also propranolol, but my heart rate has come back down off the ceiling so these have been stopped), but I am disturbed by the fact that this treatment is only looking at lessening the effect of the graves on the thyroid function, and not at the undying condition itself. So I have started looking at autoimmune eating protocols as a “sensible to try” option, especially as I have developed a remarkably swift response to eating sugar; one snickers = asleep in 4 mins regardless of what I’m doing.. I have a couple of immediate questions:-

    Half of the literature I read says “eat loads of veg including the broccoli family” (yours included)

    The other half say’s “eat broccoli, are you mad?” that is a goitrogenic so should be avoided for both hyper and hypo.

    Any thoughts?

    The second is I have been fuelling my cycling exploits through carbs for 30 years. How can I ensure the energy requirements of routine long rides are met by a carb restricted diet, and should I even try? (I have no inclination to hang up my wheels just yet, even though disastrously slow and uncompetitive at the moment)

  13. Dr. Childs, thank you for such an informative discussion. I have multiple nodules on my thyroid for 11 years and only 1 year ago I was diagnosed with hyperthyroid. I am currently on medication and my TSH is normal. should I focus on the hyperthyroid or hypothyroid diet?

  14. I am 71 and was not diagnosed Hyperthyroid/graves for many years but have keep my thyroid and am beening treated now with 5mg tapozole (one every second day). My endocrinologist is happy with my thyroid levels but has suggested I stay on this dose because the last two times he took me off,I went into afib and that was fixed in emergency department. I did not gain weight for a long time but now I have gained.Is there any hope of getting this weight gain under control for an old gal like me.

  15. Dr. Childs,
    Thank you for this article. It has given me a little hope. I am a type 1 diabetic (41 years) with MS (11 years). I was just told I have elevated thyroid levels. Does this mean I likely have Graves? I understand autoimmune diseases come in twos and threes. I’m hoping I can reverse my elevated levels with the dietary changes you mentioned in your article. I am scheduled to see an endocrinologist. Oddly I have gained weight and am struggling to lose it. I’m terrified to take any more medication as I am currently on 9 Rx including Tysabri infusions for MS. I do not want to take any more medication or lose my thyroid, as I am so concerned with weight gain and how it affects my other disease. I already struggled with an eating disorder as a result of this concern. I do not want to retrigger the eating issues. Any additional advice is welcomed. I will, however, start with the recommendations you have set forth. Again, thank you.

  16. Dr. Child’s,

    I just got diagnosed with graves disease and hyperthyroidism. I’m reading your article and I feel like i found faith in it. Every where I’ve been reading and all my doctors tell me it’s incurable, but when I read how you said “maybe”, it gave me hope. I have never had anything like this, I’m only 23 years old. I am 5ft1 and weight 100 lbs. Everything is fine except that fact that since I started methamizole medication, I just noticed a half spot. I was wondering if I followed your suggestions would there be a high chance of me curing myself considering that I am young ?

    • Hi Angy,

      It’s really impossible to say without a lot more information. The good news is that you can start dietary changes and supplements even if you are taking medication and using conventional therapies.

  17. I have recently been diagnosed with Graves’ disease.. so right away, I have been placed on medication.. at this point (about 2 months ) into the treatment. I am not handling the medications very well..they make me so sick I almost cry before taking them. I am interested in trying the alternative .. and changing my diet.. should I stop all medication before I start?

    • Hi Laura,

      It would not be a good idea to make any changes to your medication regimen before consulting with your physician. You can definitely try some alternative therapies, but make sure your doctor is aware of what you are doing. You don’t want to inadvertently put yourself in a dangerous situation.

      • I wanted to add after I read Linda’s note above, that I could not function at all on the methimazole. I was so sick on that, bleeding from the ureter, flu-like symptoms, severe fatigue, that I could not do it. They switched meds to the propylthiouracil and I have had no side effects. It is a little riskier medicine, but I feel for the gal above with the methimazole.

        • Hi Brenda,

          Thanks for sharing! While sometimes these medications are necessary, they can absolutely can issues if they are used long-term and generally not considered “long-term solutions” for that very reason.

  18. Dr. Childs, I am post iodine treatment by 2 months for Graves. I am still not hypothyroid, and am being treated with the Propylthiouracil due to intolerance of the other med. I cannot not make the scale budge regardless of if I do no extra exercise, or if I do the treadmill and 2 other walks in a day along with many many other activities. I am killing it on my fitbit and eating very well, and calorie intake under what I burn, and the scale literally will not even budge the ‘.’ number. If I do nothing, the scale says 156.6 and if I kick major ass and get 25,000 steps in a day the scale says 156.6. The scale is not broken, I truly don’t understand why I can’t fight like hell and get this weight off. Prior to beginnng treatment, this regimen would have been good for a 20 pound weight loss in 3 weeks. I am so frustrated. My diet is just low cal, not certain foods. I have always believed in calories in calories out. Why is this not working?

    • Hi Brenda,

      Calories in calories out results in about a 99% failure rate when it comes to weight loss and is one of the big reasons we have so many issues with obesity in the country at this time. Weight regulation is more about hormone management than it is calorie counting, so when you focus on improving hormone function the weight comes off and stays off. I would switch your focus to one of looking at your hormones as opposed to counting calories.

      • Thank you so much, sir, for the quick response. I really appreciate it. It would be new for me for cal in cal out to not work, so I now understand this is a different ballgame. I will read more of your research and work. Again, thank you and this is a VERY informative site.

  19. Dr. Childs,
    My 10yr old daughter has just been diagnosed with Graves’ disease and has just started taking methimazole. Her endocrinologist is talking about the removal of her thyroid, one of my worries for her is if this happens and she is then classed as having hypothyroidism how to help her maintain a healthy weight. Any advice or places for me to look to help her find dietary advice specifically for children? I’m going to try and implement a gluten-free diet and she already eats lots of fruit and vegetables but she needs to feel normal amongst her peers.
    Thank you

  20. Thank you for the articles. I found them today after struggling for the past 15 months with Graves. I have been on methimazole starting out 5 mg increased to 10 at which time my eyes started to experience double vision. I found an article that indicated being over medicated can increase the risk of eye disorders. I brought this up with my endo at which time my TSI was over 700… Reduced to 5mg and now 5mg then 2.5mg alternately. I have had a huge improvement in my vision, no longer needing to wear a prism. However, I am still experiencing a multitude of side effects predominately weight gain almost 20 pds, joint pain, mood swings, fatigue,sweats, lack of cycle and major depression. I really want to get off the meds entirely as I know they are a huge contributor to all the above. I need to get my Dr’s to order the tests necessary to get me in the right directions. Where do I start?

    • Hi Tracey,

      The best place to start is by optimizing your diet and by taking simple nutrients that can help improve your thyroid and immune system. Then, as your condition improves, you may be able to reduce your dose. You will need to find a physician who can work with you and is willing to allow you to make these changes, though.

  21. Our Down Syndrome son at the age of 27 was told he has Graves. I’m concerned with the weight gain after being put on methimazole 50 mg once a day and 50mg’s twice a day the next day. I’m worried about the puffiness in his face and sweating still. It takes months to get into the Dr. He is the only one in our town. Any advice to ease my mind.

  22. I have both hyperthyroid and graves disease.

    Can you please tell me what should be my workout routine?
    I normally go to gym and do weight training.

    I’m a vegetarian so can I take protein shakes that are availabe in market because I can’t eat eggs and fish?

  23. I have diagnosed a Grave disease. My Endo confirmed that I have autoimmune disease from my lab result TRAB. I’m happy that I read your website. I’m going to try your advice and see the result after 30 days. Thank you so much for sharing your guide. More power and God Bless you.

  24. Hello,

    Thanks for your recommendations I have been recently diagnosed with Graves Disease. I have been prescribed Carbizamole for one year to take 40mg once a day. Do you recommend taking this alongside the treatments and diet plans you mentioned. Or is it one or the other?

  25. Hi, I started out 30 years ago with Hashimotos diagnosed by my naturopath. I was on NTR (Armour) for decades and it managed my disease. I was mostly eating a vegan/vegetarian diet of mostly Whole Foods. I fluctuated in weight over the years, but was physically active and maintained a mostly healthy diet with occasional slips for several months into pastries and sugar. Last year I was diagnosed with Graves (I had switched to a t3 only medication regime supervised by my Functional Medicine doctor. I did lose some weight, but also had a resting heart rate of 120. I was prescribed metaprolol. Obviously stopped the t3 immediately. I researched natural options as doctors were recommending radioactive iodine or methimazole, neither of which I wanted. Found a new FM doc. She recommended bugleweed and lemon balm. It took a month for t3 andt4 to get into normal range. Antibodies were still high as well as TSH being depressed, but TSI was now high normal down from out of range. I no longer need the metaprolol, though did need to increase bugleweed and lemon balm and add motherwart to get heart palpitations under control. I’ve been gluten and dairy free for more than a year. I’ve gained 20 pounds, so am now 168. But I’m only 5’2” (lost an inch due to shrinkage) and feel best at around 135 (though in my youth, 122-125 was good for me – I have a medium, not small bone structure). So I’m very frustrated at the weight gain. I literally don’t know what to try next except for the testing you’re recommending. I do I think, overdo the fats and sugars but try to be careful. I have, in the past year added mor healthy fats like avocado and organic chicken and salmon, but am reconsidering a return to low fat vegan (The China Study and Dr. Esselstyn’s work). I also exercise daily for an hour on the treadmill at 3.5 mph, plus light weight lifting, plus a walk of half mil once or twice a day with the dog. Any insights? I’m already taking most of the supplements you recommend. My D3 was only in the 40s but now is 95. Can you help me?

  26. Curious if these supplement recommendations are the same doses for children? And do you recommend taking all of the ones you have listed?

  27. Hi Dr.

    I was diagnosed today with hyperthyroidism ☹

    It seems most likely due to an infusion I had 3 years ago for another autoimmune disease. It does state thyroid dysfunctions as being a very comment side effect.

    How would the information given on this site differ for me? Do I have hope? And how might I alter things based on my diagnosis?

    My symptoms began 4 months ago and worsened over this last week. Please advise me, as I’m at a loss and it may he able to save me from years of pain.

    Thank you


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