Case Study – Graves Disease

Graves Disease is a more rare form of thyroid disease, where the thyroid “goes crazy” causing bulging eyes, weight loss, anxiety, irritability, rapid heart rate, tremors, and heat sensitivity. Read on to learn how 2 women beat Graves Disease with similar root causes, but very different treatment.

Graves disease is considered “autoimmune,” meaning that the immune system is attacking the thyroid. It is treated using thyroid blocking drugs, and by either damaging the thyroid with radiation or cutting the thyroid gland out. Interesting to me, is that none of these treatments address the immune system, the agreed upon “root cause” of this disease. These two women woke up one day to a shocking new experience.

So what happened?

The first woman woke to her scariest nightmare. Her heart was racing, hands were shaking, and her chest was tightening to a near panic attack. There was no actual nightmare, but her body was acting as if there were! The second woman woke to another nightmare…she looked in the mirror and her eyes were bulged out of her skull.

Both, over the next few months experienced hair trigger tempers/irritability, insomnia, and weight loss. Both soon visited their local medical professionals…the first receiving a blood pressure medication to slow her heart rate, and the other, the drug methimazole, the thyroid blocker. The first was recommended thyroid destruction by radioactive iodine…the second, “orbital decompression surgery,” where the surgeon reaches up through the nostrils and removes one or more bones of the eye socket to allow the swollen eyes to settle further back into the head.

Amazingly, both questioned the “wisdom” of these protocols…and called our office.

When I was 1 year old, I started bruising, severely, from being picked up…any pressure on my skin. My diagnosis was  ITP, the platelet (clotting cell) disease. It is also an autoimmune disease. They gave me prednisone, with the risk of dwarfism…then removal of the offensive organ, my spleen.

I recovered fairly well, but was prone to bacterial infections, and had severe cat, dust, pollen, and mold allergies. My first doctors jacket was retired with a crusted stripe of snot down both sleeves. I was grateful that I had become a chiropractor, because the patient was mainly lying face down so as not to see the snot running down my face.

This experience was not my preference. It sent me on a journey of discovery, including functional medicine, integrated natural medicine, and applied kinesiology. In the end, I resolved my allergies (still a weak link, but mostly symptom free), and, in my own search, became an expert at immunology. (Naturally, of course) I had received the perfect training for these precise situations.

So what does that have to do with these women? Autoimmunity of course

When I evaluated these two women, I utilized standard blood test that I perform on new patients. It is a full system analysis, including the immune system. The immune analysis includes different cell types of the immune defense team. Neutrophils, Eosinophils, Lymphocytes, Monocytes, and Basophils. Each cell type responds to different stressors or invasions. If viruses invade you,  your spleen produces more lymphocytes to defend against the attack, and your lab shows high levels of lymphocytes. Elevated Eosinophils indicates yeast or mold invasions. Monocytes indicates environmental chemicals or lymphatic congestion. Basophils indicates worms, protozoan, or other parasitic invasions. And elevated Neutrophils indicates bacterial invasions.

Both of these women had elevated Neutrophils…the immune cells that respond to bacterial invasions. In an autoimmune condition…any autoimmune condition, your first priority is to identify what is upsetting the immune system. Both showed bacterial “irritation” that resulted in immune irritability and attack, and system stress…causing irritability to life and their loved ones.

 Different treatments for same disease?

In case one…the supportive nutrients and plants that removed her bacterial aggravation were the most traditional…vitamins A and C, Echinacea, astragalus, zinc, and immune glandulars. In case 2…it was a more unique plant, called Barberry. Historical use of Barberry is in Ancient Egypt and India, with references dating back 3000 years, for bacterial dysentery, diarrhea, fevers, urinary tract infection, and upper respiratory infections (colds). While Echinacea, astragalus, zinc, etc. are modern research proven to activate bacterial defenses, Barberry shows effectiveness with multiple infections over thousands of years, including yeast, virus and bacteria.

One difference between Echinacea and Barberry is geographical. Echinacea grows in northern climates, and Barberry grows in southern climates. Patient 1 was born and raised in the north…patient 2 was born and raised south of the equator. Get the idea? We hear the term “local” now as much as the term “organic.” Your local (and original) climate and environment produces food and medicines that are ideal for your health and wellbeing.

Thankfully, just as people now cross the globe, so do plants and plant medicines.

Results are in

Both of these patients responded well to our chosen medicines. Even on the blood pressure medicine, patient one’s pulse raced to 163 on her initial visits. I asked her to perform the finger to nose test, and her hand vibrated (shook) as if she were on one of those 1970s weight loss machines.

In 30 days, her pulse rate was 110, and she could touch her nose smoothly once again. Amazingly, patient two’s eyeballs were so “deflated,” that her doctors decided the surgery was not necessary. (She was on the surgeons schedule to do it…but her pre-op exam showed that she was back to normal enough to “no longer need” the surgery.)

Both women felt tremendous improvements in mood, irritability and sleep. Both women’s thyroid labs drastically calmed down. (We don’t do this to fix labs…we do it to fix people, but the labs reflects internal function, so it is good to get that validation). I’d say we got to the root!

Also, both were food sensitive in early testing (wheat and dairy) but both were able to return to those foods, keeping my statistic for “food allergy cause” at less than 1% (how many of my patients truly had a food allergy that caused their problem and they couldn’t return to eating it without symptom return).

We removed the source of intestinal inflammation, and then the aggravating foods were no longer aggravating! BOTH are stable and healthy at 2-3 years…cases closed!