Graves Disease Awareness

In 2016  I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease. Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder that attacks your thyroid and can attack other parts of your body. For the most part I live like everyone else and it has minimal impact on me. Some other days it’s tough. I’ve been hospitalized, been unable to take care of my family, and have felt awful. There’s no real determination on how I will feel each day. The way I personally watch out if I am getting sick again is by watching my hand movements. If my hands become shaky and I am unable to control them, I know I need medication. Sadly there is no cure for Graves’ disease and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I’ve gone from being perfectly healthy to extremely sick in a short period of time since my body goes from one extreme to the other. There’s years I’m in remission and fine, but than a month or two later I’ll be out of remission. Being sick or extreme stress are triggers for me. I once ended up in the icu because of an allergic reaction that triggered a thyroid storm. The day prior you would of never guessed I ended up on a breathing machine the next day. My blood work shows I was perfectly healthy one minute, but sick the next. The biggest misconception about Graves Disease is that it is a thyroid disorder. An autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid, but removing your thyroid does not cure Graves’ disease. Graves’ disease is an antibody. If you remove a thyroid from someone with Graves’ disease, they can still have side effects and would also deal with being hypothyroid. They would need medication for the rest of their life which is why I’ve decided to keep my thyroid. I didn’t want to take the risk of developing more severe effects from this autoimmune disease. I know for some people this disease is crippling. I’m lucky that it severely impacts me on some days and not every day. Do you know anyone with an autoimmune disease? 

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