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Biosea Health Health Benefits Period Pain

Graves Disease and Seaweed

One of the complications from the hyperthyroid disease called Graves’ disease is that a typical symptom is painful periods or dysmenorrhea. Seaweed may reduce painful periods, but the iodine in seaweed presents a problem. Seaweed may reduce overall impact of the autoimmune disease, but may introduce too much iodine.

Can you eat seaweed if you have graves disease

Our advice is to not consume seaweed. The recommended diet for Graves Disease is to minimise iodine in your diet. While Pacific Seamoss is only about 15% RDI, that may accentuate the growth of the thyroid.

Will seaweed make Graves Autoimmune disease better or worse

The causes of autoimmune diseases are multiple and complex. Seaweed will likely to have an effect as it may change gut microbiome. Gut microbiome affects auto-immune diseases.

What is Graves Disease

It is an autoimmune disorder that causes hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid. With this disease, your immune system attacks the thyroid and causes it to make more thyroid hormone than your body needs.

Graves’ disease is named after the doctor who charactertised it. With the overactive thyroid, there can be multiple issues.

  • Growth and development
  • Body temperature
  • Heart rate
  • Weight
  • Fertility
  • Mental health
  • Sleep
Fast facts from Endocrineweb [2].

Graves’ Disease and Seaweed

Eating seaweed if you have Graves’ Disease has complications and is generally not recommended.

  • Iodine Levels. While red seaweed is only about 15% RDI (or Dietary Intake %) in comparison to kelp species that may be 2 to 20 times, most dietary recommendations are strict regarding avoidance of iodine containing foods. Seaweed is full of healthy minerals and vitamins but the level of additional iodine would tend to rule out consumption of any seaweed.
  • Autoimmune Disease Graves is a nasty autoimmune disease. There is poor data on specific causes of autoimmune flares, and how seaweed may or may not mitigate.
  • Oligomenorrhea is a range of menstrual abnormal conditions. Too much or too little thyroid hormone can make your periods very light, heavy, or irregular. Thyroid disease also can cause your periods to stop for several months or longer, a condition called amenorrhea which generally results in painful periods (dysmenorrhea).

Summary

Having Graves’ Disease with painful periods is a terrible dilemma and a “Catch 22”. While consuming seaweed may reduce dysmenorrhea, it may come with a potential increase in severity of Graves. Basically humans are a chemical soup. Sorting out interactions will be a challenge.

From Wikipedia

Support Organisations

There are many support organisations globally – select one in your local country. Generally Graves’ disease is not classified as a disability, but for many sufferers it is life changing.

Further Reading

[1] Graves’s Disease from Endocrineweb.com (Google 2020-Nov)

[2] Graves’ Disease. Wikipedia

[3] Brent GA. Clinical practice. Graves’ disease. N Engl J Med. 2008 Jun 12;358(24):2594-605. doi: 10.1056/NEJMcp0801880.