Once you begin treatment, symptoms of hyperthyroidism should subside and you should start feeling much better. The following suggestions also may help:
Ask your doctor about supplementing your diet. If you've lost a great deal of weight or experienced muscle wasting, you may benefit from adding extra calories and protein to your diet. Your doctor or a dietitian can help you with meal planning. In most cases, you won't need to continue supplementing your diet once your hyperthyroidism is under control.
Treatment for hyperthyroidism can also eventually contribute to excessive weight gain. It is important to learn how to get as much nutrition as possible from your food without eating a lot of extra calories. In addition, eating the correct amount of sodium and calcium are important dietary considerations for people with hyperthyroidism.
- Get enough calcium and vitamin D. Because hyperthyroidism may contribute to thinning bones, it's important to get enough calcium every day to help prevent osteoporosis. The Institute of Medicine recommends 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day for adults ages 19 to 50 and men ages 51 to 70. That calcium recommendation increases to 1,200 mg a day if you're a woman age 51 or older or a man age 71 or older. The Institute of Medicine also recommends 600 international units (IUs) of vitamin D a day for adults ages 19 to 70 and 800 IUs a day for adults age 71 and older. Talk to your doctor about appropriate dietary guidelines for you.
If you have Graves' ophthalmopathy or dermopathy, the following suggestions may help soothe your eyes or skin:
Nov. 20, 2012
- Apply cool compresses to your eyes. The extra moisture may provide relief.
- Wear sunglasses. When your eyes protrude, they're more vulnerable to ultraviolet rays and more sensitive to sunlight. Wearing sunglasses helps protect them from both sun and wind.
- Use lubricating eyedrops. Eyedrops may help relieve dryness and scratchiness. Be sure to use eyedrops that don't contain redness removers.
- Elevate the head of your bed. Keeping your head higher than the rest of your body may reduce swelling and may help relieve pressure on your eyes.
- Try over-the-counter creams for swollen skin. Over-the-counter creams containing hydrocortisone (Cortaid, others) may help relieve red, swollen skin on your shins and feet. For help finding these creams, talk to your pharmacist.
- Hyperthyroidism. The American Thyroid Association. http://www.thyroid.org/what-is-hyperthyroidism. Accessed July 17, 2012.
- Soetters MR, et al. Optimal management of Graves orbitopathy: A multidisciplinary approach. The Netherlands Journal of Medicine. 2011;69:302.
- Brandt F, et al. A critical review and meta-analysis of the association between overt hyperthyroidism and mortality. European Journal of Endocrinology. 2011;165:491.
- Graves' disease. Womenshealth.gov. http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/graves-disease.cfm. Accessed July 17, 2012.
- Hyperthyroidism. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec12/ch152/ch152e.html. Accessed July 25, 2012.
- Graves' disease. National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service. http://www.endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/graves/Graves.pdf. Accessed July 25, 2012.
- Hyperthyroidism. National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service. http://www.endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/hyperthyroidism/index.aspx. Accessed July 25, 2012.
- Dietary Reference Intakes for calcium and vitamin D. Institute of Medicine. http://www.iom.edu/vitamind. Accessed July 17, 2012.
- Bahn RS, et al. Hyperthyroidism and other causes of thyrotoxicosis: Management guidelines of the American Thyroid Association and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Thyroid. 2011;21:593.
- Thyroid problems. Hormone Health Network. http://www.hormone.org/thyroid_problems.cfm. Accessed July 26, 2012.
- Stan MN, et al. The evaluation and treatment of Graves ophthalmopathy. Medical Clinics of North America. 2012;96:311.
- Schwartz KM, et al. Dermopathy of Grave's disease (pretibial myxedema): Long-term outcome. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2002;77:438.
- Nippoldt TB (expert opinon). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 14, 2012.