The Grave Connection Between Graves' Disease And Stress

Autoimmune diseases can cause many dangerous health problems that make it difficult to live your life in a healthy way. One of these conditions is known as Graves' disease. This problematic health issue is often heavily influenced by high levels of stress in your body, which cause your immune system to react in negative ways.

The Damage Caused By Graves' Disease

Graves' disease is a serious autoimmune disease that will attack your thyroid gland and cause a variety of problems that can seriously affect your health. For example, it can cause an overactive thyroid which will make you lose weight (too much), increase your heart rate, make it difficult to fall asleep, make you sensitive to heat, cause hand tremors, a loss of hair, frequent bowel movements, and fatigue.

All these problems occur because your immune system will periodically attack your thyroid gland. But why would your immune system decide to do that? There's a good chance that too much stress plays a very strong role in this problematic behavior.

Stress And Graves' Disease

The connection between stress and Graves' disease has been noticed for years. Stress causes the release of a variety of negative chemicals that affect the way your body operates in a negative way. This can actually cause a condition known as "thyroid storm," a situation which can be life threatening and which often either leads to Graves' disease or a severe worsening of the disease.

As a result, stress not only directly leads to Graves' disease, but can make it worse. That's why you need to understand how to relax your body and your mind. This can help your immune system relax, keep it from attacking your thyroid gland, and prevent the serious physical health problem presented by this dangerous autoimmune disease.

Beating Stress On Your Own Terms

While managing your stress won't treat your Graves' disease symptoms entirely, it may help reduce their severity. Find things that help your relax (such as certain forms of exercise, like yoga or walking) or foods that soothe your mind (like tea). Meditation may help decrease much of your stress symptoms and even decrease a racing heart.

You should also cut out on the negative behavioral influences in your life, such as people who bring you down or a job that distracts you from what really matters. A sudden flare up of stress caused by these people and these situations can cause your Graves' disease to get worse and generate a high level of pain in your body. To learn more, contact an immunology physician.