Hello, and welcome!
I was diagnosed with Graves' in April 2010, so I know of what you speak! I've also now had a total thyroidectomy and RAI, so I've dealt with many of the situations.
My first advice - learn as much as you can, and don't let anyone force you into any decisions.
When I was diagnosed with Graves', I found a website for people with Graves', with a forum, and people on there were VERY helpful (sorry, its been a while and I can't remember what its called, but google it and I'm sure you'll find many). I'm Canadian, and the first thing my doctor suggested to me was to go on medication and see how I did. I went on Methimazole. But from what I read on that forum, many doctors in the States suggest jumping right to RAI (radioactive iodine) which destroys your thyroid so you are no longer hyper. I guess the thinking is that they would rather deal with hypo than hyper. I, personally, wanted to keep my thyroid, and I was determined to learn all i could about it, and work hard to go into remission as naturally as possible, with foods or supplements. Or stay on the drugs if I had to. But I didn't want to lose it - I figured it was better to have something than nothing. And I read about one woman who hadn't achieved remission, but had been on methimazole for over 20 years! So it gave me hope.
And then my tiny little nodule (less than 1 cm) turned out to be cancerous, so I had a total thryoidectomy, followed by RAI 6 months later (thyroid tissue found in the nearby lymph nodes). I'm sad to have lost the opportunity to fight the Graves', but I'm VERY lucky to have such great doctors that they found it so early, and that I feel like I had the best treatment possible.
Symptoms: for me, sleep is my hyper symptom (and I still get hyper, when my meds are being adjusted). When I'm hyper, I wake up frequently and sometimes can't get back to sleep. So even though I'm "hyper" I'm super tired. Another major symptom, which is common, I think, is frequent bowel movements, and they're usually looser, too. This is because your thyroid is speeding up your metabolism, which means its pushing your food through faster. The problem is, that because its going through faster, you're not absorbing all the nutrients that you should be, so that also makes you tired and weak.
And one other thing - B12. I learned (on sparkpeople actually, through the trivia!) about Pernicious Anemia. Essentially your body can't absorb B12 the normal way, through the intestines. I learned that its actually fairly common for people with Graves' to have this, too. I'm sure I have this. My B12 is always really REALLY low, unless I'm getting injections from my family doctor. (Again, I'm lucky to have fabulous doctors). So you could also be low in B12 - its worth looking into - and that could make you tired, too.
sorry if this is a bit rambling (I'm at work and should be working! LOL). If you have any other questions or you think I can help in any way, please let me know!!!
I decided to do my own google search to find the message board that I mentioned above. There are several, but the one that I liked (again, personal opinion, you may prefer another one), was this one: www.livingwithgravesdisease.com/forums/ind
Edited by: SUEPERSTARS at: 7/12/2012 (10:16)
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