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  • BigUgnk
    Post count: 2

    My girlfriend, who is currently living in Japan (I’m in Canada) is struggling with hyperthyroidism. I would like to know more about the disease so that I can be more supporting. I am concerned whether she’s getting good treatment in Japan. Her doctor told her that she shouldn’t be doing any exercise but as far as I know hasn’t told her to change her diet. From what I’ve seen online it seems like having a low iodine diet is one of the more important factors in regulating thyroid hormone levels. Is this true? Are there any other lifestyle changes that can be made to manage it? I don’t want to be a douche telling her how to manage her hyperthyroidism, but if there were some things that she hasn’t been told yet, I think it’s important that she knows. She is planning on returning to Canada soon and this might be a long shot but does anyone know anything about living abroad and managing the disease? I am sorry if I am repeating other questions but it’s such a complicated topic and I am having trouble finding it where to start looking. I should add that she is currently in medication but it didn’t seem to be having a huge effect. Thanks a million for any help.

    Kimberly
    Online Facilitator
    Post count: 4264

    Hello and welcome – Although many doctors will tell patients to avoid massive sources of iodine (such as seaweed snacks or “thyroid support” supplements), there is not a formal requirement for a low-iodine diet. (The LID *is* recommended for patients who are going through a scan for thyroid cancer and is sometimes recommended prior to getting an uptake & scan to diagnose the cause of hyperthyroidism.)

    Most patients *are* advised to limit exercise until the hyperthyroidism is under control.

    One specific lifestyle change that has an impact with Graves’ is avoiding smoking and secondhand smoke.

    Hopefully, your girlfriend is in regular contact with her doctor and is getting lab tests done on a regular basis. Adjustments in dosing might be required based on lab results.

    It sound like her move is imminent, so it might be helpful to find out what it takes to get an appointment with an endocrinologist in Canada, as here in the USA, it can take some time to get a new patient appointment. (Not sure if Canada has the same issues). Also, one of the medications for Graves’ (PTU) was in short supply in Canada in 2020, so it would be good to follow up if that’s the med she is on. There are other options for medication if that’s the case.

    Wishing you and your girlfriend all the best!

    BigUgnk
    Post count: 2

    Hey Kimberly, thanks so much for the response. Your advice is great. I’m going to look into meeting up with an endocrinologist, hopefully I can sort something out. Thanks again!

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