AnonymousOctober 21, 1996 at 3:09 pmPost count: 93172
My objection to Dr. Stoll is that he presented himself as an authority on Graves’ disease while not even understanding the physiological process that causes it. He said stress causes the pituitary to stimulate the thyroid to over-produce, (NOT true, because the pituitary (TSH) stops functioning entirely with Graves’ Disease. . .the thyroid makes too much on its OWN in response to auto-immune antibodies) and made it sound like stress management techniques could make it stop. That could be very dangerous for someone who believes him.
I have spent the last ten years changing the way I look at my life and the way I deal with external stressors. I was comfortable with the balance of my life and my responses to stress, already. I’d learned to notice the fight/flight response in my body and get it in a relaxed state. I made certain to have my personal quiet time every day, to think and relax and just BE. I went through an extended course in traditional counseling, and worked on my relationship with myself and others. The last several years I had been seeking medical treatment for problems like diarrhea and was told when no physical cause could be found, that stress was the cause. I began having other stress-like responses in my body, even so (palpitations and nervousness, for example), and started to believe the doctor that stress was responsible for my diarrhea. I began to meditate, and consulted a hypnotherapist, and used herbal treatments, read Depok Chopra and listened to all his tapes, all to no avail. (It turns out I had un-diagnosed Graves’ disease.) Doctors used to think ulcers were caused by stress, but now they know a bacteria is usually responsible. I think to say that Graves’ is caused by stress is a real cop-out. We ALL have stress, and I know our bodies react to it, and our immune systems react to it. I think it’s very helpful to meditate and stay relaxed, and learn the skills for coping with modern living without suffering stress responses. Doing that didn’t prevent me from getting Graves’ Disease. The SYMPTOMS of Graves’ Disease mimic a stress response. I think that is why some doctors think stress causes it. This is a case of which came first, the chicken or the egg. Since my Graves’ Disease began during the time of my life I was most at peace from both external and internal perspectives, I do not believe that stress caused it in me. Modern living is stressful for EVERYONE!
What does cause Graves’ Disease? The jury is out on that one! Genetic factors seem to play a major role. I know people who handle stress abominably and who NEVER get sick. I have ALWAYS caught every bug that came along, and been sicker more often and longer than others. My daughter is that way too, while my son seldom gets sick, like his father. The effects of environmental pollution on our bodies and immune systems can’t be ruled out as a factor, either. Doctors are not anywhere close to understanding everything about disease. I hope everyone in this newsgroup strives to improve stress-coping skills and optimize physical/emotional health by whatever means are available to do that. We need to learn all we can and keep an open mind, but to use a little discrimination while doing that, meaning not to believe everything you read, such as what Dr. Stoll said about Graves’ Disease.
Thanks for listening to my rambling!
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