The Wellness Q&A with Elaine Moore

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Heart disease antibodies and Graves
Last Post 05 Oct 2019 02:03 PM by Elaine Moore. 1 Replies.
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MoonycatchUser is Offline New Member New Member Posts:
02 Oct 2019 01:55 PM
    Hello Elaine,

    I developed Graves for the first time 4 months post partum on my first pregnancy. I went into remission a year later and got pregnant again, remained in remission until four months post partum again. This time things got scary, I relapsed hard and fast. My tricuspid valve was damaged in the process (it will never return to normal) and I developed pulmonary hypertension that has resolved thankfully. I went into remission 18 months after relapse but 3 weeks after stopping the anti thyroid drugs (neomercazole) my numbers have started rising again. I'm terrified of this thing attacking my heart again and doing permanent damage this time leaving me in perhaps permanent pulmonary hypertension with two young kids at home. I've been living in the shadow of this disease for 4 years now, have gained weight in the process (my body has stopped losing because of how much I lost and regained both times) and have just not felt 'right' for a very long time. My endocrinologist and I are starting to think that the only way to prevent heart damage aside from keeping me on meds (which are damaging my liver) is to remove the thyroid.

    I seem to be reading though that even without a thyroid my body could still produce those auto antibodies that attacked my heart if I had another baby for example, and then, I would be unable to get a direct handle on them (this time the neomercazole slowly brought them back to zero). Can you shed some light on the antibody process linked to the heart and if removing my thyroid would save my heart from further damage? Could a further pregnancy without a thyroid still trigger antibodies that would attack my heart? This seems to be a rare and very unwelcome side effect of Graves in my case. Thank you so much.
    Elaine MooreUser is Offline Veteran Member Veteran Member Posts:3133
    05 Oct 2019 02:03 PM
    Even after a thyroidectomy, your immune system can produce antibodies that target the heart. As for your liver, Graves' disease is a self limiting condition so you would just need meds until you move into remission. Neomercazole doesn't necessarily damage the liver. Like estrogens, acetaminophen and many other drugs liver damage is associated with inappropriately high doses.
    Also, most people who are in remission don't relapse after each pregnancy. TSH receptor antibodies rarely affect heart muscle and most cases have been in older people who had RAI in the past since this procedure causes a dramatic increase in TSH receptor antibodies.
    Carbimazole effectively reduces thyroid antibodies and so does acetyl-l-carnitine, selenium, low dose naltrexone, and dietary changes. One of the problems in hyperthyroidism is that it lowers levels of CoQ10 more than any other disease. Low levels of CoQ10 may be the real cause of your heart problems, rather than the thyroid antibodies, since you're young. You could ask about having a CoQ10 level or do some research on this. I take 200 mg a day of ubiquinol, the active form.
    best, elaine
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