10 Reasons Why You Should Do Yoga If You Have Graves’ Disease

Photo: My recent visit to Jamaica.

Before you continue reading this post, please speak with your doctor prior to participating in any physical activity such as yoga. For some Gravesters, exercise may be dangerous. This is recommend only to those who have underwent thyroid ablation via RAI, thyroidectomy and are no longer experiencing hyper symptoms, or for those who are in remission.

Here are a few reasons why you should practice yoga if you have Graves’ disease.

  1. Opportunity to tell your brain to STFU -Let’s face it, Graves’ Disease can come with a serious case of the crazies. The anxiety, the sleepless nights, the hopelessness one feels after being diagnosed just truly SUCKS! Yoga is a great way to change your perspective and will teach you to be in the moment instead of worrying about the things we cannot control.
  2. Where the breath goes the mind follows – Yoga is about focusing on your breath. And well, you can’t really think about two things at once, so it’s a great way to put the Graves’ anxiety on the back burner.
  3. Rewire your brain – Yoga has been scientifically proven to help rewire the brain by changing dysfunctional behaviors. Those of us with Graves’ can really benefit by cutting out unheatly habits and thoughts. This article explains this in more detail see the part on “Neuroplasticity.”
  4. Say “hasta la vista” to stress – Yoga can activate the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) through the awareness we draw into our body with our breath. PNS is part of the nervous system that controls our body’s involuntary processes, such as our heart beat, digestive movements, etc. By exercising the PNS, we can train our body to recover more efficiently from stress.
  5. Boost your immune system – By reducing stress through yoga, you’re also building a strong immune system. Check out more information here. 
  6. Sense of community – Yoga gives us access to a set of new friends. Join a yoga studio that fosters a strong sense of community.
  7. Something positive to think about – If you’re like me, you’ll become addicted to yoga immediately. . . You’ll want to eat breathe and live yoga. It’ll be the only thing you’ll think about, which beats thinking about other things with Graves’ – like, are my eyeballs going to pop out of my head.
  8. New perspective – As you begin to practice yoga, you’ll soon learn that each pose or asana has a visual focal point or a drishti. As you’re twisting and turning, you’ll literally begin to see the world from different angles. And well, sometimes, the solution to a problem is simply to change your perspective. I became very depressed after my Graves’ diagnosis. I thought it was the end of my world. However, I decided that I needed to change my perspective. I now think Graves’ was probably the best thing that has ever happened to me, because of all the lessons I’ve learned.
  9. Sense of accomplishment – Yoga is not about doing each pose perfectly. It’s about working towards it, even if it takes us two years to finally do a headstand. The little victories we see each day in our practice, feel great!
  10. It will change your life – ‘Nuff said.
I am not a doctor and the content on this blog is not medical advice. This is simply my experience with Graves Disease, and all thoughts expressed on this blog are my opinions. Please consult a doctor if you think you have Graves Disease or prior to taking any action that may affect your outcome with Graves Disease. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

7 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why You Should Do Yoga If You Have Graves’ Disease

  • My gosh, I love your blog. You’re describing me to anT! I was just diagnosed with Graves in Sept 2018 so its been a roller coaster of just about everything. Perfect time to restart yoga, yes it has! And yes, I do think about what if my eyeballs pop out of my head! 😉 So glad to hear you are doing great! keep on posting.

    • Thank you Nathalie! I wish you all the best! You got this. If you were previously diagnosed, just be careful with exercise, especially if you have any cardio symptoms. It’s a great time to start a meditation practice. I hope you feel better soon! Things will get better soon!

  • Hi – I’m newly diagnosed with Graves and slightly terrified of all the options. It sounds like you had a good experience with RAI? I am afraid of this for a few reasons, and also curious about the implications with my young children, of whom I’m the main caretaker. Any further insight you could provide would be great. Thank you for blogging about this, there’s not as much information out there as I thought there might be!

    • Hi Sarah! I’m happy to hear you’ve found this information helpful. I do not regret RAI at all. It’s been more than a year, and finally all my levels are in range and my recent tests tested negative for the antibodies. I suggest speaking to your doctor to find out about the risks of RAI when it comes to children. Keeping your distance is very important especially during the first few days. A young child may not understand why they cannot be near their mom, and is this will be very tough for them to understand. You also have to consider things like food preparation (you should not be preparing food for children), and you’ll have to take precautions to not expose them to unnecessary radiation. Is there someone who can assist you with your children? You should weigh all the pros and cons of each option and perhaps this will also help you with your choice. I personally was terrified of surgery, (my doctor did not recommend it, unless I was considering having kids immediately) and I did not want to risk having my symptoms come back so I definitely wanted a permanent fix. My diagnosis was made late July/August of 2015, but it took me a few months to make the decision. If you’re taking medication and if your symptoms are under control don’t feel like you need to rush into making a choice. Please feel free to come back and share your story.

  • Graves ’ Disease is an immune system disease that influences the thyroid organ. Graves ’ Disease Herbal Treatment that can help you treat the side effects and carry on with a moderately ordinary life. Herbal Supplements play a vital role in the treatment of grave sicknesses.

  • The fact that you can do yoga is so inspiring to me, I’m 2 weeks out of my RAdioactive iodine treatment. My heart beats so fast I went to the ER Tuesday and my muscles are so weak it takes me awhile to get up. It gives me hope that their is a light at the end of the tunnel! Because right now I’m feeling so down, but knowing one day I’ll be able to live like I used to will keep me going

    • Hi Teresa! Thank you for stopping by. Hang in there. It’s normal to feel hyper during the first couple of weeks after RAI. I had hyper symptoms up until week 4 or 5 and had to continue taking Propanalol… Be very patient, it won’t be a quick recovery but you will get there! You’ll feel even better than before! Now that I actually feel normal, I didn’t realize how sick I was before.

      I’m stronger both physically and mentally than I ever was before. I wish the same for you! Please keep me posted on your progress!

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