How to recognize the signs of Graves’ disease

HOUSTON – Graves’ disease recently made headlines when TV host Wendy Williams announced she’s taking a break from her show after a diagnosis of the illness.

When Williams passed out on her Halloween program, Houston Pilates instructor and nutritionist, Crystal Hadnott, immediately recognized what was happening because the same thing happened to her.

“Individually the symptoms seem to be normal,” Hadnott explained “I had hand tremors but I didn’t think anything of it. I thought it was because I was not getting enough sleep. I also passed out but I thought it was because I didn’t get enough sleep.”

According to Houston Thyroid & Endocrinespecialists, Graves’ disease can be caused by: gender (most common in females), genetics and smoking.

Hadnott tries to treat with exercise and diet alone but there are medications to manage the illness, and doctors strongly recommend them.

“You really don’t have to just rely on fruits and vegetables making you well and there’s certainly a place for that and those things are very good, but I encourage all patients to couple that plan with medicine,” said Dr. Robbyn Traylor, of Next Level Urgent Care.

Symptoms of Graves’ disease can range from bulging eyes to weight loss.

“A lot of people would be like, ‘Oh! My God! That’s great. You don’t have to worry about gaining weight,’” Hadnott said. “No. That means you’re also not holding any nutrients but you’re also burning muscle and not burning fat.”

Which means even long-time athletes like Hadnott, who has already run four marathons this year, have a difficult time maintaining strength.

Fortunately, Hadnott owns Synergy Total Holistic Health and Wellness, where she can work on building muscles.

“I have to work twice as hard but at the same time playing the balancing act of not overstressing the body, trying to build muscle, because you can’t overstress your body at the same time,” she said.

Hadnott said she has had heart complications because of Graves’ disease and did take medications for that condition.

She also did a detox at her home because she suspected chemicals in her home were contributing to her symptoms.

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