Graves' Disease
Comments 25

Grave Diagnosis and Diet

The diagnosis

I have Graves’ Disease. It sounds ominous and is characterised by hyperthyroidism. Since being diagnosed with Graves’ Disease a month ago, I’ve been reviewing my eating habits. I’ve lost around 7kg (15lb) due to illness, most of this is muscle so I’ve been super hungry and craving protein like a mofo.

I’m on medication but I feel there is more that I can do than just popping a bunch of pills. I’m not going to get into my other symptoms here (I am a textbook case) but I’m focusing on improving my overall health through diet.

In the last month…

I’ve been focussing on eating whole foods with specific nutritional benefits. I’ve cut out pasta completely and have only had bread a couple of times. I bought a gluten free loaf which a few slices remain. I haven’t eaten much rice or rice noodles but have them once or twice a week. I’ve had 1 coffee since I have been diagnosed and an average of 2 alcoholic beverages a week. I was surprised at myself that I could quit coffee so easily but alcohol I have found, is my weakness. A blessing is that I’m learning to drive and volunteering to be sober driver at every social occasion has made it easier for me not to imbibe.


Now, I’m a firm believer in moderation and workable diets. If I hate this diet, I’m not going to stick to it, or worse, I’m gonna binge. So I’m going to start allowing more coffee, 1-2 per week when I really must have it.

Not being able to eat cured meats is cruel. I haven’t had ham or bacon since being diagnosed but plan on enjoying it once or twice a month. I haven’t cut out seafood completely, but there’s a lot of good stuff in seafood too which I think neutralises the “No Iodiene” rule. So I’m researching which seafoods have less iodine or more nutrients and eating them in moderation.

Whole foods

Instead of following a strict Graves’ disease diet, base I’m basing my meals on fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and healthy fats.  I am getting The Honesty Box delivered every week now and with about 10kg of fruit and vege for two of us get through every single week, I always have fresh fruit and vegetables to eat.

IMPORTANT! Please note, I’m not a dietician, doctor or nutritionist. I’m just a home cook with Grave’s Disease. This is based on the research I have done on the disease and writing a plan that I feel I can live with. If any of this sounds off to you, please email me or comment below.

Red russian kale and kale chips

Red russian kale and kale chips

Graves’ Disease Eat More

Enjoy: Vitamin D, Goitrogens, Protein, antioxidants

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Cheese
  • Chicken (turkey)
  • Egg whites
  • Fresh water fish
  • Kale
  • Liver
  • Millet
  • Miso
  • Mushrooms (UV treated)
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Peas
  • Raw nuts (brazil, almond)
  • Salmon
  • Spinach
  • Water
  • Yogurt


Graves’ Disease Eat Less

Avoid: Carbs, Iodine, Gluten

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Cured meats
  • Egg yolks
  • Fresh soy
  • Gluten/Wheat (Pasta, Bread)
  • Iodized salt
  • MSG
  • Processed food
  • Seafood
  • Seaweed
  • Shellfish

Further reading

  2. Graves’ Disease And Hyperthyroidism: What You Must Know Before They Zap Your Thyroid With Radioactive Iodine by Zaidi MD, Sarfraz 



  1. I”m sorry to hear about this but I think you’re doing a great job on re-thinking your whole diet. If I hear anything that could be of help I’ll tell you. Thank fully the no coffee is ok, I don’t have much coffee but can definitely feel the awful difference when I don’t have my daily dose of caffeine! Take care xxx

    • Thanks Sofia. I’ve always been one of those people that doesn’t tolerate fussy eaters. I hate to think I might end up there! But as long as I eat well at home, I plan on being relaxed when eating out.

      Since diagnosis and giving up coffee, I do feel more tired than usual, but to be honest, caffeine gives me energy but doesn’t stop me from being tired. Does that make sense? After a coffee, I could bounce off the walls, but my eyes would still like to sleep.

  2. This is such an informative blog post. It’s great to hear that you are being so proactive and learning so much.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear this Genie, what a shame to have to deal with an illness like this at such a young age. You’re doing a great job with the changes you’ve made to your diet already, congratulations.
    Alcohol would be a really tough one to give up, you’re doing great. Eating lots of vegetables will at least get you in Tofu’s good books, he may even share some with you!

    • Tofu is a great inspiration to me 🙂 Yes, diet changes for a rich-food loving foodie like me may be difficult but luckily I have no identified allergies and don’t have to give up all the things I love to eat, just a few.

  4. Pang says

    I am so sorry to hear that. Hope you feel better soon. Your lists are actually the ones we should all follow; I will do this diet with you, in moderation, of course 🙂

    • Aww Pang, you are very sweet. One of the things about this diet is it wasn’t so much a crazy diet, but one that makes a lot of sense. Minus the seafood though. I would love a seafood filled diet!

  5. Genie, I’m so sorry to hear this news! Why’d they have to give it such a creepy name?! At least you’re handling it like a champ and keeping your good humour about it. I agree with what you said in response to Peng’s comment – it’s not an insane diet. It actually sounds like something we could all follow. I’ll be thinking of you! Take care, girl.

    • Thanks for your kind words. It’s just unfortunate that Dr Robert James Graves, named it after himself. Things might have turned out differently if he was Dr Robert James Awesome.

  6. I’ m sorry to hear this. Can you eat Chia seeds, flax seeds? They consist omega 3 and calcium, also hemp powder consist a lot of omega 3.6.9 and protein, sprouted brown rice powder also consist protein, pumpkin seeds, walnuts all of them consist many vitamins and minerals . I hope you can reduce pills intakes by right diet at least

    • Hi Oxana, I’m pretty sure all the things you have mentioned will be good for me to add to my current diet. I’m eating nuts at the moment, I bought a kil bag of raw mixed nuts and have sunflower seeds at home, but I don’t have the other stuff you mentioned so I will look into them too.

  7. Aw my dear, sorry to hear about that. My sister is having weird things that I always thought could be Graves, but shes not been diagnosed with anything yet. Good luck with your new diet. It sounds super healthy!

    • Thanks sweetie. Good luck to your sister. I have to be honest, I was relieved to be diagnosed. Not knowing means you can’t take any action or you start to doubt your symptoms.

  8. I’m sorry to have to welcome you to the world of auto-immune disease…but as you say, having a diagnosis tends to be a relief. Your new diet sounds really sensible, and as time goes on you’ll realise what triggers you and what your body can handle. Well done on how well you appear to be managing it so far. 🙂

I love your comments! Your comments are like extra melted cheese on top.

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