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Reducing Inflammation in Graves' Disease and Other Autoimmune Disorders

By Elaine Moore on 10/22/2012

In Graves' disease, the thyroid gland is characterized by marked inflammation. Lymphocytic infiltration is the term most often used, and it means that the thyroid gland is loaded with white blood cells that ultimately lead to autoantibody production. One of the key components in achieving remission in Graves' disease is reducing thyroid antibodies and this is helped by halting the inflammatory process.

Similar to the case in other autoimmune diseases, for instance in type 1 diabetes where inflammation begins in the pancreas, inflammation may not be readily apparent because it's rooted in the body's organs. The usual swelling and redness seen in the inflammatory stage of wound healing is absent and this can lead patients to ignore the importance of inflammation as part of the autoimmune disease process.

Inflammation can be reduced through a healthy diet, for instance, by avoiding sugar and saturated fats, both of which are known to promote inflammation. One of the best supplements used to reduce inflammation is fish oil. It's even being marketed now as a higher dose prescription drug. In a new landmark study, researchers found that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil cause the production of pro-resolution molecules such as lipoxin, resolvin, and protectin that initiate a mechanism designed to halt inflammation. Doses of 2 to 6 grams/day of fish oil have been found to dramatically and quickly halt new inflammation and heal chronic inflammation.


Serhan, Charles, Chiang, Nan, and Thomas Van Dyke. 2008. "Resolving Inflammation: Dual anti-inflammatory and pro-resolution lipid mediators," National Review of Immunology, May, 8 (5): 349-61.

Bronwell, Logan, "Groundbreaking Study Reveals New Mechanism Behind Fish Oil's Health Benefits," Life Extension, Sept 2012: 27-35.

Alternative medicine
Autoimmune diseases
Graves' Disease
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