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Archive for November, 2010

Graves disease,…what a wonderfully complicated disease. When I first got it, I noticed that I got bad eczema on both my knees.  Previously in my life, I have had, very rarely, mild eczema on my elbows.  I have noticed that since GD, I have had more patches and more frequently. Fortunately, my knees have cleared up, but I do get more frequent flare ups on my elbows. I even had a very small, but very itchy patch on my thigh.

Update: I’m not sure if it’s eczema or psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune disease. It occurs when the immune system sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. The most common form, plaque psoriasis, is commonly seen as red and white hues of scaly patches appearing on the top first layer of the epidermis (skin).

In contrast, eczema is broadly applied to a range of persistent skin conditions, including dryness and recurring skin rashes that are characterized by one or more of these symptoms: redness, skin edema (swelling), itching and dryness, crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, oozing, or bleeding. Areas of temporary skin discoloration may appear and are sometimes due to healed injuries. Scratching open a healing lesion may result in scarring and may enlarge the rash. Eczema may be confused with urticaria. In contrast to psoriasis, eczema is often likely to be found on the flexor aspect of joints (which is where I have it).

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I’d stumbled across this site before, but it has a lot of really interesting theories about Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) / Graves Ophthamology. ttp://www.ithyroid.com/thyroid_eye_disease.htm 

NOTE: My eyes got better after 1 year of constant puffiness and flare-ups – it just stopped. I have some remaining puffiness, particularly under my left eye, but they don’t flare up the way they used to!  Good luck to all!

Here are some interesting facts and theories about TED from this site. If you are desperate (as I am) to at least improve your TED, then these might be worth giving a shot. Please comment if any have worked for you.

1. Pass the Potassium

When potassium is deficient the cell membrane allows more water to enter the cell than escape so cells swell up with water. This is manifested in people as edema and many hypers report gaining weight (me!) on very little calorie intake and generally having edema. Myxedema which is another form of edema and which is seen in Graves’ as pretibial myxedema or orbital fibroblast proliferation may have the same origin: from potassium deficiency. I consider it quite likely that potassium deficiency is a major contributing cause to TED and worthy of further investigation. However, I doubt if potassium deficiency is the only cause. Most likely it is one of several deficiencies whose combination leads to the condition.

Of these symptoms of postassium deficiency, I have highlighted the ones I have

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