Graves disease and Exercise.

Posted , 4 users are following.

I have very recently been diagnosed with Graves. Like some others, I initially thought it was menopause as I am 46.

I am a member of a long distance cycling club, and it was my cycling that finally made me think it was something else. I spent all of August feeling awlful, thinking a virus was lurking but not coming out.

Then in September I did a cycling event, that I simply did not enjoy one bit, which is very unlike me. That evening, having cycled 80 miles, my heart rate bounced about madly and raced so fast I couldnt count it even after 5 hours of resting quietly. It was a frightening experience. Then once home, I had another event the following weekend and failed to finish it.

I then made an appointment and Graves was diagnosed. I am currently taking 40mg of Carbimozole.

Thing is, no one has said I should or should not exercise.

What is your experience of this?

I currently average about 100 miles per week, mostly at weekends. I am still losing weight at a rate of 1 pound per week, but I have a bit to spare so Im not worried about this.

Last weekend, I completed a short event, but struggled to keep up with the others, and my legs and arms felt very 'bloodless' and tired.

Wish I had asked my endocrinologist, but its going to be 3 months before I see him again. My own GP told me not to over do it, but what exactly IS over doing it?



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  • Posted


    I was told not to exercise until my thyroid was under control. That was a year ago and I have just been told I can now start aerobic exercise again. I am now on 5mg Carbimazole and have piled on the weight, unfortunately.

    I have Graves which caused the overactive thyroid. I am nervous about starting exercise again in case my heart races. I was told by the GP that I will be ok but after spending 9 hours in Resus last year with a heartrate of 220, you can understand my reluctance.

    I found I couldn't exercise when I was first diagnosed as my muscles just went. I had to be pushed up the stairs by me husband and I gave up work.

    I am on the mend now and have started a new job. No one can really underatand how poorly you are with Graves/Hyperthyroidism.

    My advice would be to go with the flow and give in when your muscles tell you. You'll get better if you listen to your body.

    Hope this helps.


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  • Posted

    I'm male 27 and I started having Graves Disease around 4 years ago and had perhaps two relapses since. I realise that every time I suffer from symptoms of hyperthyroid, it was always a few months after some stressful events in life.

    Whenever I am upset, like you I love to cycle long distances too! It makes me forget about all the stressful things in life. So I don't really know whether it's the stress or exercises that's triggering the thyroid problems. My gut feeling is that it's caused by stress.


    I'm on carbimazole and have my condition under control. I think from now on I'll continue to cycle as it makes me happy, except I wouldn't push myself too hard. In addition, I bought a smart watch to monitor my own heart rate 24/7, hoping that I can find the answer if it relapses again.

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  • Posted

    I feel your pain. I'm an ex royal marine and currently a police officer and I'm in the process of recruiting for a specialist role which requires a fitness test. I was "cleared" of graves by my endo in December and I no longer take any meds. However one thing I noticed since the beginning of my illness some 2 years ago now is my level of fitness and my lack of ability to push like I used to. I just don't have it in me. I used to run the bleep test and would easily push to level 14-15. Now I'm just about getting to 10 and I feel it for the rest of the day. In the gym I can't push heavy and when I do I'm out of breath. I'm pushing again this for as long as I can to see if I can regain some of that fitness I once had but it seems graves and fitness don't mix.

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