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What Is [Graves Disease], Thyroid gland shows the larynx and trachea, Thyroid Gland Open Popup Dialog
[What Is Graves Disease], [Graves’ disease] is a disorder of the immune system that results in over production of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism). Although several conditions can cause hyperthyroidism, Graves’ disease remains a common cause. Thyroid hormones affect many body systems, so the signs and symptoms of Graves’ disease can vary. Although [Graves’ disease] can affect anyone, it remains more common in women and people under 40.
The main treatment goals are to reduce the number of thyroid hormones the body makes and to lessen the severity of symptoms.
Common signs and indications of Graves illness contain:
- Nervousness and irritability
- A fine tremor of the fingers or hands
- Sensitivity to heat and increased perspiration or hot, clammy skin
- Weight loss, despite everyday eating habits.
- Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
- Change in menstrual cycles
- Erectile dysfunction or decreased libido
- common bowel actions
- Bulging eyes [Graves’ ophthalmopathy]
- Red skin, frequently on the shins or tops of the feet [Graves’ dermopathy]
- Fast or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
- Sleep disturbance
- Graves’ ophthalmopathy
- Ocular complications associated with Graves’ disease
- Graves’ Ophthalmopathy Open Popup Dialog
About 30 percent of people with [Graves’ disease] show some signs and symptoms of Graves’ ophthalmopathy. In Graves’ ophthalmopathy, inflammation. And also, other immune system events affect the muscles and other tissues around the eyes. Signs and symptoms may include:
- Bulging eyes
- Sandy is feeling in the eyes.
- Pressure or pain in the eyes
- Puffy or retracted eyelids
- Red or swollen eyes
- light sensitivity
- Double vision
- Sight loss
A rare manifestation of [Graves’ disease], called Graves’ dermopathy, is redness and thickening of the skin, most often on the shins or the tops of the feet.
When To See a Doctor
Various medical conditions can cause the signs and symptoms of Graves’ disease. See your specialist if you experience any potential problems associated with Graves’ disease for a quick and accurate diagnosis.
Seek emergency care if you experience heart-related signs and symptoms, such as a fast or irregular heartbeat, or if you develop vision loss.
Graves’ disease remains caused by malfunctioning of the body’s disease-fighting immune system. Why this happens is unknown.
The immune system typically produces antibodies to attack a specific virus, bacteria, or other foreign substance. However, in Graves’ disease, for reasons that are not well understood, the immune system makes an antibody against part of the cells in the hormone-producing gland in the neck (thyroid gland).
Thyroid function remains regulated by a hormone released by a small gland at the base of the brain (pituitary gland). The antibody associated with Graves’ disease, thyrotropin receptor antibody (TRAb), acts as the regulatory pituitary hormone. That means that TRAb overrides normal thyroid regulation. As a result, it causes an overproduction of thyroid hormones [hyperthyroidism].
Cause of Graves’ Ophthalmopathy
Graves’ ophthalmopathy results from a build-up of certain carbohydrates in the muscles and tissues behind the eyes, the cause of which is also unknown. The same antibody that can cause thyroid dysfunction may also have an “attraction” to the tissues surrounding the eyes.
Graves’ ophthalmopathy usually appears at the same time as hyperthyroidism or several months later. But the signs and symptoms of ophthalmopathy can appear years before or after the onset of hyperthyroidism. In addition, graves’ ophthalmopathy can occur even if there is no hyperthyroidism.
Although anyone can develop Graves’ disease, many factors can increase the risk of the disease, including:
- Family history. Since a family history of Graves’ disease is a known risk factor, a gene or genetic factor remains likely that can make a person more susceptible to the disorder.
- Women remain much more likely to develop Graves’ disease than men.
- Graves’ disease usually develops in people before the age of 40.
- Other autoimmune disorders. People with other immune system disorders, such as type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, are at higher risk.
- Emotional or physical stress. Stressful life events or illnesses can act as triggers for the development of Graves’ disease among people who have genes that increase their risk.
- The pregnancy. Recent pregnancy or childbirth can increase the risk of the disease, particularly among women with genes that increase the risk of smoking. Cigarette smoking, which can touch the immune system, upsurges the risk of Graves’ disease. In addition, Graves’ disease smokers are at increased risk of developing Graves’ ophthalmopathy.
Complications of Graves’ disease can include:
Possible problems of Graves’ disease during pregnancy include miscarriage, premature delivery, fetal thyroid dysfunction, poor fetal growth, maternal heart failure, and preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a maternal condition that causes high blood pressure and other severe signs and symptoms.
If left untreated, Graves’ disease can cause heart rhythm disorders, changes in the heart muscles’ structure and function, and the heart’s inability to pump enough blood to the body [heart failure].
A rare but life-threatening difficulty of [Graves disease] remains a thyroid storm. Also known as accelerated thyrotoxicosis or thyrotoxic crisis. It is more likely when severe hyperthyroidism remains untreated or inadequately treated.