Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Is Grave's disease Inherited?

The answer to this question whether Grave’s disease is inherited or not is uncertain. Grave’s disease is an autoimmune disorder, which may be caused due to numerous environmental and genetic factors. However, studies show that it can occur in cluster in a particular family due to similar type of environmental conditions or genetic makeup or if there is someone in close relation with Grave’s disease or any other similar disorder, the chances of developing the disease increases.

Is Grave's disease Inherited?

What makes Grave’s disease an Auto Immune Disease?

Patient suffering from Grave’s disease will suffer from the over production of Thyroxin hormone. The thyroid gland, which is present at the neck is attacked by auto immune system which leads it to produce too much of thyroxin hormone. Thyroid gland is also known as the master gland of the body and the hormones released by it are very essential for regulating the metabolism of the body. When these hormones are released in excessive quantity they increase up the body’s normal functioning and metabolism producing symptoms like tachycardia, nervousness, weight loss, and heat intolerance.

Specific Signs and Symptoms

The above symptoms are the general symptoms of Grave’s disease; the most prominent symptoms include bulging eyes in which the eyes appear protruded outwards. This condition is known as Exophthalmos. Around 50% of the people suffering from Grave’s disease suffer from bulging eyes. While maximum patients of Grave’s disease suffer from bulging eyes, there are some patients who suffer from a skin disorder, which is known as Grave’s Dermopathy or Petibial Myxedema. In this condition, the skin of the front side of lower legs and the top of feet becomes lumpy, thick and red giving it an unusual appearance, but generally does not cause pain.

The frequency of grave’s disease is about 0.5% i.e. it happens in only one person out of 200. It is more common in females then in males. The most common cause of the disease is the over activity of thyroid gland or hyperthyroidism.

Genetic Variations in Grave’s disease

It is certain that Grave’s disease results due to numerous genetic and environmental factors. The exact reason of it is still unknown, but some reasons have been identified. It is an auto immune disease so the main cause is the body’s immune system attacking its own organs and tissues. Our own body synthesizes antibodies, which are known as Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulin or TSI. This gives signals to thyroid to produce more and more hormones and thus the level of hormone increases abnormally. This increased level of hormone produces the common as well as the specific symptoms of Grave’s disease.

The chance of developing other autoimmune diseases is more in the people having Grave’s disease. The risk of Addison’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, pernicious anemia, type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases increase if the person is already suffering from Grave’s disease.

There are some variations in the genes of humans which have been considered as the probable risk factor of causing Grave’s disease. These genes are a part of a group of genes which are known as Human Leukocyte Antigen complex. This complex is known to help the immune system in differentiating between the body’s own protein and those produced by foreign bodies like some antigens. Any kind of changes in these genes is likely to be responsible for auto immune disorder. Other genes which are possibly associated with the Grave’s disease are those, which help in regulating the normal thyroid functioning and the normal functioning of our immune system.

Although it is said that the genetic variations also contribute in the Grave’s disease, but their contribution is very small.

Conclusion

Although it is said that the genetic variations also contribute in the Grave’s disease, but their contribution is very small.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: August 16, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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