Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Sir Robert Graves described the disease in the early 19th century. It is the common kind of all different types of thyroid problems. The Grave’s disease is also the reason behind the enhancement of the thyroid glands that produce an excess of hormones, leading to the condition known as hyperthyroidism.

If it is possible to identify the disease in the early stage, it becomes simple to provide treatment to the condition. Only in rare cases, the disease disappears entirely or remissions after a few months or years. Nonetheless, leaving the illness untreated produces severe complications, which in particular circumstances leads to death. Receiving prompt attention will be helpful in overcoming long-term health consequences.

What is the Main Cause of Grave’s Disease?

Hormones are responsible for controlling the metabolism of the human body, which the thyroid gland releases in a controlled manner. These hormones are also responsible for converting food into energy. If there is an increase in the secretion of hormones by the thyroid glands, there is a change in the metabolism rate that causes trembling, sweating, increase in the heart pounding, and weight loss. The thyroid glands receive the production order of the hormones from a different chemical known as the thyroid-stimulating hormone. The pituitary gland present in the brain releases the thyroid-stimulating hormones chemical production of hormones as and when needed.

However, when a person is suffering from Grave’s disease, there is a malfunction in the immune system that causes excessive release of antibodies. These antibodies are responsible for mimicking thyroid-stimulating hormones. Due to the false signals, the thyroid glands begin producing hormones by working overtime and exceeding the standard quota. It is still unclear why the immune system produces the antibodies. However, doctors state that hereditary has a crucial role to play apart from others.

Additionally, the occurrence of the disease is higher in women than men. Both environmental and genetic factors are responsible for causing Graves’ disease.

Symptoms of Grave’s Disease

The following are the symptoms of Graves' disease:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased nervousness
  • Weight loss
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Increased bowel movements
  • Muscle weakness
  • Trembling hands
  • Enlargement of the thyroid gland
  • Bulging eyes
  • Thickened, lumpy, and reddish skin

Diagnosing the Presence of Grave’s Disease

It is possible to recognize the presence of Grave’s disease with the help of one or two tests. However, depending on the overall health condition of the patient, a doctor can opt for numerous methods to crosscheck the findings and rule out other disorders. A blood test will be helpful in identifying the different levels of hormones. However, the doctor will look for free thyroxine and triiodothyronine. The thyroid gland regulates the production of these two hormone levels in the blood. The blood test is also helpful in finding out the presence of antibodies that are responsible for mimicking thyroid-stimulating hormone.

Additional tests include radioactive iodine uptake test, that is helpful in displaying the presence of large quantities of iodine in the thyroid gland. It is essential for thyroid glands to utilize iodine for the production of thyroid hormones. However, when there is a spike in the use of iodine, the thyroid glands are producing excessive hormones.

If the patient is suffering only from bulging eyeballs, the doctor will run a blood test to confirm the presence of hyperthyroidism, as it is uncommon for the presence of eye disorder to appear only during Graves’ disease. Additional tests include the use of ultrasound, CT scan, and magnetic resonance imaging. The results obtained from the tests will be helpful in use ruling out other disorders.

Conclusion

It is possible to treat your disease by identifying it in the early stage and using beta blockers such as metoprolol, propranolol, and atenolol.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 16, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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