Grave’s Disease, is very common and the most common cause of the hypothyroidism. It usually affects the people between the age of 30 and 50, but it can occur at any age. The disease is eight times more common in women as compared to men. The chance of developing Graves’ disease increases if you have a family history of the same. Sometimes the early symptoms of the disease are very easy to diagnose, but if diagnosed timely it can help to avoid the complications of the disease.
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What is Graves’ Disease?
It is an autoimmune disorder that causes hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid. In this disease, the immune system attacks the thyroid and causes it to make more thyroid hormone which the body needs. The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped organ in the front of your neck. Thyroid hormones work to control how the body uses energy, so they affect almost all nearly organs in your body even the way your heartbeats.
What are the Symptoms of Grave’s Disease?
The early symptoms of the disease can be similar to some other conditions and make diagnosis difficult. Some common symptoms include:
- Anxiety, tremors, restlessness, irritability, difficulty sleeping
- Sweating, heat intolerance
- Chest pain, palpitations
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Increased stool frequency
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Muscle weakness
- Difficulty controlling diabetes
- Prominent, bulging eyes
- Vision problems
Later Signs and Symptoms of the Disease:
If Grave’s disease lest untreated, physical signs and symptoms can develop. like:
Goiter: It is an enlarged thyroid gland which is related to Grave’s disease is a diffuse thyrotoxic goiter. As your thyroid gets bigger, the patient’s neck can begin to look swollen. Sometimes it makes swallowing difficult which causes coughing and can disrupt sleep.
Eye Problems: These are also connected to Graves’ disease can go from very mild to very severe. Less severe but still bothersome eye problem symptoms include red eye, tearing, a feeling of dust or sand in the eye(s), and sensitivity to light. Eye problem related to Graves’ disease which is called Graves’ ophthalmopathy.
Skin Thickening: Some patients who are suffering from Grave’s disease can develop thickening of the skin over the front of the lower leg which is called the tibia. This disorder also causes skin lesions which are patchy and pink skin. The other areas of skin are affected rarely. This type of skin problem is also known as pretibial myxedema.
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What causes Graves’ Disease?
It is not clear why some people develop autoimmune disorders like Graves’ disease. It is probably developed from a combination of genes as well as an outside trigger, like a virus.
With the disease, the immune system makes an antibody which is called thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI), it attaches to thyroid cells. These antibodies (TSI) acts like a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), a hormone made in the pituitary gland which tells the thyroid how much thyroid hormone to make. TSI (thyroid-stimulating hormone) causes the thyroid to make too much thyroid hormone.
Is Graves’ Disease a Problem During Pregnancy?
Thyroid hormone levels which are slightly higher are usually not a problem in pregnancy. However, more severe hyperthyroidism which isn’t treated can affect both the mother as well as the baby. If you are dealing with the Graves’ disease, be sure your hyperthyroidism is under control before getting pregnant.
Grave’s disease which is the known cause of hyperthyroidism, it should not be ignored. If you find any early symptoms of the disease then consult your doctor to avoid complications.
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