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Graves' disease is a disease of the thyroid gland. Graves' disease results in an abnormal overactivity of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located in the front part of the neck, and the thyroid hormone it produces is vital to normal metabolism. In Graves' disease the thyroid is stimulated to produce too much thyroid hormone. Graves' disease is also called hyperthyroidism.
Increased production of thyroid hormone in Graves' disease leads to a stimulation or quickening of the body's metabolism. This results in symptoms of Graves' disease that include nervousness, anxiety, irritability, weight loss, bulging eyes, and hypertension. Graves' disease may also lead to serious, potentially life-threatening complications. For more details on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of Graves' disease.
Graves' disease can occur when the thyroid gland is attacked by the body's own immune system and causes it to become overactive and produce too much thyroid hormone. This form of Graves' disease is a type of autoimmune thyroid disease.
Graves' disease can also be caused by the growth of a thyroid nodule on the thyroid gland. A thyroid nodule is a noncancerous cyst that produces additional thyroid hormone, resulting in hyperthyroidism (high levels of thyroid hormone).
Making a diagnosis of Graves' disease begins with taking a thorough medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. A physician or health care provider may feel larger than normal thyroid gland or goiter in the neck.
A blood test is performed to determine levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and the thyroid hormone thyroxine. Low levels of TSH and high levels of thyroxine indicate that a thyroid gland is overactive and may indicate a diagnosis of Graves' disease.
A nuclear scan of the thyroid may also be done to visualize the thyroid gland and determine how it is affected by Graves' disease.
Other tests may be performed to check for potential complications of Graves' disease, such as heart disease. A chest X-ray may be done to evaluate the size of the heart and to check for fluid accumulation in the lungs that can occur with heart failure. An EKG may be done to diagnose abnormal heart rhythms.
It is possible that a diagnosis of Graves' disease can be missed or delayed because symptoms can be associated with other conditions, such as excessive caffeine use, angina, aging or stress. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of Graves' disease.
Prompt diagnosis and treatment of Graves' disease can result in a good prognosis, and even a cure in some cases. With regular medical care and monitoring of Graves' disease, many people live active, normal life spans. Treatment of Graves' disease can include medication and surgery. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of Graves' disease....more »
A diagnosis of Graves' disease may be delayed or missed because some symptoms, such as nervousness, irritability fatigue, weight gain, muscle aches and weakness can be ambiguous and/or mild. These symptoms can be easily attributed to other conditions, such as excessive coffee drinking, aging, stress, anxiety, excessive exercise, lack of exercise, perimenopause, cold weather or ...more misdiagnosis »
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There is no way to prevent Graves' disease. However, with prompt recognition and treatment, high levels of thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) can be returned to normal levels in the body. With regular medical care and monitoring of Graves' disease, many people live active, normal life spans.
Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Graves disease may include:
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Graves' disease is one of the most common autoimmune diseases, affecting 13 million people and targeting women seven times as often as men. Patients with Graves' disease produce an excessive amount of thyroid hormone. (Source: excerpt from Endocrine Diseases: NWHIC)
Graves' Disease is a type of autoimmune disease in which the immune system over stimulates the thyroid gland, causing hyperthyroidism. Over-activity of the thyroid gland is also sometimes called "diffuse toxic goiter." The thyroid gland helps set the rate of metabolism (the rate at which the body uses energy), and when it is over-stimulated, it produces more thyroid hormones than the body needs. High levels of thyroid hormones can cause difficult side effects. This is an extremely rare disease that tends to affect women over the age of 20. The incidence is about 5 in 10,000 people. (Source: excerpt from Graves' Disease: NWHIC)
Grave's disease is the most common form of hyperthyroidism. It is an autoimmune condition in which the body produces antibodies that overstimulate the thyroid gland, so that it produces too much thyroid hormone. (Source: excerpt from Thyroid Disease: NWHIC)
Graves' disease is one of the most common autoimmune diseases, affecting 13... (Source: excerpt from Endocrine Diseases: NWHIC)
Graves' Disease is a type of autoimmune disease in which the immune system over stimulates the... (Source: excerpt from Graves' Disease: NWHIC)
Grave's disease is the most common form of hyperthyroidism. It is an autoimmune condition... (Source: excerpt from Thyroid Disease: NWHIC)
Hyperthyroidism associated with diffuse hyperplasia of the thyroid gland (goiter), resulting from production of antibodies that are directed against the thyrotropin receptor complex of the follicular epithelial cells. As a result, the thyroid gland enlarges and secrets increased amounts of thyroid hormones. --2004
- (Source - Diseases Database)
Exophthalmos occurring in association with goiter; hyperthyroidism with protrusion of the eyeballs
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)
Exophthalmos occurring in association with goiter; hyperthyroidism with protrusion of the eyeballs.
- (Source - CRISP)
The list below shows some of the causes of Graves disease mentioned in various sources:
This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Graves disease. Of the 10 causes of Graves disease that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:
The following list of conditions have 'Graves disease' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
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The following list of medical conditions have Graves disease or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
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Medical Conditions associated with Graves disease:
Symptoms related to Graves disease:
Thyroid symptoms (172 causes), Thyroid disorders (18 causes), Goiter (77 causes), Thyroid gland, Hypothyroidism (106 causes), Hyperthyroidism (41 causes), T3, T4, Thyroxine, Iodine deficiency, Graves disease (10 causes), Thyroid enlargement (31 causes)
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