What Is Graves’ Disease

by Prachee last updated -

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Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease of the thyroid, which usually affects people between the ages of 30 and 50. But it can occur at any age and far more often in women than in men.

Graves’ Disease

Graves’ Disease, also known as Basedow-Graves Disease, is a condition that mainly afflicts the thyroid gland, which is one of the most essential glands of the endocrine system that controls hormone levels in the body. In a sense, it is an autoimmune condition that can lead to hyperthyroidism.

Causes of Graves’ Disease

This disease is mainly associated with genetic inheritance. Almost 80 percent of the cases are hereditary, but it is unclear what triggers the onset of the disease. It seems that sometimes another virus or infection triggers the genetic predisposition and begins to inhibit the feedback loop.

The problem seems to occur because the Immunoglobulin G antibody begins to bind to the TSH receptor, thereby mimicking TSH, leaving the actual TSH levels low in the blood plasma. This causes the thyroid to continue to be released, with no negative feedback loop to stop it.

Symptoms of Graves’ Disease

One of the most obvious signs of Graves‘ Disease is a severely enlarged thyroid gland (2x as large) which is called a goiter. This condition often manifests in hyperthyroid conditions, which means that the negative feedback loop of the thyroid gland ceases to work, therefore resulting in a massive excess of thyroid hormone in the body.

The two most noticeable signs of Graves’ disease that separates it from traditional hyperthyroidism are:

  • Exophthalmos (eyes protruding further than normal)
  • Pretibial myxedema (swelling and strangely textured skin, almost like an orange peel)

graves disease

Graves’ disease can result in a number of health conditions in the body. Let us look at some of them:

  • Extreme weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Brittle bones
  • Sleeplessness
  • Personality shifts
  • Can also affect your heart, skin, and circulatory system

There are normal medical treatments for the disease, although there is no known cure. However, some of the treatments of this disease are potentially dangerous and involve radiation and chemical supplements. While many cases require full medical treatments, there are certain natural remedies and home treatments that can help you treat the symptoms and live a relatively normal life.

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About the Author

Prachee is a content writer and her focus has been health, science, and technology. She prides herself on being able to seamlessly dabble from one subject to another. She also fancies herself a poet and a cook, when the rare lightning of inspiration strikes.

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