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Grave’s Disease

Grave’s Disease

Grave’s disease is an autoimmune disorder that is a considerable cause of Hyperthyroidism. The types of autoimmune disease occur from unspecified causes but most of the responsible causes come from family histories such as Genetically and some of the environmental factors are also responsible for it. Graves’ disease is also a type of problem in which release form of antibodies commonly called thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins also TSIs, attack thyroid cell receptors. Thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins enable thyroid cell receptors to send signals to TSH which is called thyroid stimulating hormones who then releases thyroid hormones both T3 and T4. The level of TSH falls down as the level of T3 and T4 overcome and cause hyperthyroidism. There are also other many causes of hyperthyroidism but Graves’ disease is considered as a common cause.

Who Can Be Affected by Grave’s Disease?

Grave’s disease main causes are unknown but genetic and environmental factors define it. Further, other factors that can be responsible are:

  • Progression in stress, infection or giving birth.
  • Already have an autoimmune disease such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Type I Diabetes.
  • Smoking can increase the risk.

Symptoms of Grave’s Disease

Symptoms of Grave’s disease are:

  • Goiter
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Heat intolerance
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight reduction
  • Shaking hands
  • Tremors
  • Diarrhea
  • Defecation
  • Hypertension
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Anxiety, Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Hair loss
  • Vision problem
  • Erectile dysfunction or libido
  • Menstrual changes

Diagnosis of Grave’s Disease

Diagnosis of Grave’s disease depends upon different factors:

Physical Exam

This is the first step to consider patients for next test for Graves’ disease. The physical exam includes:

  • Eyes problem
  • Thyroid gland enlargement, Goiter
  • Swelling or inflammation
  • Weight loss
  • Skin color
  • Thought, speech, Behavior
  • Tremors, weakness of muscles
  • Hair texture
  • Onycholysis
  • Rapid heart rate or overactive heart

Laboratory Test

TSH level testing

This test is used to check the level of TSH to determine the amount of T3 and T4 hormones. TSH is thyroid stimulating hormones released from the pituitary gland and helps the thyroid to produce T3 and T4 hormones. Testing will show the low level of TSH while the increase of T3 and T4 hormones. Sometimes this test is not sufficient for doctors to identify the disease type.

T3 and T4 Test

This test used to identify the exact level of these two thyroid hormones in the blood. T3 is triiodothyronine and T4 is thyroxine, two hormones whose increase level is a main cause of hyperthyroidism. T3 and T4 hormones are needed in our body to regulate the cellular metabolism such as body temperature, heart rate, and metabolism. Diagnosis depends upon the abnormal level of these two hormones in test reports.

Radioactive iodine uptake

In this test, an iodine pill is given to the patient to check the functioning of the thyroid gland or how thyroid gland act after receiving iodine. After the 6-7 hrs. of swallowing of a pill, the test is performed with the help of scan. This test will determine whether hyperthyroid is due to Graves’ disease or others factors are responsible.

Ultrasound and X-ray

This test is specially performed in a person who can’t take radioactive iodine uptake and those pregnant women. High-frequency sound waves will pass from inside our body to check the enlargement or structure of the thyroid gland. X-ray, MRI, CT scan are some imaging tests to check the presence of Graves’ disease and those clinically failed assessments.

Treatments of Grave’s Disease

Grave’s disease is a cause of hyperthyroidism so the treatments start to control over production of thyroid hormones. Some treatments are:

Anti-thyroid Medications

Antithyroid medication inhibits the release of an excess amount of thyroid form thyroid gland. There are two types of medicine for hyperthyroidism used

  • Propylthiouracil (PTU)
  • Methimazole (Tapazole)

Side effects of these medicines include skin rashes, itching, hives, heartburn, metallic taste, nausea, vomiting and pain in joints and muscles. In pregnant women, selection of medicine is important and most of the time doctor can suggest the use of PTU instead of Methimazole in pregnancy.

Radioactive Iodine (RAI)

This treatment is not good for pregnant women or in breastfeeding. In some cases medicines cannot show their affection, RAI is preferred. It is an iodine pill given in hyperthyroid condition or Grave’s disease and acts on thyroid cells to destroy them. It is safe as picked up by thyroid cells and destruction is normal that no widespread side effects.


Surgery is recommended in those who can not tolerate antithyroid medicines and if you are pregnant so you can not take medicine, surgery is preferred. It is the type of thyroidectomy to remove the enlargement of the thyroid gland and thus the excess production of thyroid hormones. This type of surgery also included in nodular thyroid goiter. Surgery can pose a small risk on the vocal cord and parathyroid glands. Each given treatments have their own risk and benefits which depend upon your types of symptoms and severity of disease that you have.

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