Being one of the main causes of Hyperthyroidism, more so in the United States, Graves’ disease has claimed a lot of lives. It happens to be a thyroid condition mostly characterized by goiter. Graves’ disease results from an abnormal stimulation of the thyroid gland triggered by ‘thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins’ found in the blood. This stimulation causes the thyroid gland to react by producing more thyroid hormone than the body requires.
Graves disease Symptoms
More than 90% of people suffering from Graves disease share the same symptoms with patients suffering from hyperthyroidism. However, not all symptoms will be similar, but you are encouraged to report any abnormal sign to a doctor. Some of the most known signs and symptoms include;
- enlarged thyroid commonly known as goiter
- trouble when sleeping
- hand tremors
- rapid heartbeat
- frequent bowel movement
- thinning of skin
- muscle weakness
- light menstrual flow
- challenges when getting pregnant
- eye changes and
- reddening of the skin
Since these are not the only symptoms you can experience when suffering from Graves disease, be cautious with any other sign.
Graves disease Causes
Although there is no specific cause of Graves disease, a number of factors are believed to contribute to its occurrence. Some people are at an elevated risk of getting Graves disease than others. Some of the factors that expose people to Graves disease include;
- infection &; illness
If there have been Graves disease in your family, then you might inherit the genes as well. Women are more likely to get this disorder compared to men, mostly contributed to by sex hormones. If you have ever been into a traumatizing period or undergoing severe emotional discomfort, then you might be increasing the chances of getting Graves disease.
Graves disease Diagnosis
Due to the similarity between Graves’ disease symptoms and other similar disorders, the doctor ought to do a comprehensive examination on your body prior to Graves’ disease verdict. In the event of experiencing Graves’ disease symptoms, inform your doctor immediately for appropriate action to be taken. Some of the diagnostic techniques used include; Thyroid function test, radioactive iodine uptake, and antibody tests. Antibody test involves a test of the blood to determine the presence of Graves’ disease. Through a thyroid function test, your blood sample is taken to the lab to identify the amount of TSH and if the amount of thyroid hormone is normal in the blood.
Graves disease Treatment
According to biologists, Graves disease is treatable through various methods depending on your condition and level of damage. There are only three applicable techniques in treating Graves disease that have shown impeccable effect. Antithyroid medication which involves the use of drugs is most common if the damage is not immense. Methimazole and Propylthiouracil are the most used drugs in the US. They work by reducing the rate at which thyroid glands are producing Thyroid hormone. Radioactive iodine is also preferred in some cases to treat Graves disease, but it tends to destroy your glands. Surgery is normally used as the last option where thyroid glands are removed, and you will be forced to take thyroid hormone for the rest of your life.