Graves disease causes and symptoms

Graves disease is an autoimmune disease of thyroid gland. Thyroid gland  is a butterfly shaped small gland in front of your neck, below the Adam’s apple. Thyroid gland produces 2 thyroid hormones as T3 and T4 and these thyroid hormones have so important functions in your body.

Thyroid hormones have regulation function in so many body sysytems like regulating;

  • Body temperature
  • Energy production
  • Energy usage
  • Carbohydrate metabolism
  • Baby- brain growth
  • Heart rate
  • Metabolic rate
  • Blood pressure

Graves disease also known as Basedow disease is caused by body immune system that attacks to thyroid gland cells and cause hyperthyroidism. Graves disease cause too much thyroid hormone production and may be treated by some methods after diagnosis.

Graves disease history

graves disease

Graveas disease is found by 2 different scientists ; Dr Robert Graves from Ireland and Physician Carl Adolph von Basedow from Germany. Robert Graves first described Graves disease in 1835 and then Carl Basedow independently found and described the symptoms and Graves disease in 1840.

Causes of Graves disease

graves disease

Graves disease is an autoimmune disease that means it is an disorder caused by your immune sysytem. In normal conditions, your immune system protects your body from bacteria and viruses but sometimes supposes your body cells as an enemy and attacks.

In Graves disease, immune system produces thyroid stimulating hormone and thyroid gland produces excess thyroid hormones. High levels of thyroid hormones cause hyperthyroidism in your body.

Genetic factors may cause Graves disease; you may have  Graves disease if there is Graves disease history in your family members.

Gender is an another factor in Graves disease; which is found more in women.  Graves disease especially found in women older than 20 but may be found in all ages and gender.

Also viral or bacterial infections like Epstein-Barr virus may trigger Graves disease.

Graves disease symptoms

graves disease

Graves disease may cause several problems and symptoms in whole body, eyes ( Graves ophthalmopathy; eye problems caused by Graves disease/ hyperthyroidism) and skin;

  • Increased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Anxiety
  • Hand tremors
  • Increased sweating
  • Nervousness
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Bulging eyes
  • Heat intolerance
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced libido
  • Enlergement in thyroid gland; goiter
  • Irritability
  • Vision problems
  • Double vision
  • Pain in eyes
  • Redness in eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Skin thickening
  • Redness in skin

 


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