What are the Symptoms of Graves Disease?

What are the Symptoms of Graves Disease?

Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid gland, leading to the overproduction of thyroid hormones. The symptoms of Graves’ disease can vary in severity and may include:

  1. Hyperthyroidism Symptoms:
    • Rapid Heartbeat (Tachycardia): An abnormally fast heart rate, palpitations, or irregular heartbeat.
    • Elevated Blood Pressure: High blood pressure, often associated with a rapid pulse.
    • Increased Sweating: Profuse sweating and intolerance to heat.
    • Weight Loss: Unintentional weight loss, even with increased appetite and food intake.
    • Increased Appetite: A strong desire to eat more than usual.
    • Nervousness and Restlessness: Feeling anxious, irritable, or nervous.
    • Tremors: Shaking or trembling of the hands or fingers.
    • Difficulty Sleeping (Insomnia): Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
    • Fatigue and Muscle Weakness: Despite increased activity, individuals may feel weak and fatigued.
    • Frequent Bowel Movements: Increased frequency of bowel movements or diarrhea.
    • Irregular Menstrual Cycles: Changes in menstrual patterns, including lighter or infrequent periods.
  2. Enlarged Thyroid (Goiter):
    • Swelling of the thyroid gland in the neck, resulting in a noticeable enlargement or a visible lump.
  3. Exophthalmos (Bulging Eyes):
    • Protruding or bulging eyes, a condition known as exophthalmos or Graves’ ophthalmopathy.
    • Eye Irritation and Sensitivity to Light: Gritty or irritated sensation in the eyes, double vision, or increased sensitivity to light.
  4. Thickened and Red Skin (Pretibial Myxedema):
    • Rarely, thickened, lumpy, and reddish skin on the shins or tops of the feet, known as pretibial myxedema.

Graves’ disease is diagnosed through a combination of physical examination, blood tests to measure thyroid hormone levels and thyroid-stimulating antibodies, and other imaging or diagnostic tests. Treatment options may include medication to control thyroid hormone levels, radioactive iodine therapy to reduce thyroid function, or in some cases, surgery to remove part or all of the thyroid gland. Management also involves addressing symptoms and potential complications associated with Graves’ disease.

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