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Graves' Disease

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Graves' Disease
The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves' disease. This is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid gland and triggers the release of high levels of thyroid hormones. One of the hallmarks of Graves' disease is a visible and uncomfortable swelling behind the eyes.
Graves' Disease
Graves' disease, which is caused by a generalized overactivity of the thyroid gland, is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. In this condition, the thyroid gland usually is renegade, which means it has lost the ability to respond to the normal control by the pituitary gland via TSH. Graves' disease is hereditary and is up to five times more common among women than men. The triggers for Graves' disease include stress, smoking, radiation to the neck, medications, and infectious organisms such as viruses. Graves' disease can be diagnosed by a nuclear medicine thyroid scan and blood test. Graves' disease may be associated with eye disease (Graves' ophthalmopathy) and skin lesions (dermopathy).
First described by Sir Robert Graves in the early 19th century, Graves' disease is one of the most common of all thyroid problems.
It is also the leading cause of hyperthyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland produces excessive hormones.
Understanding Graves' Disease
Once the disorder has been correctly diagnosed, it is quite easy to treat. In some cases, Graves' disease goes into remission or disappears completely after several months or years. Left untreated, however, it can lead to serious complications -- even death.
Although the symptoms can cause discomfort, Graves' disease generally has no long-term adverse health consequences if the patient receives prompt and proper medical care. What Causes Graves' Disease?
Hormones secreted by the thyroid gland control metabolism, or the speed at which the body converts food into energy. Metabolism is...

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