Graves’ Disease

What causes Graves’ disease?

Your immune system normally produces proteins known as antibodies in order to fight against foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria.

If you have an autoimmune disease like Graves ’ disease, though, your immune system begins to fight against healthy tissues and cells in your body. With Graves ’ disease, rather of producing antibodies to target a specific invader, your immune system mistakenly produces thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulins. These antibodies then target your own goodly thyroid cells. Scientists know that people can inherit the ability to make antibodies against their own healthy cells. But they have even to find a pass campaign of Graves ’ disease or determine who will develop it. Experts believe it ’ s possible that your genes and a virus or early external trip both play a character in its development .

Who is at risk of Graves’ disease?

A few different factors may affect your opportunity of developing Graves ’ disease :

  • genetics (family history of the condition)
  • stress
  • age
  • gender

The disease typically develops in people younger than 40. Your hazard besides increases significantly if any family members have Graves ’ disease. The NIDDK says that women develop it 7 to 8 times more frequently than men. Your risk besides increases if you have another autoimmune disease. Examples include :

  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • type 1 diabetes
  • Crohn’s disease

How is Graves’ disease diagnosed?

Your repair may request testing ground tests if they think you might have Graves ’ disease. If anyone in your kin has had Graves ’ disease, your doctor of the church may be able to narrow down the diagnosis based on your checkup history and a physical examination. They ’ ll inactive need to confirm the diagnosis through thyroid gland rake tests. A doctor who specializes in diseases related to hormones, known as an endocrinologist, may handle your tests and diagnosis. Your repair may besides request some of the following tests :

  • blood test
  • thyroid ultrasound
  • radioactive iodine uptake test
  • thyroid-stimulating hormone test
  • thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin test

The aggregate results of these may help your sophisticate learn if you have Graves ’ disease or another type of thyroid gland disorder.

How is Graves’ disease treated?

Three treatment options are available for people with Graves ’ disease :

  • antithyroid drugs
  • radioactive iodine therapy
  • thyroid surgery

Your care team may suggest using one or more of these options to treat the circumstance .

Antithyroid drugs

Your doctor may prescribe antithyroid drugs, including propylthiouracil and methimazole, or beta-blockers. Beta-blockers don ’ thymine treat the stipulate itself, but they can help lower the effects of your symptoms until early treatments begin to work .

Radioactive iodine therapy

radioactive iodine therapy is one of the most common treatments for Graves ’ disease. This discussion requires you to take doses of radioactive iodine-131. This normally requires you to swallow modest amounts in pill shape. Your sophisticate will explain any authoritative precautions for you to take with this therapy .

Thyroid surgery

Although thyroid operation is an option, your repair may not suggest it correct away. They may recommend operating room if previous treatments haven ’ thyroxine worked or if they suspect you could have thyroid gland cancer, though thyroid cancer is rare with Graves ’ disease. They might besides recommend thyroid gland operation if you ’ rhenium meaning and can ’ t take antithyroid drugs. In this encase, they ’ ll wait to do the surgery until your second spare because of the risk of miscarriage. If surgery is necessary, your sophisticate will remove your stallion thyroid gland, a procedure known as a total thyroidectomy. The goal of this operation is to eliminate the hazard of hyperthyroidism returning. entire thyroidectomy is the standard of care for people with Graves ’ disease. After operation, you ’ ll need thyroid gland hormone substitution therapy on an ongoing basis.

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The bottom line

Without treatment, Graves ’ disease can contribute to center problems, weak and brittle bones, and pregnancy complications. Prompt discussion, however, can improve your symptoms and help lower your chances of health complications. Your doctor or healthcare specialist can offer more information about your discussion options, plus their benefits and risks .

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