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Graves' disease

Graves' disease Causes

The cause of Graves' disease is still unknown; however doctors theorize that it may be a combination of stress with genetics, sex, age, and heredity.

Graves' disease Definition

Graves' disease, the most common type of hyperthyroidism, is a condition wherein the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, causing it to overproduce thyroxine.

Graves' disease Diagnosis

The condition may be clinically diagnosed if the patient has exophthalmos in one or both eyes and non-pitting edema. Both symptoms are exclusive to Graves' disease. If a patient is showing others symptoms, diagnostic procedures can confirm the disease, such as a physical exam, blood test, and radioactive iodine intake.

Graves' disease Symptoms and Signs

Symptoms include brittle hair, irritability, anxiety, irregular or rapid heartbeat, fatigue, light menstrual period, increased perspiration, sensitivity to heat, goiter, tremor in hands or fingers, difficulty sleeping, unexplained weight loss, shortness of breath, mental impairment such as diminished memory span and memory lapses, nervousness, erratic behavior, protruding eyeballs, sensitivity to light, double vision, breast enlargement in men, chronic sinus infections, dizziness, hair loss, and itchy skin.

Graves' disease Treatment

Treatment usually consists of antithyroid medications, thyroidectomy, and radioiodine. Antithyroid medications must be taken for 6 months up to 2 years for it to be effective. Surgery is only an appropriate option for patients who are young or pregnant, if they have a large goiter, suspected cancer, and suspicious nodules.

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