ABC Medical Center > Graves disease

What is Graves disease?

21:54 - 4 May , 2021


It is an autoimmune condition, in which the immune system has an abnormal reaction and attacks the body, mistaking it for a threat, causing excessive production of thyroid hormones, leading to hyperthyroidism, a condition that affects metabolism and therefore energy, mood, and body weight.

Although there are several causes for hyperthyroidism, Graves’ disease is the most common, affecting people of any age, but with a higher incidence in adult women under 40 years old.

Signs and symptoms Graves disease

  • Tiredness.
  • Arrhythmia.
  • Insomnia.
  • Anxiety episodes.
  • Irritability.
  • Tremulous hands.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Extreme heat.
  • Decreased body weight.
  • Goiter (thyroid inflammation).
  • Menstrual disturbances.
  • Lack of sexual desire.
  • Impotence.
  • Excessive bowel movements.
  • Graves’ ophthalmopathy, which manifests with bulging eyes.
  • Graves’ dermopathy, which causes thickened, reddish skin on the feet and legs (usually on the shins).

Graves’ ophthalmopathy:

  • Bulging eyes.
  • Appearance of having some rubbish in the eyes.
  • Sore eyes.
  • Inflammation of the eyelids.
  • Eye redness
  • Photosensitivity.
  • Double vision.
  • Blindness.

There are several complications that can be triggered by this disease such as:

  • Arrhythmias.
  • Heart failure.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Thyroid crisis.

In pregnant women:

  • Spontaneous abortion.
  • Premature birth.
  • Fetal alterations.
  • Preeclampsia.
  • Heart failure in the mother.

Diagnosis and treatment Graves disease

Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and medical history, they will perform a physical examination to look for signs of the condition.

Additionally, they will request a series of tests that will help them establish an accurate diagnosis, such as blood tests, ultrasound, radioactive iodine uptake test, MRI, and computed tomography.

The treatment plan will seek to prevent the overproduction of thyroid hormones and minimize symptoms, which is why antithyroid drugs and beta-blockers are usually prescribed, although, in more severe cases, radioactive iodine therapy or a thyroidectomy can also be performed, which is the surgical removal of the thyroid.

On the other hand, treatment for Graves’ ophthalmopathy may include:

  • Moisturizing eye drops.
  • Corticosteroids.
  • Orbital decompression surgery.
  • Radiotherapy.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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  • medigraphic.com
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  • Maciques RJE, Pérez MME, Redondo PLR, et al. Orbitopatía asociada al tiroides en edades pediátricas. Rev Cuba Endoc. 2017;28(2):1-7.
  • Mercado U, Mercado H. Artritis reumatoide y enfermedad tiroidea autoinmunitaria. Med Int Mex. 2019;35(5):703-707.
  • Moreno-del Castillo MC, Videgaray-Ortega F,Gómez-Romero P, et al. Debilidad muscular proximal como primera manifestación de una enfermedad endocrina. An Med Asoc Med Hosp ABC. 2015;60(1):45-48.

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