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Thyroid Disease

Graves' disease is an autoimmune disease.

It most commonly affects {the} thyroid, causing it to grow to twice its size or more (goiter), be overactive, with related hyperthyroid symptoms such as increased heartbeat, muscle weakness, disturbed sleep, and irritability. It can also affect {the} eyes, causing bulging eyes (exophthalmos).

It affects other systems of {the} body, including {the} skin and reproductive organs. It affects up to 2% of {the} female population, often appears after childbirth, and has a female:male incidence of 5:1 to 10:1. It has a strong hereditary component; when one identical twin has Graves' disease, {the} other twin will have it 25% of {the} time.

Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke is associated with {the} eye manifestations but not {the} thyroid manifestations. Diagnosis is usually made on {the} basis of symptoms, although thyroid hormone tests could be useful, particularly to monitor treatment

GO is often mild and self-limiting, and probably declining in frequency, with only 3–5% of cases posing a threat to eyesight

The thyroid is one of {the} largest endocrine glands in {the} body. This gland is found in {the} neck inferior to (below) {the} thyroid cartilage (may also be called {the} Adam's apple in men) and at approximately {the} same level as {the} cricoid cartilage. The thyroid controls how quickly {the} body burns energy, makes proteins, and how sensitive {the} body should be to other hormones.

 

  • The thyroid is controlled by {the} hypothalamus and pituitary. The gland gets its name from {the} Greek word for "shield", after {the} shape of {the} related thyroid cartilage. Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) are {the} most common problems of {the} thyroid gland
  • What is a thyroid?

    • small, butterfly-shaped gland below {the} Adam's apple.

  • What does {the} thyroid do?

    • controlling {the} body's metabolism by regulating thyroid hormones (T4 and T3)
  • When something goes wrong..

     

  • What is Graves?

    • Graves' disease, is a condition in which {the} thyroid gland is hyperactive and {the} eyes are affected

    • Although Graves' disease could develop at any age and in either sex, it most often affects women 20 to 60 years old

Hyperthyroidism

  • occurs when there is too much thyroid hormone in {the} blood ("hyper" means "too much", "hypo" means "too low")
  • 10 times more common in women
  • affects about 2% of all women in {the} United States.

Symptoms

  • fast heart rate
  • eyes could bulge forward
  • nervousness
  • increased sweating
  • muscle weakness
  • trembling hands
  • weight loss
  • skin changes
  • increased frequency of bowel movements
  • decreased menstrual flow and less frequent menstrual flow


Hypothyroidism

  • occurs when there is too little thyroid hormone in {the} blood
  • affects more than 5 million people
  • 10 times more common in women than in men
  • one out of every 4,000 infants is born hypothyroid
  • Symptoms
    • feeling slow or tired
    • drowsiness
    • poor memory
    • muscle cramps
    • dry and course skin
    • milky discharge from {the} brests
    • husky voice
    • feeling cold
    • slow heart rate
    • difficulty concentrating
    • weight gain
    • heavy menstrual flow
    • infertility
    • feeling depressed
  • When Graves' disease affects {the} eyes, it is called Graves' ophthalmopathy. Eyes could bulge or appear red and swollen.
  • The space between {the} lids (palpebral fissure) could widen. Excess tearing and discomfort could occur in either or both eyes (see below).
  • Patients could experience sensitivity to light, blurring or double vision, inflammation, or decreased movement.
Hypothyroidism Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism Hypothyroidism