Graves' Disease

By: Kealey Smith

Disease Identification

Graves' Disease will impact your immune system and cause the thyroid gland to produce more of the thyroid hormone then needed which causes swelling.

Explanation of Imbalance

If diagnosed with Graves' Disease, you will learn your immune system is creating antibodies called thyroid stimulating immunoglubins (TSIs). These TSIs which bind to the thyroid cell receptors and cause the thyroid to grow and overproduce thyroid hormones.

Some questions you may ask:

What organs are affected? The answer would be your thyroid gland.

How is your body affected? When the thyroid overproduces hormones it causes swelling in the throat along with many other possible issues down the road such as eye problems.

How does the body try to balance itself? It creates antibodies which cause the overproduction of thyroid horomones

Symptoms of the Disease

-Weight loss (even though appetite is increased)

-Anxiety, restlessness, tremors, irritability, insomnia

-Heat tolerance, sweating

-Chest pain

-Difficulty breathing


-Prominent, or bulging eyes

-Vision problems

-Skin thickening

Treatment Options

There are three different treatment options:

1) Antithyroid Medications: The drugs prevent the thyroid from producing hormones, which would inevitably stop overproduction of the hormone.

2) Radioactive Iodine Treatment: Given as a capsule or water based solution. These destroy thyroid cells, and reduce hormone levels. However, it may take months for treatment to work and occasionally repeated doses are required. Additionally, this is not the option for you if you are planning to be pregnant or already pregnant.

3)Surgery: This is normally the last choice available, and the surgeon will remove part or the entire thyroid.

Quote by Daniel J Toft MD, Phd

"With proper treatment, you can minimize the effects of Graves’ disease."


Toft, Daniel J., MD,Phd. "Graves' Disease Treatment." EndocrineWeb. Vertical Health, n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.

Toft, Daniel J., MD,Phd. "Graves' Disease Overview." EndocrineWeb. Vertical Health, n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.