Graves' Disease

Autoimmune Disorder

What happens to the body during this time

During Graves' disease the thyroid gland, metabolism, brain development, breathing, heart functions, weight, tissues and cells in the body are being affected.The thyroid controls the metabolism through hormones in the bloodstream. Normally TSH is released from the brain which orders production of the thyroid hormones. But, with Graves' disease the immune system releases abnormal antibodies called TSI that mimic TSH causing the thyroid hormones to exceed their normal quota which then causes the metabolism to speed up trying to decrease the TSH production. Some symptoms that are from Graves' disease are weight loss, enlargement of thyroid gland, bulging eyes, rapid heartbeat, and increase of metabolism.

Although Graves' disease may affect anyone, it's more common among women and before the age of 40.

Treatments for Graves' Disease

The treatments available for this disease are radioactive iodine therapy which is taken orally and destroys overactive thyroid cells. Anti-thyroid medications interfere with the thyroid's use of iodine to produce hormones. Beta blockers don't stop the production of hormones it just blocks the effect of hormones on the body. And lastly, surgery which removes all or part of the thyroid to end production of hormones. Graves' disease is easily treated if acted upon right away, otherwise if left untreated it can lead to death.

Madison Marto