Graves Disease

Graves disease is a form of hyperthyroidism which is cause by generalized overactivity of thyroid gland. It is named after Robert Graves, an Irish physician, who first described this disorder. Graves disease is characterized by :

  • Thyroid swelling
  • Eye involvement
    • Bulging eye
    • Scary eye
    • Watering or redness in eyes
    • Blurring of vision/ Double vision etc
  • Skin involvement
    • Thickening of skin in front of shin also known as pretibial myxedema
  • Symptom of hyperthyroidism like
    • Weight loss in spite of good appetite
    • Intolerance to heat
    • Nervousness or irritability
    • Moist skin or excessive sweating
    • Palpitation or increase heart rate
    • Loose stools
    • Menstrual abnormality
    • Muscle ache or weakness

Serum T3, T4 & TSH testing can confirm the diagnosis. Thyroid scan may be added to the primary tests to confirm the disease. It is important to see a specialist if any abnormality is detected as delay in diagnosis can have catastrophic affect on various body organs.

Treatment of Graves` disease depends upon the degree of neck swelling, eye involvement and severity of hyperthyroidism. It includes drugs, radio-iodine (in which iodine is given to destroy to the hyperfunctional gland) or surgical removal of gland.