• Exophthalmia- Eyeballs protruding
from their sockets—inflamed and
swollen eye muscles -- eye fills with
extra tissues and cells
• Photophobia- sensitivity to light
• Pain in the eyes
• Dry eyes
• Eye irritation
• Diplopia- double vision caused by
weakening of the eye muscles
• Ambylopia- the eyes may turn
• Progressive blindness caused by
increasing pressure on optic nerve
• Difficulty moving the eyes, due to
weakening of the eye muscles
• Irregular heartbeat
• Arrhythmia— heart palpations
• Increased appetite
• Insomnia—inability to sleep
What Causes Graves?
• A malfunction allow the immune
system to release abnormal antibodies
that mimic the Thyroid Stimulating
Hormone (TSH), causing the thyroid to
• Why the immune system does this is
unclear—triggered by genetic and
environmental factors, like stress.
• Women are more susceptible than
How to Diagnose
• Blood analysis testing for levels of 2 hormones: tetraiodothyrinine (free T-4) and
triiodothyronine (free T-3) --- levels will be higher than normal. If levels of TSH are low, you
have hyperthyroidism, and Graves disease is likely the cause.
• Blood analysis can also detect the abnormal antibody associated with Graves, but this
method is costly and typically deemed unnecessary.
• Abnormal levels of iodine in the thyroid would also indicate the thyroid making too much
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, as it’s needed for TSH production.
How to Treat
• A strong dose of radioactive iodine to kill
This will not harm surrounding tissue
or organs, but remain in the thyroid gland.
More likely than not, one dose will
be enough to correct hyperthyroidism.
Most people develop hypothyroidism
and have to take a thyroid replacement for
the remainder of their lives.
• Antithyroid drugs: Propylthiouracil and
Methimazole. May take months for
symptoms to subside.
• Beta-blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin),
propranolol (Inderal), and metoprolol
(Lopressor) are used to treat heart
palpitations and muscle tremors.
• A thyroidectomy, or removing most of the
thyroid is a safe and effective option.
• Some may have need thyroid replacement
medicine for the remainder of their lives if they
become hypothyroistic from treatment.
• Periodic check-ups with your doctor to ensure
proper thyroid functioning.
• Derrer, David. "Graves' Disease Symptoms and Causes." WebMD. WebMD, 17 Jan. 2005. Web. 18 Mar. 2014.
• Cooper, David S. "Graves' Disease Fact Sheet." Womenshealth.gov. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 16 July
2012. Web. 17 Mar. 2014. <http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/graves-
• Wisse, Brent. "Graves Disease: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia." U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of
Medicine, 31 May 2013. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000358.htm>.
• "About Graves' Disease." About Graves' Disease. GDATF, 2014. Web. 17 Mar. 2014. <http://www.gdatf.org/about/about-