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Graves Disease
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  • 1. Graves Disease By Ashley Matasavage
  • 2. Symptoms Regular • 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 inward. • Progressive blindness caused by increasing pressure on optic nerve • Difficulty moving the eyes, due to weakening of the eye muscles Irregular • Irregular heartbeat • Arrhythmia— heart palpations • Anxiety • Increased appetite • Insomnia—inability to sleep
  • 3. What Causes Graves? • A malfunction allow the immune system to release abnormal antibodies that mimic the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), causing the thyroid to overproduce TSH. • Why the immune system does this is unclear—triggered by genetic and environmental factors, like stress. • Women are more susceptible than men.
  • 4. 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.
  • 5. How to Treat • A strong dose of radioactive iodine to kill thyroid cells. 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.
  • 6. Prognosis • 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.
  • 7. Bibliography • Derrer, David. "Graves' Disease Symptoms and Causes." WebMD. WebMD, 17 Jan. 2005. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. <http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-graves-disease-basics>. • 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- disease.html#g>. • 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- graves-disease/>.