Graves' Disease Symptoms

Considered as an autoimmune disease, Graves' disease is a medical condition that significantly affects the thyroid. It often leads to an overactive thyroid, which is marked by the presence of a goiter. Patients who are suffering from this disease usually experience an enlargement of the thyroid, the size of which can double up or even more. For a better understanding of this autoimmune disease, here is an in-depth look at the various symptoms of Graves' disease.

Characteristic Signs of Graves' Disease

A number of different symptoms characterize Graves' disease, which include muscular weakness and rapid heartbeats. Patients can also experience some of the symptoms of thyrotoxicosis or hyperthyrodism, which include fatigue as well as significant loss of weight despite an overall increase in appetite. More importantly, this condition is marked by the protuberance of an eye or both eyes, which is scientifically known as exophthalmos.

Other symptoms associated with this type of autoimmune disease include brittle nails, diminished sex drive and increased loss of hair. In men, there can be an abnormal enlargement of the breasts. On the other hand, women can experience absent or infrequent menstrual periods. Furthermore, there is also muscle wasting, double vision as well as shortness of breath. Pretibial myxedema can also take place, which is marked by a reddish-colored skin with lumpy thickening, specifically somewhere on the shins.

Eye Disease as a Major Symptom of Graves' Disease

Another major symptom of Graves' disease is ophthalmopathy, which is closely associated with thyroid diseases. Also referred to as Graves' ophthalmopathy, this condition is characterized by ocular manifestations such as optic nerve compression, corneal exposure and soft tissue inflammation. In addition, there is also proptosis, which is defined as the protrusion of the globe affecting either one eye or both.

Other Typical Signs of Graves' Disease

Besides the common symptoms, Graves' disease is also associated with many other signs such as diminished sex drive, heat intolerance and palpitations. Additionally, patients can also experience excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis, raised blood pressure or hypertension and irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia. The nervous system is greatly affected as well, causing problems such as diminished attention span, memory lapses and mental impairment. Furthermore, it is also associated with having an erratic behavior, restlessness and irritability. Other noticeable signs of this autoimmune disease include chronic sinus infections, decreased menstrual periods and redness of the eyes. For women, this disease is also associated with recurrent miscarriage, infertility and difficulty conceiving. Amongst the many different parts of the human body, this disease greatly affects the eyes. Aside from having a retracting eyelid, patients can experience sensitivity to light, tingling sensation behind the eyes as well as severe eye pain and discomfort.

More Points on Graves' Disease Symptoms

Because of the seriousness of this condition, it is highly important to know the different symptoms of Graves' disease. Although this disease primarily affects the thyroid, it can also have a serious impact on the eyes as well as the nervous system of patients. Knowing these signs are very important, which can actually help in the proper diagnosis and treatment of the disease.



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