Graves Disease (Hyperthyroidism)

The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck just below the voice box and is part of the endocrine or hormone system. It controls the body’s metabolism by releasing the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T). Controlling the metabolism is critical for regulating mood, weight, and energy levels.

If the body produces too much thyroid hormone, the condition is called hyperthyroidism. Graves Disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. It is caused by an abnormal immune response, which creates antibodies to the thyroid gland – causing it to produce too much thyroid hormone. Graves Disease is most common in women over the age of 20. However, the disorder may occur at any age and may affect men as well.

Symptoms include:

· Anxiety

· Breast enlargement in men (possible)

· Difficulty concentrating

· Double vision

· Eyeballs that stick out (exophthalmos)

· Eye irritation and tearing

· Fatigue

· Frequent bowel movements

· Goiter (possible)

· Heat intolerance

· Increased appetite

· Increased sweating

· Insomnia

· Menstrual irregularities in women

· Muscle weakness

· Nervousness

· Rapid or irregular heartbeat (palpitations or arrhythmia)

· Restlessness and difficulty sleeping

· Shortness of breath on exertion

· Tremor

· Weight loss (rarely, weight gain)