Treatment of Graves’ disease includes use of anti-thyroid drugs, medications and surgery. Read on to have detailed information on this disease.
Graves’ disease is a disease caused due to overactivity of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is one of the most important endocrine glands in the body as it produces the thyroid hormone. Graves’ diseases is an autoimmune disorder. An autoimmune disorder is one that is caused when the immune system mistakes any normal substance in the body as foreign body and attacks it. The attack of the immune system on the thyroid gland causes its overactivity, leading to hyperthyroidism and Graves’ disease. Let us know what exactly is Graves’ diseases, what causes it and what are its symptoms.
Causes and Symptoms of Graves’ Disease
As mentioned above, Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder. It is caused when the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. The exact reason for this abnormal behavior of the immune system is unknown. Secondly, the condition is nor gender or age specific; it can be found in people of any age group, and in both, men and women. However, it is more common in women and particularly in age group containing individuals 17-40 years old. The exact cause for this is also not known.
There are several factors that can increase a person’s risk of suffering from Graves’ disease. such as one’s genes. Heredity plays an important role in the same. A person whose parents or close family members have this disease can suffer from this disease. Therefore, it can be said that Graves’ disease has a familial tendency. Secondly, people suffering from other autoimmune disorders like vitiligo, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, etc are also at a higher risk of suffering from this disorder.
The symptoms of Graves’ disease are very easy to identify. Goiter, which is one of the most common conditions that develops due to abnormalities of the thyroid gland, is also seen if a person suffers from Graves’ disease. Secondly, protrusion of the eyes (eyes appear as if they are bulging) is another significant symptom. Apart from these, other symptoms like Irregular heartbeat, weight loss, brittle hair, change in menstrual cycle, irritability, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, sensitivity to heat, etc are some of the other symptoms observed in Graves’ disease.
Treatment of Graves’ Disease
The presence of symptoms and thyroid hormone tests help in diagnosis of the Graves’ disease. The traditional treatment for Graves’ disease was discovered several decades back. Most of the time same treatment is used even today because of its effectiveness. There are several treatment options which effectively help in dealing with this condition. One of the treatment involves use of beta blockers to stop the symptoms of overactive thyroid gland.
The second treatment involves use of radioactive iodine which helps in reining in the overactive thyroid cells. Thirdly, the doctor may even prescribe the patient to undergo a surgery to remove the thyroid gland completely. All these treatment methods are effective in treating symptoms of Graves’ disease. Along with the treatment, dietary changes are also recommended by the doctor. The person is advised to exclude all iodine containing foods from his diet.
The advanced techniques available today have also helped to cure the eye and skin disorders caused due to Graves’ disease. Therefore, if you come across any of the above mentioned symptoms, you should consult the doctor immediately and take proper treatment. Following the dietary advice is also essential for alleviating the symptoms.