Five Facts About Graves Disease
Approximately one in every 89 Americans -- that’s more than 3,000,000 people – live with a form of hyperthyroidism caused by Graves disease, and yet Graves is a disorder about which there is very little awareness. Here are Five Facts Everyone Should Know About Graves:
- Graves disease is an autoimmune disorder that impacts the thyroid gland, leading to hyperthyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone.
- The most common cause of hypothyroidism, Graves disease is ten times more common in women than in men. Although it impacts people of all ages, the typical onset of Graves disease is between 20 and 40.
- People who have Graves disease very often have other autoimmune disorders such as lupus, pernicious anemia, Type 1 Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, vitiligo, and Addison’s disease.
- Women who have been pregnant in the last 12 months are at a particularly high risk of developing Graves disease.
- The most common symptoms of Graves are arrhythmia, sleep disruption, hand tremors, increased bowel movements, unintentional weight loss, exhaustion, muscle weakness, menstrual changes, infertility, and an enlarged thyroid (goiter).
Graves disease is typically treatable. Left untreated, however, Graves can turn into a life-threatening condition. If you suspect you have Graves disease, it’s important that you consult your physician immediately. Treatment may include beta-blockers, which can cause serious side effects and drug interactions. If you have your thyroid removed or are on antithyroid medications or beta-blockers, wearing medical ID jewelry can help keep you safe in an emergency.
Do you have Graves disease? We want to hear from you!