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Graves’ Disease is one of the leading causes of hyperthyroidism – a thyroid disorder where the thyroid gland produces more hormones than what the body needs. Graves’ Disease symptoms include hyperactivity, increased heart rate, weight loss without a change in diet, tremors and anxiety.
Hyperthyroidism: Warning Signs to Watch Out For The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland that produces hormones that function as regulatory hormones in that they control how the body utilizes its energy – in a word, it regulates the body’s metabolic rate. When the body produces too much of these thyroid hormones, this results in a medical condition referred to as hyperthyroidism. A leading cause for this type of medical condition is graves disease. Hyperthyroidism in a Nutshell This disease affects the autoimmune system in that it “directs” the thyroid gland to produce more Thyroid Stimulating Hormones otherwise known as TSH – more than what is normally needed by the body to function properly. The result of which is that the body’s metabolism increases which in turn increases one’s heart rate and also increases the rate by which the body transforms food into body fuel thereby resulting in weight loss. If left untreated, this disease can be fatal as it can cause serious heart problems. It may also leave the body weak and the bones brittle over time, if proper treatment or medication is not administered. Warning Signs There are several graves disease symptoms to watch out for if you suspect that you may have this type of autoimmune disease. One of the most common symptoms is weight loss without reducing your usual food intake. As a matter of fact, you may even find yourself going constantly hungry even if you have just finished one full meal. This is because your body is burning fat and turning your food into fuel at a faster rate. Another common symptom is anxiety. You may find yourself getting more anxious or nervous even without any trigger factor. Irritability and the inability to sleep at night are likewise common warning signs. As your metabolism increases, you become hyperactive, you experience palpitations, you may become intolerant to heat which results in excessive sweating and you may also find your hands shaking most of the time. Some patients also experience depression, may become highly emotional and may often find themselves losing their tempers over the smallest, nonsensical things. If left untreated, other physical changes; apart from noticeable weight loss; include bulging eyes and the hair becoming brittle. Diagnosis and Treatment Blood tests are often administered to individuals suspected of suffering from this disease. The blood tests will check the T3, T4 and TSH levels produced by the thyroid gland to determine how far-off the results are from the normal values. From these results, proper medication will be prescribed by the doctor – usually an endocrinologist – where the dosage is based on the severity of the disease. Apart from medications, radioactive iodine or surgery may be recommended by the doctor, again, depending on the severity of the disease and the patient’s response to medications.
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