The symptoms may vary significantly from person to person. Some of the common symptoms are:
- Enlargement of your thyroid gland (goiter)
- Sudden weight loss
- Mood swings
- Heat sensitivity and an increase in perspiration or warm, moist skin
- Abnormalities in menstrual cycle
- Erectile dysfunction
- Frequent bowel movements
- Change in skin texture and color, especially on top of the feet. (Graves’ dermopathy)
- Palpitation, fast heart beat
Symptoms of Grave’s Opthalmopathy include:
- Puffy eyes
- Pain in the eye
- Change in vision
- Bulging eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Redness in eye
Graves’ Disease is an autoimmune disease of the thyroid gland. It is characterized by hyperthyroidism associated with goiter, heart palpitations, bulging eyes, sweating, heat intolerance, tremor, anxiety and weight loss. The immunological response in Graves’ Disease comprises diffuse lymphocyte infiltration into the thyroid gland with thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) autoantibody production. The hyperthyroidism is caused by activation of the thyroid stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) by binding of autoantibodies.
Thyroidectomy: Thyroid gland may be completely removed.
Radioactive Iodine therapy: Radioactive Iodine kills the overactive cells in the gland, thereby reducing the swelling.
Foods to take:
- Include dairy products in the diet to get enough calcium
- Vitamin D rich foods such as salmon, eggs and mushrooms
- Protein sources such as chicken, turkey, beans, and nuts
- Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and other fish, olive oil
Foods to avoid:
- Avoid caffeine like coffee, soda, tea
- Identify if you are allergic to any particular food and eliminate that from your diet
The most strongly associated gene implicated in Graves’ disease is HLA-DRB1*03:01. Diagnosis is based on thyroid function tests as well as biochemical and clinical manifestations of hyperthyroidism rather than on genetic testing. Genetic testing does however contribute to a better understanding of the origin of the disease for improved diagnosis and treatment.
- Bahn RS. Graves’ ophthalmopathy. N Engl J Med. 2010; 362:726.
- Ban Y et al. Arginine at position 74 of the HLA-DR beta1 chain is associated with Graves’ disease. Genes Immun. 2004; 5:203.
- Chen QY et al. HLA-DRB1*08, DRB1*03/DRB3*0101, and DRB3*0202 are susceptibility genes for Graves’ disease in North American Caucasians, whereas DRB1*07 is protective. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999; 84:3182.
- Grubeck-Loebenstein B et al. Retrobulbar T cells from patients with Graves’ ophthalmopathy are CD8+ and specifically recognize autologous fibroblasts. J Clin Invest. 1994; 93:2738.
- Sekiguchi Y et al. Reverse ‘see-saw’ relationship between Graves’ disease and myasthenia gravis; clinical and immunological studies. J Med Dent Sci. 2005; 52:43.