Causes and symptoms of Grave’s Disease

An autoimmune disorder, Grave’s disease is said to occur when the body overproduces thyroid hormones, resulting in hyperthyroidism. Grave’s disease usually occurs in individuals above 40 years of age although it has the potential to affect anyone. It is also quite common for an individual suffering from hyperthyroidism to contract Grave’s disease, although the condition can cause several other disorders as well.

The thyroid hormones produced in the body usually influence various body parts. As such, the symptoms of Grave’s disease can vary considerably from individual to individual. Studies have in fact established that women are more prone to getting affected by Grave’s disease as and when they near the mid age (30-40).

Common causes for grave’s disease

Thyroid overproduction

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Many attribute Grave’s disease to a malfunction in the immune system, the body’s disease fighting mechanism that helps shield it from all kinds of illnesses, disorders and diseases. In a normal scenario, the body’s immune system would produce antibodies to help fight off foreign contaminants as well as harmful pathogens from the body. These antibodies would usually target a specific area where the condition persists. In the case of Grave’s disease, the body would produce an antibody that would target the thyroid gland, which is located in the neck and is responsible for the production of hormones.

This antibody (called thyrotropin receptor antibody TRAb) would act like the normal pituitary hormone that is secreted by the thyroid gland under normal circumstances. However, for reasons that are still largely unknown, the TRAb antibody sometimes overrides the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, forcing it to produce more thyroid hormones. This would cause hyperthyroidism and eventually, Grave’s disease as well.

Build-up of Carbohydrates

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In certain cases of Grave’s disease, particularly Grave’s ophthalmology, the build-up of specific carbohydrates beneath the skin’s surface can also lead to the condition. Studies have indicated that the same TRAb antibody involved in stimulating hyperthyroidism, could very well play a role in the build-up of carbohydrates in the skin and tissues present in and around the eyes.

Common symptoms of Grave’s Disease

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While Grave’s disease usually occurs in conjunction with hyperthyroidism, the onset of symptoms would not occur until much later, probably many years after hyperthyroidism is diagnosed. In very rare cases, Grave’s disease can affect an individual who does not suffer from hyperthyroidism.

Grave’s disease can cause a number of symptoms in the body. Some of the more common signs of the condition include irritability, anxiety, mood swings, heat sensitivity, increased perspiration, moistened skin, drastic weight loss, frequent bowel movements, bulging eyes, reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, thyroid gland enlargement (leading to goitre), changes in menstrual cycles, reddish skin patches, heart palpitations and fine tremors of fingers and hands, etc.

Common symptoms of Grave’s ophthalmology

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Individuals suffering from Grave’s diseases have high chances of being affected by Grave’s ophthalmology, a condition that affects the eyes and makes them bulge out of their sockets. This is usually caused due to the inflammation in the tissues and muscles surrounding the eyes. Accordingly, some of the more common symptoms associated Grave’s ophthalmology include exophthalmos (bulging eyes), pain/pressure in the eyes, retracted/puffy eyelids, vision loss, gritty sensation in the eyes, inflamed eyes, double vision and increased sensitivity to light.

Visiting a Doctor: When you need to see one

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While these are the more common symptoms of Grave’s disease, there are strong chances for them to have been caused by other medical conditions as well. Hence, getting a quick diagnosis on these symptoms would help one decide upon the further course of action. It is recommended that individuals who experience heart and vision related symptoms check the same with the doctor as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage.

Summary

Grave’s disease is usually caused by hyperthyroidism in individuals. It can be also caused by the build-up of carbohydrates beneath the skin surface. As such, the symptoms mentioned above are some of the more important signs one would need to keep note of in order to stay safe from Grave’s disease in the long run.

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