Grave's Disease


What is Grave's Disease?

Graves disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism, the immune system has an abnormal response which causes the thyroid gland to produce too many thyroid hormones. These hormones attack the bodies metabolism. The metabolism in the human body is key to maintaining mood, weight, mental and physical energy levels which can become fatal. If the thyroid decides to create too many thyroid hormones, it is called hyperthyroidism, and if the thyroid creates too little thyroid hormones it is called hypothyroidism.

Symptoms of Grave's Disease:

gdiseasefigure3.jpg

Thyroid_Gland.jpg
  • Anxiety
  • Breast enlargement in men
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Double vision
  • Fatigue
  • Increased Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle weakness
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Tremors
  • Weight loss, sometimes weight gain

Who gets Grave's Disease?

Grave's disease is most common in women over the age of 20, but this scary disease can pop up at any age and not only affects women but men as well.

Signs and Tests:

  • Blood tests
  • Radioactive iodine uptake
  • Ultrasound
  • Thyroid stimulating

Treatment:

  • Anti-thyroid medications
  • Radioactive iodine
  • Surgery

Molecular Basis:


gdiseasefigure5.gif

Figure 1:

Thyro-globulum protein bonds to iodine and when the bond splits and produces the hormone released by the thyroid. Hyperthyroidism produces too many hormones and Hypothyroidism doesn't produce enough leading to Graves' Disease.

Citations:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001398/
http://www.bio.davidson.edu/Courses/Immunology/Students/Spring2003/Breedlove/GravesDisease.html
http://img.webmd.com/dtmcms/live/webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/articles/health_and_medical_reference/endocrine_hormone_disorders/Thyroid_Gland.jpg