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What Is Graves Disease Of The Thyroid

How Is Graves Disease Diagnosed In A Child

Graves Disease – Overview (causes, pathophysiology, investigations and treatment)

The healthcare provider will ask about your childs symptoms and medical history. He or she may also ask about your familys medical history. He or she will give your child a physical exam. Your child may also have blood tests. These check for:

  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone . A low level of TSH may mean hyperthyroidism.

  • Some types of antibodies. Another blood test checks for antibodies that attach to proteins from the thyroid gland. High levels of these antibodies may mean Graves disease. Or it may mean another autoimmune thyroid disease.

What Are The Longer

There will be a chance of Graves disease returning after one episode but the likelihood will reduce with time. Smoking can worsen thyroid eye disease associated with this condition, so it is important to stop immediately.

Surgery, and in many cases radioiodine, will result in the thyroid becoming underactive, meaning that the patient will have to take thyroid hormone replacement for the rest of their life. The alternative to surgery or radioiodine is to take an anti-thyroid drug for a prolonged period of time . The disadvantage of this approach is that patients can still have a flare of Graves disease.

How Does Graves’ Disease Affect My Chances Of Getting Pregnant

Women with Graves’ disease often have irregular . If your periods are irregular, you may not ovulate each month, which can make it difficult to get pregnant.

In a man, Graves’ disease can harm the sperm, which can make it difficult for you to get pregnant.

Treatment of Graves’ disease can often make your menstrual periods regular and restore fertility in women and men.

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Graves Related Eye Disease

Graves Related Eye Disease: Medical Treatment

Early eye symptoms, such as dryness, redness, itching, swelling of the lids and inability to wear contact lenses, are usually mild. Some patients find these symptoms to be particularly irritating at night and during exposure to air conditioning, hot air heating, and wind. A few patients will develop double vision , which is the result of asymmetric inflammation of the muscles that control eye movement. Many patients develop mild symptoms that are often misdiagnosed as an “ocular allergy.” Therefore, Graves’ disease patients should be followed by an ophthalmologist familiar with the condition and available treatments. Patients with mild symptoms can often be successfully treated with frequent use of lubricating eye drops and wearing eye covers at night. Humidification of room air can prevent drying of the eyes, and wrap-around polarizing sunglasses can also help relieve glare. Diplopia can be improved by wearing special prism lenses while awaiting either spontaneous improvement or surgical correction. Temporary plastic prisms may be put on a regular set of eyeglasses and changed as needed. Prednisone, a steroid medication, may be taken in pill form to provide temporary relief from pain, swelling and redness, although side effects of the medication may limit its use.

Graves Related Eye Disease: Surgical Treatment

For most patients, surgery is performed under general anesthesia and usually requires an overnight hospital stay.

What Are The Outcomes For Patients With Graves Disease


The majority of children with Graves disease can return to normal activities including sports once thyroid hormone levels are improving or have normalized, depending on the individual patient. However, even after thyroid hormone levels normalize, it can take weeks, or even months, for a patient to regain strength, coordination and endurance. Compliance with the treatment plan including medication, labwork and clinic visits is critically important to optimizing the timing of thyroid hormone level normalization.

Next Steps

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Are There Any Side

Carbimazole can cause joint pain and an itchy rash. Most importantly, carbimazole can acutely reduce the white cell count in the body and thus reduce the bodys ability to fight infections. Should patients develop a fever, sore throat or become more unwell in any way they must contact their GP or be seen in the emergency department for a blood test to check the cell count. Although very rare, this complication can be fatal if the diagnosis is delayed.

Propylthouracil, if used for a long time, can cause of blood vessels called vasculitis. This can affect all the organs. In addition, propylthiouracil can affect the functioning of the liver in a very small group of patients.

Fact: If You Have Ted You Should See An Ophthalmologist Who Has Experience Treating Ted

Thyroid Eye Disease is a unique and rare eye condition, and not all doctors are used to treating it. Thats why its important that you see a doctor who has the right experiencea TED Specialist.

TED Specialists are ophthalmologists who usually have advanced training, such as oculoplastic surgeons, neuro- ophthalmologists, and strabismus surgeons.

While there are about 20,000 eye doctors in the US, most are not used to seeing TED patients. TED Specialists have advanced training in specific types of eye and vision care.

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How Is The Diagnosis Of Graves’ Disease Made

The diagnosis of hyperthyroidism is made on the basis of your symptoms and findings during a physical exam and it is confirmed by laboratory tests that measure the amount of thyroid hormones and thyroid-stimulating hormone in your blood . Clues that your hyperthyroidism is caused by Graves disease are the presence of Graves eye disease and/or dermopathy , a symmetrically enlarged thyroid gland and a history of other family members with thyroid or other autoimmune problems, including type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pernicious anemia or painless white patches on the skin known as vitiligo.

The choice of initial diagnostic testing depends on cost, availability and local expertise. Measurement of antibodies, such as TRAb or TSI, is cost effective and if positive, confirms the diagnosis of Graves disease without further testing needed. If this test is negative , or if this test is not available, then your doctor should refer you to have a radioactive iodine uptake test to confirm the diagnosis.

Also, in some patients, measurement of thyroidal blood flow with ultrasonography may be useful to establish the diagnosis if the above tests are not readily available.

Is There A Higher Risk Of Developing Thyroid Disease If I Have Diabetes

Graves’ Disease | What Is Graves’ Disease? |

If you have diabetes, youre at a higher risk of developing a thyroid disease than people without diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. If you already have one autoimmune disorder, you are more likely to develop another one.

For people with type 2 diabetes, the risk is lower, but still there. If you have type 2 diabetes, youre more likely to develop a thyroid disease later in life.

Regular testing is recommended to check for thyroid issues. Those with type 1 diabetes may be tested more often immediately after diagnosis and then every year or so than people with type 2 diabetes. There isnt a regular schedule for testing if you have type 2 diabetes, however your healthcare provider may suggest a schedule for testing over time.

If you have diabetes and get a positive thyroid test, there are a few things to you can do to help feel the best possible. These tips include:

  • Getting enough sleep.
  • Taking all of your medications as directed.
  • Getting tested regularly as directed by your healthcare provider.

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Graves Disease Fast Facts

Hyperthyroidism: American Thyroid Association. Hyperthyroidism .

Graves’ Disease: Office on Women’s Health.

Graves’ Disease: Mayo Clinic.

Thyroid Storm: Medline Plus.

Support: National Organization for Rare Disorders: Graves’ Disease & Thyroid Foundation.

Graves’ Disease. U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Eye Treatment: FDA approves first treatment for thyroid eye disease.

Diagnosis & Management. Thyroid: 2016 American Thyroid Association Guidelines for Diagnosis and Management of Hyperthyroidism and Other Causes of Thyrotoxicosis.

Cancer Risk & RAI: Thyroid: “Cancer Risk After Radioactive Iodine Treatment for Hyperthyroidism: A Cohort Study.”

JAMA Internal Medicine: Association of Radioiodine Treatment with Cancer Mortality in Patients with Hyperthyroidism:

What Common Symptoms Can Happen With Thyroid Disease

There are a variety of symptoms you could experience if you have a thyroid disease. Unfortunately, symptoms of a thyroid condition are often very similar to the signs of other medical conditions and stages of life. This can make it difficult to know if your symptoms are related to a thyroid issue or something else entirely.

For the most part, the symptoms of thyroid disease can be divided into two groups those related to having too much thyroid hormone and those related to having too little thyroid hormone .

Symptoms of an overactive thyroid can include:

  • Experiencing anxiety, irritability and nervousness.
  • Having trouble sleeping.
  • Experiencing an intolerance to cold temperatures.

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How Is Thyroid Disease Diagnosed

Sometimes, thyroid disease can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are easily confused with those of other conditions. You may experience similar symptoms when you are pregnant or aging and you would when developing a thyroid disease. Fortunately, there are tests that can help determine if your symptoms are being caused by a thyroid issue. These tests include:

  • Blood tests.
  • Physical exams.

Blood tests

One of the most definitive ways to diagnose a thyroid problem is through blood tests. Thyroid blood tests are used to tell if your thyroid gland is functioning properly by measuring the amount of thyroid hormones in your blood. These tests are done by taking blood from a vein in your arm. Thyroid blood tests are used to see if you have:

  • Hyperthyroidism.
  • Hypothyroidism.

The specific blood tests that will be done to test your thyroid can include:

These tests alone arent meant to diagnose any illness but may prompt your healthcare provider to do additional testing to evaluate for a possible thyroid disorder.

Additional blood tests might include:

Talk to your healthcare provider about the ranges for these thyroid blood tests. Your ranges might not be the same as someone elses. Thats often alright. If you have any concerns or worries about your blood test results, talk to your provider.

Imaging tests

An ultrasound typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes.

Physical exam

How Is Thyroid Disease Treated

hyperthyroidism  Page 3  Thyroid Center of Santa Monica

Your healthcare providers goal is to return your thyroid hormone levels to normal. This can be done in a variety of ways and each specific treatment will depend on the cause of your thyroid condition.

If you have high levels of thyroid hormones , treatment options can include:

  • Anti-thyroid drugs : These are medications that stop your thyroid from making hormones.
  • Radioactive iodine: This treatment damages the cells of your thyroid, preventing it from making high levels of thyroid hormones.
  • Beta blockers: These medications dont change the amount of hormones in your body, but they help control your symptoms.
  • Surgery: A more permanent form of treatment, your healthcare provider may surgically remove your thyroid . This will stop it from creating hormones. However, you will need to take thyroid replacement hormones for the rest of your life.

If you have low levels of thyroid hormones , the main treatment option is:

  • Thyroid replacement medication: This drug is a synthetic way to add thyroid hormones back into your body. One drug thats commonly used is called levothyroxine. By using a medication, you can control thyroid disease and live a normal life.

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What Are My Treatment Options For Graves’ Disease

The goal of any treatment for Graves is to stop the overproduction of your thyroid and its effects on your body. Research has shown that certain types of treatments carry different risks for different people, according to Dr. Angell. So, it’s important to discuss the pros and cons of each approach with your doctor in order to find the treatment that’s best for you. Options include:

  • Radioactive iodine therapy. This is usually administered in a single small pill. When you swallow it, the radioactive iodine enters your bloodstream and is absorbed by your overactive thyroid cells. As a result, your thyroid should shrink, and your levels of thyroid hormone should return to normal. If not, it can be done a second time.

“There is widespread misconception about the level of risk associated with RAI,” Dr. Bischoff says, referring to the debate over whether or not it is carcinogenic and the conflicting studies supporting either side. Currently, the official position of the American Thyroid Association is, ”There has been no clear increase in cancer incidence in hyperthyroid patients that have been treated with radioactive iodine.” Dr. Angell says these concerns and studies are something he would discuss in detail with a patient who is considering RAI treatment. RAI is also not advised if youre pregnant.

How Does Pregnancy Affect The Thyroid

Normal hormone changes during cause thyroid hormone levels to increase. The thyroid gland may also enlarge slightly in healthy women during pregnancy, but not enough to be felt. These changes do not affect the pregnancy or your unborn baby.

Undiagnosed thyroid gland problems can harm you and your unborn baby. Symptoms of normal pregnancy, such as fatigue and feeling hot, can make it easy to overlook thyroid problems that cause the same symptoms. Tell your doctor or nurse if you have symptoms of overactive thyroid or notice a goiter.

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What Does The Thyroid Do

Your thyroid has an important job to do within your body releasing and controlling thyroid hormones that control metabolism. Metabolism is a process where the food you take into your body is transformed into energy. This energy is used throughout your entire body to keep many of your bodys systems working correctly. Think of your metabolism as a generator. It takes in raw energy and uses it to power something bigger.

The thyroid controls your metabolism with a few specific hormones T4 and T3 . These two hormones are created by the thyroid and they tell the bodys cells how much energy to use. When your thyroid works properly, it will maintain the right amount of hormones to keep your metabolism working at the right rate. As the hormones are used, the thyroid creates replacements.

This is all supervised by something called the pituitary gland. Located in the center of the skull, below your brain, the pituitary gland monitors and controls the amount of thyroid hormones in your bloodstream. When the pituitary gland senses a lack of thyroid hormones or a high level of hormones in your body, it will adjust the amounts with its own hormone. This hormone is called thyroid stimulating hormone . The TSH will be sent to the thyroid and it will tell the thyroid what needs to be done to get the body back to normal.

What Will Be The Outcome Of Treatment

Graves’ Disease, Thyroid Eye Disease, and COVID-19

If you receive definitive treatment for your Graves hyperthyroidism , you will eventually develop hypothyroidism . Even if you are treated with antithyroid drugs alone, hypothyroidism can still occur. Your doctor will check your thyroid function tests frequently to assess thyroid function following treatment. When hypothyroidism occurs, you will need to take a thyroid hormone tablet once a day at the right dose .

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Workup In Graves Disease

Ultrasensitive thyrotropin assays remain the best screening test for thyroid disorders. With the exception of thyrotropin-induced hyperthyroidism, subnormal or suppressed thyrotropin levels are seen in most patients with thyrotoxicosis.

Liver function test results should be obtained to monitor for liver toxicity caused by thioamides .

A complete blood count with differential should be obtained at baseline and with the development of fever or symptoms of infection. Graves disease may be associated with normocytic anemia, low-normal to slightly depressed total white blood cell count with relative lymphocytosis and monocytosis, and low-normal to slightly depressed platelet count. Thioamides may rarely cause severe hematologic side effects, but routine screening for these rare events is not cost-effective.

Radioactive iodine scanning and measurements of iodine uptake are useful in differentiating the causes of hyperthyroidism. In Graves disease, the radioactive iodine uptake is increased, and the uptake is diffusely distributed over the entire gland.

What Are The Symptoms Of Graves’ Disease

Early in the course of Graves’ Disease, the symptoms may be similar to other conditions and may delay or confuse the diagnosis.

The following are a list of the more common symptoms of Graves’ Disease:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Even though your appetite may be excessive
  • Heat intolerance or excessive sweating
  • Anxiety, Tremors, Restlessness
  • Rapid or irregular heart rate, palpitations or chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Goiter or thyroid mass
  • Increased frequency of bowel movements

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How Long Does It Take To Recover From Thyroid Surgery

It will take your body a few weeks to recover after your thyroid is surgically removed . During this time you should avoid a few things, including:

  • Submerging your incision under water.
  • Lifting an object thats heavier than 15 pounds.
  • Doing more than light exercise.

This generally lasts for about two weeks. After that, you can return to your normal activities.

How Does Graves’ Disease Affect Women

Graves Disease

Women are more likely to get Graves’ disease than men. Graves’ disease also affects women differently than men. In addition to causing heart problems and osteoporosis, Graves’ disease in women can cause:

  • Problems with your menstrual period. Your thyroid hormone can affect your menstrual cycle. Too much thyroid hormone can cause irregular menstrual periods and make your periods lighter than normal.
  • Problems getting pregnant. Irregular menstrual cycles can make it harder for women with Graves’ disease to get pregnant. About half of women with Graves’ disease have .
  • Problems during pregnancy. Graves’ disease can cause problems for you and for your unborn baby’s development.
  • Problems after pregnancy. Graves’ disease often gets better during the last three months of pregnancy, but it may get worse after delivery.

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