Graves disease is a chronic (ongoing) condition where the body's immune
system causes the thyroid gland to make more thyroid hormones than it should.
Doctors call this hyperthyroidism.
More to Know
Thyroid hormones help control many body functions. When the thyroid
isn't working properly, it can affect a person's organs and body systems, as well
as growth and sexual development.
People with Graves disease might lose weight even though they're eating more. Their
eyes may be reddened or irritated, or look like they're staring or bulging out. They
might feel hot or sweaty, have a fast heartbeat, and feel nervous. People who have
the disease may feel weaker or more tired than usual and have trouble sleeping. Girls
might not get their periods as they should. The thyroid gland may also become swollen,
causing a lump in the front of the neck called a goiter.
Keep in Mind
People can take medicine to keep thyroid hormone levels in the blood normal. If
the disease doesn't go away within a couple years on its own, doctors often suggest
other treatments or surgery to shrink or remove the thyroid gland.
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