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Graves' Disease Health Feed

Graves' Disease - How To Resolve It?

Dr.Rajesh Jain 89% (220ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD Preventive Medicine, PG Diploma Diabetes
Endocrinologist, Kanpur
Graves' Disease - How To Resolve It?

Graves' disease, also called as toxic diffuse goiter or exophthalmic goiter is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid gland resulting in overproduction of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism). Graves' disease is the most prevalent cause of hyperthyroidism.

Causes

  1. The exact cause is unclear.
  2. Enlarged thyroid: Normally, thyroid function is regulated by a hormone released by the pituitary gland. The antibody associated with Graves' disease — Thyrotropin receptor antibody (TRAb) — acts as the regulatory pituitary hormone. The TRAb overrides the normal regulation of the thyroid, causing an overproduction of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism). In Graves' disease, the immune system generates antibodies that trigger the TSH receptor, tricking the thyroid into making too many hormones, which speeds up the metabolism.

Risk factors

  1. Family history: It is a known risk factor.
  2. Gender: Women are much more likely to develop Graves' disease than men.
  3. Age: Graves' disease usually develops in people younger than 40.
  4. Other autoimmune disorders: People with other disorders of the immune system, such as type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, have an increased risk.
  5. Emotional or physical stress: Stress may act as a trigger for the onset of Graves' disease.
  6. Pregnancy: Pregnancy or recent childbirth may increase the risk of the disorder that is genetically susceptible.
  7. Smoking: Cigarette smoking increases the risk of Graves' disease and also Graves' ophthalmopathy.

Signs and Symptoms

  1. Diffuse palpable goiter with audible bruit (70%)
  2. Tremors (40%)
  3. Exophthalmos (protuberance of one or both eyes, periorbital edema [25%])
  4. Fatigue (70%) and weight loss (60%) with increased appetite in young people and poor appetite in the elderly
  5. Heat intolerance (55%)
  6. Tremulousness (55%)
  7. Palpitations (50%), Heart failure
  8. Enlarged thyroid gland and increased sweating
  9. Weight loss (without a change in diet)
  10. Changes in the menstrual cycle
  11. Erectile dysfunction and reduced libido
  12. Anxiety and irritability
  13. Graves' dermopathy with thick red skin on the shins (rare)

Diagnosis

  1. Two signs are truly diagnostic of Graves’s disease (i.e., not seen in other hyperthyroid conditions):
    • Exophthalmos
    • Nonpitting edema
  2. A large goiter will be visible to the naked eye; however, a small one may be detectable only on physical examination.
  3. Abnormally high levels of T3 and T4 and a very low level of TSH are good indications of Graves' disease.
  4. Computed tomography and ultrasound can also be used for detection of Graves’ disease.

Complications

  1. Pregnancy issues include miscarriage, preterm birth, fetal thyroid dysfunction, poor fetal growth, maternal heart failure, and preeclampsia.
  2. Heart disorders include heart rhythm disorders, changes in the structure and function of the heart muscles, and congestive heart failure.
  3. Thyroid storm/accelerated hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxic crisis is a rare but life-threatening complication of Graves’ disease.
  4. Untreated hyperthyroidism also can lead to weak, brittle bones and osteoporosis.

Treatment
The primary treatment goals are to inhibit the overproduction of thyroid hormones and lessen the severity of symptoms.

  1. Radioiodine therapy: Iodine-131, synthetic thyroid hormone
  2. Medications: Beta blockers and antithyroid medications such as methimazole
  3. Surgery: Thyroidectomy
1492 people found this helpful

Autoimmune Disease - Can Homeopathy Treat It?

Dr.Keyur Majmundar 92% (28ratings)
DHMS (Diploma In Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery), DIHom (London)
Homeopathy Doctor, Ahmedabad
Autoimmune Disease - Can Homeopathy Treat It?

Autoimmune diseases are one of the most troublesome and hard to cure disease. These diseases occur when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys healthy tissues by mistake.

Some of the very common autoimmune diseases are-

  1. Graves Disease
  2. Lupus
  3. Crohn’s Disease
  4. Reactive Arthritis
  5. Psoriasis
  6. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
  7. Rheumatoid Arthritis
  8. Type 1 Diabetes

What causes autoimmune diseases?

The WBCs or the white blood cells in our body helps the immune system to protect against harmful foreign substances like toxins, bacterias, viruses etc. these substances contain antigens and our body or the immune system produces antibodies against these antigens that helps in destroying these antigens. When one has an autoimmune disease, the immune system cannot distinguish between healthy tissues and antigens as a result of which the body starts destroying all the tissues including the healthy ones.

Homeopathy as a treatment to autoimmune disease.

Homeopathy is said to be the best treatment to the autoimmune diseases. It can efficiently cure and control the unnecessary destruction of healthy tissues. Homeopathy has been doing wonders since ages and is an entirely natural process. It is very much efficient when it comes to autoimmune diseases since it works on the theory of curing illness by stimulating the body to heal itself. There are different ways in which homeopathy has been helping in the curing process of numerous autoimmune diseases. Though it is challenging to recommend and classify each homeopathic remedy for certain diseases since the remedies are based on symptoms and the patient, but it is not impossible. Homeopathy treatment aims in finding the root of the cause that triggers the factors and helps us to bring back the equilibrium of the immune system of the body.

Conclusion

Homeopathic treatment of the autoimmune diseases does not only depend on the symptoms of the patient but also on other factors. Factors like the patient’s psychological and emotional symptoms.

Therefore, homeopathy dives deep into the patient’s symptoms in all way. Since it is a trustworthy natural process of treatment, a lot of people around the world vest their trust on this very pattern of medication when it comes to autoimmune diseases. They main reason why homeopathy can efficiently help in curing autoimmune disease lies in the principle on which homeopathy works- treating like with like. Hundreds of people use homeopathy to cure these diseases especially arthritis and the results are wondrous though it takes a comparatively longer time. Notwithstanding the fact that the results are astounding and makes homeopathy a successful field of medication.

3301 people found this helpful

Graves' Disease - What Causes It?

MBBS, Post Graduate Diploma In Diabetology (PGDD)
Endocrinologist, Thane
Graves' Disease - What Causes It?

Graves' disease, also called as toxic diffuse goiter or exophthalmic goiter is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid gland resulting in overproduction of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism). Graves' disease is the most prevalent cause of hyperthyroidism.

Causes

  1. The exact cause is unclear.
  2. Enlarged thyroid: Normally, thyroid function is regulated by a hormone released by the pituitary gland. The antibody associated with Graves' disease — Thyrotropin receptor antibody (TRAb) — acts as the regulatory pituitary hormone. The TRAb overrides the normal regulation of the thyroid, causing an overproduction of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism). In Graves' disease, the immune system generates antibodies that trigger the TSH receptor, tricking the thyroid into making too many hormones, which speeds up the metabolism.

Risk factors

  1. Family history: It is a known risk factor.
  2. Gender: Women are much more likely to develop Graves' disease than men.
  3. Age: Graves' disease usually develops in people younger than 40.
  4. Other autoimmune disorders: People with other disorders of the immune system, such as type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, have an increased risk.
  5. Emotional or physical stress: Stress may act as a trigger for the onset of Graves' disease.
  6. Pregnancy: Pregnancy or recent childbirth may increase the risk of the disorder that is genetically susceptible.
  7. Smoking: Cigarette smoking increases the risk of Graves' disease and also Graves' ophthalmopathy.

Signs and Symptoms

  1. Diffuse palpable goiter with audible bruit (70%)
  2. Tremors (40%)
  3. Exophthalmos (protuberance of one or both eyes, periorbital edema [25%])
  4. Fatigue (70%) and weight loss (60%) with increased appetite in young people and poor appetite in the elderly
  5. Heat intolerance (55%)
  6. Tremulousness (55%)
  7. Palpitations (50%), Heart failure
  8. Enlarged thyroid gland and increased sweating
  9. Weight loss (without a change in diet)
  10. Changes in menstrual cycle
  11. Erectile dysfunction and reduced libido
  12. Anxiety and irritability
  13. Graves' dermopathy with thick red skin on the shins (rare)

Diagnosis

  1. Two signs are truly diagnostic of Graves’s disease (i.e., not seen in other hyperthyroid conditions):
    • Exophthalmos
    • Nonpitting edema
  2. A large goiter will be visible to the naked eye; however, a small one may be detectable only on physical examination.
  3. Abnormally high levels of T3 and T4 and a very low level of TSH are good indications of Graves' disease.
  4. Computed tomography and ultrasound can also be used for detection of Graves’ disease.

Complications

  1. Pregnancy issues include miscarriage, preterm birth, fetal thyroid dysfunction, poor fetal growth, maternal heart failure, and preeclampsia.
  2. Heart disorders include heart rhythm disorders, changes in the structure and function of the heart muscles, and congestive heart failure.
  3. Thyroid storm/accelerated hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxic crisis is a rare but life-threatening complication of Graves’ disease.
  4. Untreated hyperthyroidism also can lead to weak, brittle bones and osteoporosis.

Treatment
The primary treatment goals are to inhibit the overproduction of thyroid hormones and lessen the severity of symptoms.

  1. Radioiodine therapy: Iodine-131, synthetic thyroid hormone
  2. Medications: Beta blockers and antithyroid medications such as methimazole
  3. Surgery: Thyroidectomy
1976 people found this helpful

Graves' Disease - How To Diagnose It Right?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - General Medicine, Post Graduate Diploma In Diabetology (PGDD), FCCP
Endocrinologist, Surat
Graves' Disease - How To Diagnose It Right?

The body has multiple chemicals called hormones, which regulate many of its functions. Increased or decreased levels of these hormones affect various functions including metabolism, growth and sexual functions. Thyroxin produced by the thyroid (situated in the front of the neck) is one such hormone, which has a significant role to play in metabolism.

Graves’ disease is one of the main causes of hyperthyroidism, where there is excessive production of thyroid hormones. Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder, wherein the body reacts against its own tissues. It is very common in women than men, especially after 20 years of age. Family history also has a strong correlation in developing Graves’ disease. The high levels of thyroid hormone increase the rate of metabolism, thereby altering weight, mental energy levels, physical stamina, and also mood.

Thyroid hormone is related to metabolism and more amount of it lead to higher metabolism. This causes the following symptoms.

  1. Intolerance to heat
  2. Excessive sweating
  3. Nervousness and anxiety
  4. Inability sleep, as the mind is always excited
  5. Increased appetite (sometimes despite weight loss) due to higher metabolism
  6. Irregular menstrual cycles
  7. Palpitations (rapid, loud heartbeat)
  8. Irregular heartbeats (tachyarrhythmia)
  9. Fine tremors of the extended arms
  10. Breast enlargement in men, known as gynecomastia
  11. Extreme moodiness, causing irritability and anger
  12. Inability to focus and concentrate
  13. General fatigue and shortness of breath with any exertion
  14. Increased frequency of bowel movements

In addition, the eye symptoms are quite diagnostic including:

  1. Protrusion of the eyes (exophthalmos), giving an impression that they are going to fall out
  2. Double vision
  3. Excessive tearing
  4. Increased irritation in the eyes

Diagnosis: The first symptom would be the presence of an enlarged thyroid gland (front of the neck above the collarbone), and the some of the above symptoms would be present.
In addition, tests to check for thyroid gland functioning including T3 and T4 levels would reveal increased amounts of hormone in the blood stream.
As a confirmatory test, the radioactive iodine uptake test also is done, which will indicate increased uptake by the thyroid gland. This indicates that the gland is functioning at an increased pace and requires additional iodine for the production of thyroid hormones.

Treatment: There are two approaches to it, one to control the symptoms and the other to control the thyroid gland per se.

  1. Beta blockers are very useful in controlling rapid heart rate and anxiety.
  2. Prednisone may be used to control eye irritation and swelling
  3. Antithyroid drugs are used to control the production of thyroid
  4. Radioactive iodine is given orally to control excessive thyroid production
  5. In severe cases, thyroid gland may be surgically removed partially or completely

Graves’ disease is not life-threatening and once symptoms are controlled, the patient’s quality of life improves drastically.

3179 people found this helpful

Thyroid Surgery - Why Should You Go For It?

Dr.Ashok Gupta 91% (5463ratings)
MS - General Surgery, MBBS
General Surgeon, Delhi
Thyroid Surgery - Why Should You Go For It?

Thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland, which is present at the lower frontal region of the neck, right beneath the voice box. It produces hormones which regulate metabolism (the breakdown of food by the body to convert it into energy). It even plays a pivotal role in boosting organ functions as well as in helping the body to sustain heat. However, too much of hormone production by the thyroid gland might yield structural problems, for instance, growth of nodules (abnormal tissue growth) or cysts (non-cancerous sac-like structures containing fluid) and swelling. Hence, a thyroid surgery is a must once these problems occur. The surgery, administered with general anesthesia, eliminates the thyroid gland either wholly or partially.

Why do you need surgery?

  1. The presence of tumors or nodules on one’s thyroid gland is one of the reasons why one should go for the surgery. Although most of the nodules are benign, few can be pre-cancerous or cancerous too. Also, those benign nodules can spell trouble, if they expand in size, thus obstructing the throat. They can be problematic as well if they cause the thyroid gland to overproduce hormones, giving rise to a condition known as hyperthyroidism.
  2. Hyperthyroidism can be corrected through surgery. It is often an outcome of Grave’s disease, an autoimmune disorder wherein the body misidentifies the thyroid gland as a foreign body, thereby creating antibodies to combat it. The thyroid gland gets inflamed in the process, resulting in the overproduction of hormones.
  3. Another reason is the enlargement or swelling up of the thyroid gland, termed as goiter. Similar to large nodules, goiter too can clog the throat, thus interfering with one’s breathing, speaking and eating.

Types of Surgery

  1. Lobectomy: This procedure calls for partial removal of the lobes when a nodule or an inflammation affects just half of the thyroid gland.
  2. Subtotal Thyroidectomy: Here, a small proportion of the thyroid tissue is left behind even after the elimination of the thyroid gland.
  3. Total Thyroidectomy: Through this procedure, the entire thyroid gland is taken out along with the thyroid tissue. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an endocrinologist.
3348 people found this helpful

Pain During Sex - How You Can Make it Less Painful?

Dr.Sayeed Khan 91% (186ratings)
MDEH, BUMS
Sexologist, Delhi
Pain During Sex - How You Can Make it Less Painful?

A healthy physical relationship is not only stimulating, but it also enhances your emotional bonding with your partner and reduces stress in both partners. However, statistics report that almost 30% of the women experience pain during intercourse. This not only hampers the pleasure, but is also an unhealthy sign since it is indicative of a problem.

Painful intercourse could be a regular occurrence, or a sporadic one. There could be numerous reasons that cause the discomfort and pain. Though it might be an early manifestation of grave diseases such as endometriosis or fibroids, but more often, it is triggered due to conditions such as vaginal dryness, yeast infection, bacterial vaginiosis, which can be easily treated. It is pertinent to understand that it is not the physical infirmity of the entire female anatomy that causes such pain/ discomfort, but the existence of certain conditions that can be treated by a medical practitioner.

Certain such causal factors associated with painful intercourse and the efficient ways to deal with them are discussed below:

1. Vaginal dryness - Vaginal dryness is one of the most commonly cited causes for painful intercourse. There are various causal factors of vaginal dryness. These include, but are not limited to, consumption of certain drugs, bathing with hot water, health conditions or even lack of foreplay. Vaginal dryness due to the aforementioned causes is a short-lived condition that can be treated well with the help of a medical practitioner.
Usage of lubricants that is suitable for you, as advised by a medical practitioner, could go a long way in aiding the ease of sexual intercourse. The lubricants act as an effective substitute, if the body is unable to naturally secrete vaginal fluids to ease intercourse, thereby greatly reducing the pain that is experienced.

2. Improper vaginal expansion - The female anatomy is designed in such a way that it expands normally during intercourse. Proper foreplay enables the woman to get excited, which results in the release of vaginal fluids that aids in sexual intercourse. However, in the event that the female is not excited enough prior to the act, sexual intercourse can become a painful act, since the vagina is unable to expand in the absence of vaginal fluids. In such cases, take things slow and give your body time to comfortably go with the flow.

3. Vaginal itching caused by infection - Vaginal infections can be caused by antibiotics, prior sexual activity that has resulted in contraction of Sexually Transmitted Diseases etc. This results in an itching or burning sensation while having sex. It is essential to rest your body instead of forcing things, and to consult your doctor as soon as possible. The doctor can correctly diagnose the causal factors behind the infection, and prescribe the necessary medicines for it.

However, if your symptoms vary from the common ones mentioned above, or in case you have a different query, it is always advisable to consult the doctor.

3255 people found this helpful

Graves' Disease - Things You Should Know About It

Dr.K Sridhar 90% (545ratings)
MBBS & Post Graduate Course in Diabetology, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE), CCEBDM, Certificate course in management of Thyroid disorders-CCMTD, RSSDI life member
Diabetologist, Bangalore
Graves' Disease - Things You Should Know About It

The body has multiple chemicals called hormones, which regulate many of its functions. Increased or decreased levels of these hormones affect various functions including metabolism, growth and sexual functions. Thyroxin produced by the thyroid (situated in the front of the neck) is one such hormone, which has a significant role to play in metabolism.

Graves’ disease is one of the main causes of hyperthyroidism, where there is excessive production of thyroid hormones. Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder, wherein the body reacts against its own tissues. It is very common in women than men, especially after 20 years of age. Family history also has a strong correlation in developing Graves’ disease. The high levels of thyroid hormone increase the rate of metabolism, thereby altering weight, mental energy levels, physical stamina, and also mood.

Thyroid hormone is related to metabolism and more amount of it lead to higher metabolism. This causes the following symptoms.

  1. Intolerance to heat
  2. Excessive sweating
  3. Nervousness and anxiety
  4. Inability sleep, as the mind is always excited
  5. Increased appetite (sometimes despite weight loss) due to higher metabolism
  6. Irregular menstrual cycles
  7. Palpitations (rapid, loud heartbeat)
  8. Irregular heartbeats (tachyarrhythmia)
  9. Fine tremors of the extended arms
  10. Breast enlargement in men, known as gynecomastia
  11. Extreme moodiness, causing irritability and anger
  12. Inability to focus and concentrate
  13. General fatigue and shortness of breath with any exertion
  14. Increased frequency of bowel movements

In addition, the eye symptoms are quite diagnostic including:

  1. Protrusion of the eyes (exophthalmos), giving an impression that they are going to fall out
  2. Double vision
  3. Excessive tearing
  4. Increased irritation in the eyes

Diagnosis: The first symptom would be the presence of an enlarged thyroid gland (front of the neck above the collarbone), and the some of the above symptoms would be present.
In addition, tests to check for thyroid gland functioning including T3 and T4 levels would reveal increased amounts of hormone in the blood stream.
As a confirmatory test, the radioactive iodine uptake test also is done, which will indicate increased uptake by the thyroid gland. This indicates that the gland is functioning at an increased pace and requires additional iodine for the production of thyroid hormones.

Treatment: There are two approaches to it, one to control the symptoms and the other to control the thyroid gland per se.

  1. Beta blockers are very useful in controlling rapid heart rate and anxiety.
  2. Prednisone may be used to control eye irritation and swelling
  3. Antithyroid drugs are used to control the production of thyroid
  4. Radioactive iodine is given orally to control excessive thyroid production
  5. In severe cases, thyroid gland may be surgically removed partially or completely

Graves’ disease is not life-threatening and once symptoms are controlled, the patient’s quality of life improves drastically. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a endocrinologist.

3064 people found this helpful
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