The thyroid gland is the “master controller” of metabolism.
Who is at risk?
Women under 40 years of age are especially prone to developing Graves’ disease.3 Smokers are more likely to have Graves’ disease and are more likely to have eye problems than non-smokers.3
Symptoms of Graves’ disease
This disease can go unnoticed for a long time, but you may experience some of the following symptoms:1,4
Symptoms of Graves’ ophthalmopathy include:1
Diagnosing Graves’ disease
Your doctor cannot tell from the symptoms alone whether you have Graves’ disease. Physical examinations and blood tests are needed for a definite diagnosis.1 Indicators include low levels of TSH and elevated levels of free thyroxine.5 In order to determine the extent of your hyperthyroidism, a triiodothyronine test will also be performed. If hyperthyroidism, enlarged thyroid gland, and eye problems described above coexist, the diagnosis of Graves’ disease appears self-evident.5
Treatment of Graves’ disease
Your doctor will discuss with you the best treatment options to prevent the thyroid gland from producing excess thyroid hormones.
The last two options may provoke hypothyroidism in the long run.5 Your thyroid hormone levels will then be restored to normal by taking appropriate medication.1 If you suffer from the symptoms of Graves’ disease (such as fast heart rate, anxiety, heat intolerance and trembling hands) then your doctor may temporarily prescribe beta-blockers, which will make you feel better within a short time.4,5 Regular check-ups guarantee long-lasting treatment success1.
Patient information on thyroid health published by the American Thyroid Association.
Patient information from Thyroid Federation International.
Therapiegebiete/Endokrinologische Erkrankungen/Schilddrüse/Broschüren „Ihr Hashimoto Ratgeber“ und „Ihr Basedow Ratgeber“
Date of preparation: February 2022