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Graves Disease

Grave's disease is a basic defect in the immune system causing antibodies, which stimulate and attack the thyroid gland causing growth of the gland and overproduction of thyroid hormone.These antibodies may also attack the tissues in the eye muscle and "pretibial skin", causing protruding eyes, opthalmopathy, and dermopathy thickening of the skin over the front of the legs.
The thyroid gland is located in the neck. It manufactures two thyroid hormones that are essential for metabolism and growth. The thyroid takes iodine from the food we eat and uses it to make thyroid hormones. If thyroid hormones are in short supply, a person feels sluggish, has a slow heartbeat, and can even feel depressed. This condition hypothyroidism. Too much thyroid hormone is called hyperthyroidism and is also a problem. This condition is almost the exact opposite of hypothyroidism. The individual has a fast heartbeat, weight loss, nervousness, and heat intolerance. In addition, hyperthyroidism can affect the eye. One of the conditions that results in hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease. This condition afflicts a great many people. In this disease, the thyroid gland enlarges and releases too much thyroid hormone. The person can become restless and overactive, and the heart often races
;Graves disease is found in less then ? of 1% of the population.; Although it is fund most frequently in middle aged women, (8:1 more than men), it also occurs in children and in the elderly. There are several elements contributing to the development of Graves’ disease. "There is a genetic predisposition to auto-immune disorders. Infections and stress play a part. Graves’ disease may have its onset after an external stress, in other instances, it may follow a viral infection or pregnancy. Many times the exact cause of Graves’ disease is simply not known. It is not contagious, although it has been known to occur coincidentally between husbands…

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