Some people have a greater risk of Graves’ disease.
Chronic illness presents daily challenges to those who experience it.
Unlike many acute sicknesses or small injuries, there is not generally a time frame for recovery.
In fact, management is often the only option.
According to a recent Verywell Health article titled “What Is Graves’ Disease?” Graves’ disease tends to be categorized as a chronic illness.
Certain people are at greater risk of developing Graves’ disease.
People under age 40 are more commonly diagnosed.
Additionally, more women than men tend to develop the disease, and the risk increases during pregnancy.
Those who have other family members with Graves’ disease or who have other autoimmune diseases like lupus are more likely to be affected by the illness.
Lifestyle choices, like smoking, increase individual risk.
Although stress has been a suggested risk factor, there is no evidence linking stress to causation.
How is Graves’ disease diagnosed?
Generally, a combination of blood tests, a review of symptoms, and a physical examination will be used.
Because Graves’ is considered a type of hyperthyroidism, thyroid function blood tests and physical examinations can help identify the cause.
In some instances, biopsy and an imaging study are beneficial for a specific Graves’ diagnosis over other forms of hyperthyroidism.
Symptoms of Graves’ include agitation, enlarged thyroid glans, fast reflexes, rapid heart rate, tremors, and sometimes moist, smooth skin.
Having these symptoms alone is not sufficient for a diagnosis.
Even goiter can be attributed to an alternative thyroid condition.
Dermopathy and ophthalmopathy more commonly occur in Graves’ disease compared to other hyperthyroidism.
Having these and goiter or acropathy is a significant indicator of Graves’.
The way Graves’ disease affects the appearance of the thyroid can be unique and is often seen with a thyroid ultrasound.
If you think you or a loved one might have Graves’ disease, talk to your doctor about scheduling an appointment for testing.
Reference: Verywell Health (Aug. 29, 2022) “What Is Graves’ Disease?”