What are Signs of Graves’ Disease
There are several types and classifications of Graves’ disease, but it is a direct result of untreated hyperthyroidism. The long-term effects of overabundant thyroid hormone begin to affect your body on a cellular level. If the overabundance is not suppressed, it will manifest in very obvious physical symptoms over time.
We will look at those symptoms in this article.
The Signs & Symptoms of Graves’ Disease
The thyroid gland relies on a very delicate balance of hormone production and absorption.
As your hyperthyroidism worsens, the inflammation caused by this imbalance increases the hormone production, but skews the absorption process. This begins to affect your skin, eyes, and even psychological state.
According to the Mayo Clinic, these are the symptoms of Graves’ disease:
- Difficulty sleeping
- A rapid or irregular heartbeat
- A fine tremor of your hands or fingers
- An increase in perspiration or warm, moist skin
- Sensitivity to heat
- Weight loss, despite normal eating habits
- Enlargement of your thyroid gland (goiter)
- Change in menstrual cycles
- Erectile dysfunction or reduced libido
- Frequent bowel movements or diarrhea
- Bulging eyes (Graves’ ophthalmopathy)
- Thick, red skin usually on the shins or tops of the feet (Graves’ dermopathy)
Many of the symptoms are very similar to hyperthyroidism, so it can take a while for you to receive the proper diagnosis.
There are two other types of Graves’ disease:
- Graves’ ophthalmopathy
- Graves’ dermopathy
About half the patients that are diagnosed with Graves’ disease haveGraves’ ophthalmopathy.
Graves’ ophthalmopathy is characterized by:
- Bulging eyes
- Excess tearing
- Dry, irritated eyes
- Gritty sensation in the eyes
- Pressure or pain in the eyes
- Puffy eyelids
- Reddened or inflamed eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Double vision
- Limited eye movements, resulting in a fixed stare
- Blurred or reduced vision (rare)
- Ulcers on the cornea (rare)
The dermopathy variant affects the skin on the top of your feet and on your knees, causing it to redden and thicken. This is a rare manifestation of the disease.
When to see a Specialist
Get a referral to a thyroid specialist if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above. There are additional causes of Graves’ disease, but undiagnosed hyperthyroidism is one of the most common triggers.
It should be noted that if you’re having heart-related symptoms, you need to seek emergency medical help and get accurately diagnosed as soon as possible. Unlike occasional heart palpitations that are brought on by stress; the palpitations associated with Graves’ disease will not go away without proper treatment.
Heart palpitations that are not under control can end up doing long-term damage to the functions and muscle structure of your heart. This is not a risk worth taking.
Get the necessary treatment and start enjoying a better quality of life.