Feeling extremely nervous or anxious?
Have you noticed that you sweat a lot?
Suffering from extreme tiredness or fatigue and have also noticed that your heartbeat is rapid or irregular?
Do you have hand tremors and unexplained weight loss even though you’re eating everything in sight?
Are you dealing with frequent bowel movements or diarrhea?
These are all common signs of Graves’ disease, though they can also be symptoms of other illnesses.
Other symptoms of Graves’ disease include menstrual issues, such as a very light menstrual flow and infrequent periods. In some cases, people with Graves have an enlarged thyroid (a goiter) or bulging eyes.
It is estimated that between 3 and 10 million people are diagnosed with hyperthyroidism – also known as an overactive thyroid. In fact, the most common form of hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease which mostly affects women, who are seven times more susceptible than men.
Your thyroid, the butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck, is responsible for a wide variety of functions throughout your body including regulating body temperature, heart rate, growth, energy production, and brain health.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone – but the “autoimmune version”, Graves’ disease, causes patients to develop antibodies triggering receptors on the thyroid gland to continuously stimulate thyroid hormone production.
Both hyperthyroidism and Graves’s Disease speed up metabolism, which might sound helpful – however, this extreme acceleration causes your body to use up nutrients too quickly, causing malnutrition.
Hyperthyroidism can cause other serious health issues affecting the heart, bones, muscles, menstrual cycle, and fertility.
Between 25 - 50% of people with Graves' disease have Graves' ophthalmopathy – eye abnormalities that include characteristic bulging eyes. Swelling, inflammation, redness, gritty sensation in the eyes, dryness, and puffy eyelids are also symptoms.
Some people develop bulging of the eyes caused by inflammation and retraction of the eyelids. In some rare cases, more serious eye issues may present such as pain and double vision.
In addition, some people suffer from rare skin symptoms such as red, itchy skin (particularly on shins or tops of the feet), as well as sensitivity to heat.
Graves’ is typically diagnosed by several tests, starting with blood testing to check the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) as well as free T4 and free T3 levels. Radioactive iodine uptake (RAIU) is another way to detect thyroid imbalances because high iodine uptake is common with Graves’ disease.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned or are concerned that you may be at risk for Graves’, schedule a free discovery consult to explore whether partnering with Infinite Wellness is the best next step.
Do you have questions about starting your path back to health? Our patient coordinator is standing by, happy to answer any questions you have to determine if our approach is right for you.
Known for her successful approach towards chronic wellness issues, Dr. Francine Woods and her team at Infinite Wellness combine an integrative, functional medicine approach informed by advanced lab testing.
Our unique approach to diagnosing and resolving chronic health issues recognizes that lasting health depends on resolving the underlying root causes of your symptoms . Click here to learn more »
One of the unique aspects of Infinite Wellness is that we look at the body in a holistic manner... evaluating the imbalances between different organ systems, rather than looking at organs in isolation.
Our approach seeks to empower you with lifelong health skills that serve you and your entire family – supported by our entire team. Click here to learn more about our approach with Dr. Francine Woods.
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