source: Mayo Clinic
Hyperthyroidism triggered by Graves’ disease can lead to various symptoms, including unintentional weight loss, rapid or irregular heartbeat, anxiety and irritability, tremors in the hands and fingers, enlargement of the thyroid, and heat sensitivity. In about 20 percent of cases, the disease causes inflammation behind the eyes — a condition known as Graves’ ophthalmopathy. Rarely, people with the disease may develop Graves’ dermopathy — an inflammation of skin on the feet and lower legs.
There’s no treatment available for the root cause of Graves’ disease, which is an autoimmune process. Because of that, treatment focuses on controlling the overactive thyroid. The mainstays of treatment for Graves’ disease, as recommended by the American Thyroid Association, include anti-thyroid medication, radioactive iodine therapy and surgery to remove the thyroid. The one that’s best for you depends on your symptoms, the severity of the disease, your overall medical condition and your preferences.
Anti-thyroid medication often is recommended as the first step in treatment. That’s because it’s the only option that holds the possibility to put the disease into remission while preserving normal thyroid function.