Graves Disease | oneGRAVESvoice

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Graves Disease

key information

source: MedlinePlus

summary/abstract:

Graves disease is an autoimmune disorder that leads to an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism). An autoimmune disorder is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.

Causes
The thyroid gland is an important organ of the endocrine system. The gland is located at the front of the neck above where the collarbones meet. This gland releases the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which control body metabolism. Controlling metabolism is important for regulating mood, weight, and mental and physical energy levels.

When the body makes too much thyroid hormone, the condition is called hyperthyroidism. (An underactive thyroid leads to hypothyroidism.)

Graves disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. It is due to an abnormal immune system response that causes the thyroid gland to produce too much thyroid hormone. Graves disease is most common in women over age 20. But the disorder can occur at any age and can affect men as well.

 

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