What Is Graves Disease UK?

enlarged thyroid gland

Graves's illness has been identified as a chronic immune condition wherein immune cells create antibodies called immunoglobulins (TSIs). This medication mimics TSH, tricking thyroid cells with excess hormones. Around 75% of the people in the world have hyperactive thyroid or thyroid disease. Other names include Basedow disease, Parry disease, and Graves hyperthyroidism. People with Gravess' disease may be at risk for other health conditions including Graves' dermopathy (also known as pretibial myxedema).

Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) - Causes

When you have hyperthyroidism, you produce more thyroid hormones than necessary. This way your thyroid hormone levels are elevated. Several factors can make your thyroid more active.

If your body creates too much thyroid hormone, this would also result in developing hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is known to accelerate your body's metabolism. Your doctor may require you to undergo radioactive iodine treatment. This will help your thyroid produces hormones while destroying the overactive thyroid cells.


An overactive thyroid can usually be treated effectively and the majority of these symptoms can be alleviated. Generally speaking – beta-blocking drugs can help relieve some symptoms of an overactive thyroid, however, it does not directly affect the thyroid. There are cases of hypothyroidism and under activity of the thyroid. A thyroid imbalance in skeletal systems can also be a serious problem but can be treated with ease. How can you treat a hyperactive thyroid?


thyroid blood test

Thyroid gland function tests

Your doctor will get a blood sample from you to determine whether TSH controls thyroxine or triiodothyronine. If you have an overactive thyroid, thyroid function tests or thyroid blood tests will show a low TSH level within your body. Thyroid glands are overactive with excessive hormones and can cause thyroid dysfunction. It's the first phase of thyroid testing. The doctor can then determine if a person is taking thyroxine or triiodothyronine in the blood. Depending on how you feel, the thyroid levels are balanced.


Amiodarone is a medicine called an analgesic used to control an irregular heart rhythm or atrial fibrillation. In patients with thyroid nodules ii, the use of amiodarone can lead to hypothyroidism and is known to have no known side effects. Amiodarone may also lead to hyperthyroidism, which is typically more severe and hard to treat due to its detrimental impact on the thyroid. It is commonly called amiodarone-inducing hyperthyroidism.

Thyroid nodules

There are often lumps within the thoracic gland. This is called a nodule. Nodules may be formed without being diagnosed and are sometimes benign. However, the tumours may contain abnormally thickened thyroid tissue that interferes with normal thyroid production resulting in a hyperactive thyroid gland. Nodules containing abnormal glandular linings are considered toxins. A toxic nodule can cause one in ten cases of hyperthyroidism.

Determining the underlying cause

Tests can be done to find underlying causes of thyroid dysfunction. A further test which is often performed is isotopic thyroid imaging. Typically, Technetium can be swallowed in capsules. In this way the thyroid gland absorbs isotopes. If your thyroid takes in large amounts of isotopes it can likely be attributed to Graves Disease or thyroid nodule. If the sum is small, the causes may be one of the following:

Tell me the cause.

Graves disease can be found in many different forms but its causes are not known. Those genetically predisposed are likely to be triggered by certain factors - stress, infection, or pregnancy. You could also be at greater risk if you have another condition that affects the immune system, like type 1 diabetes or rheumatic arthritis. Smoking can elevate the risk of the disease and reduce the effectiveness of any treatment.

Further, if you have Grave's disease, you may have lower levels of thyroid stimulating hormone and you're at higher risk of developing thyroid cancer. Other patients may also suffer from swelling around their eyes caused by thyroid eye disease.

Iodine supplements

Iodinated foods are produced when thyroid glands produce the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine to increase blood pressure. If you take iodine supplementation it can increase the thyroxine levels of your thyroid. It has also been called hypothyroidism caused by iodine. Often this is caused only by nodules of glands within the thyroid.

Who is affected?

The thyroid gland is 10 times stronger in the female population. Currently, a third of British women have an overactive thyroid. Symptoms usually develop around 20 – 40 years of age, but they can develop at any age, even in childhood. Thyroid gland overactivity occurs largely in black people and Asian people and more generally in Africans.


About 1 in 20 people with Graves' disease develop ophthalmic problems. One of the rarer complications is symptoms that are sudden and severe called a thyroid storm or thyroiditis rash. Thyroid cyclones can lead to dehydration and heart problems. Find out how to treat an excess thyroid hormone.

Tell me the symptoms.

Similar to hyperthyroidism, Grave's disease can cause skin problems involving your eyes and skin and can cause skin rashes or swollen skin to develop. Although the consequent effect of swollen skin is not severe, it may affect an individual's physical appearance.

When to seek medical advice?

Consult your physician for a diagnosis. It's possible the thyroid is overworked and it's worth further investigation. If you are ill or have any other symptoms you must make a list, this may assist in diagnosing the disease.

You may need thyroid blood tests and a thyroid function test to determine normal thyroid function

Moreover, pregnant women might have an increased risk chance of getting serious problems. So, it's always best to consult a doctor for possible treatment options.

At Welzo we offer Thyroid Blood Tests, click here to learn more. 

For a full range of medications, visit our Welzo Online Pharmacy Page. For more details, click here.

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