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All About Graves' Disease and Hyperthyroidism

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Updated May 30, 2014

A look at Graves' disease and hyperthyroidism, including the causes, risks, symptoms, diagnostic procedures, treatments -- including antithyroid drugs, radioactive iodine and surgery, and support and coping strategies for active hyperthyroidism and post-treatment hypothyroidism.

Quick Overview of Graves' Disease and Hyperthyroidism

African male doctor examining patient
Blend Images - Jose Luis Pelaez, Inc./Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Hyperthyroidism means an overactive thyroid gland. It's estimated that about 3 million people in the U.S. suffer from hyperthyroidism. The vast majority of sufferers are women. Learn the basics of hyperthyroidism, including the symptoms, causes, treatments and coping techniques.

Risks and Symptoms of Graves' Disease and Hyperthyroidism

There's a long list of symptoms and risk factors for Graves' disease. This article takes a look at the various risk factors, triggers, causes, signs and symptoms of Graves' disease, hyperthyroidism, and an overactive thyroid condition are reviewed in this article.

Diagnosis of Graves' Disease and Hyperthyroidism

Diagnosing Graves' disease and hyperthyroidism typically requires clinical examination, various blood tests, and imaging tests. This article looks at the various blood and imaging tests, clinical signs, and other factors that point to a diagnosis of Graves' disease and/or hyperthyroidism.

Treatment of Graves' Disease and Hyperthyroidism

Treating Graves' disease and hyperthyroidism -- an overactive thyroid -- typically involves three different approaches: drug treatment with antithyroid drugs; ablation of the thyroid gland with radioactive iodine, known as RAI; and surgery to remove all or part of the thyroid. This article reviews those three key approaches to hyperthyroidism.

Antithyroid Drug Treatment for Graves' Disease and Hyperthyroidism

Antithyroid drugs - also referred to as thionamides - are medications that treat an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) by blocking the thyroid gland's ability to produce thyroid hormone. Two antithyroid drugs are currently available in the United States: methimazole, and propylthiouracil - which is usually abbreviated as PTU. Outside the US in Europe and Asia, another antithyroid drug, carbimazole, is also available.

Support / Coping with Graves' Disease/Hyperthyroidism

Coping with Graves' disease and hyperthyroidism requires information, support, stress reduction, and lifestyle changes. Since many patients treated for Graves' disease and hyperthyroidism end up with hypothyroidism, dealing with an underactive thyroid for life, and resulting symptoms like weight gain, are also parts of coping and living well.

Support Forum: Hyperthyroidism & Graves' Disease

An online forum where Graves' disease and hyperthyroidism patients -- and their family and friends -- can get together to share information and support.

Quiz: Could You Be Hyperthyroid?

This interactive, online quiz helps you determine if you have common risk factors, signs and symptoms of Graves' disease and hyperthyroidism.

Thyroid Eye Disease/Graves' Opthamalopathy

Thyroid Eye Disease -- also known as Graves' Opthamalopathy -- is a condition related to Graves' disease, and often seen alongside Graves'. It involves significant eye symptoms, including bulging and dry eyes, and can endanger vision if not properly managed and treated. This article discusses this Graves'-related disease.

Thyroid Storm

Thyroid storm is a rare, but very dangerous, complication of hyperthyroidism that can cause a rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, and high fever. Without immediate emergency medical treatment, this condition can be fatal. Find out more in this article.
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