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What are some facts about Graves' disease?

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Graves' disease is an autoimmune disorder that occurs predominantly in women older than 40, says Mayo Clinic. It causes the body's immune system to attack the thyroid gland, which causes the thyroid to produce too many hormones. Normal functioning thyroid hormones help to control many different body systems which means that the symptoms of Graves' disease can vary.

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The primary symptoms and signs of Graves' disease include sensitivity to heat, unexplained weight loss, enlargement of the thyroid gland or goiter, tremors in the fingers and hands, and bulging eyes, notes Mayo Clinic. The last symptom is called Graves' ophthalmopathy. Besides bulging eyes, other characteristics of Graves' ophthalmopathy include a gritty sensation or pain and pressure in the eyes, red eyes, double vision and sensitivity to light.

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