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What are some interesting facts about Graves' disease?

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Graves' disease is a medical condition in which the immune system produces excessive levels of thyroid hormones, explains Mayo Clinic. While the condition can occur in individuals of all ages, it tends to affect females under 40 years of age.

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Younger individuals with Graves' disease may experience a host of symptoms due to the excessive levels of thyroid hormone in the system, including bulging eyeballs, heart palpitations and intolerance to heat, according to MedlinePlus. The condition can also trigger symptoms of anxiety and mood fluctuations. A unique symptom experienced by Graves' patients is frequent eye irritation and profuse tearing of the eyes.

Graves' disease is believed to be linked to pregnancy, as up to 30 percent of women who develop the illness begin showing signs within 12 months of being pregnant, explains WomensHealth.gov. Graves' disease can be treated in a variety of ways, including anti-thyroid medications that hinder the production of excess thyroid hormone, radioactive iodine treatments that work to eradicate thyroid cells, and surgical procedures to remove the thyroid gland. Surgical removal cures overactive thyroid glands; however, individuals who undergo the procedure must take thyroid medications to replace the lost hormones. In most cases, anti-thyroid medications, radioactive iodine medications or a mix of both medications is the preferred treatment for Graves' disease.

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