What are the visible symptoms of Graves' disease?


Quick Answer

Visible symptoms of Graves' disease can include bulging eyes, thick red skin on the lower legs, a fine tremor in the lower arms, swelling of the thyroid gland and unusual weight loss, states Mayo Clinic. Bulging eyes may also be accompanied by eye redness and puffy or retracted eyelids.

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Full Answer

Many of the possible symptoms of Graves' disease are not visible, but may still be noticeable to others, including reduced libido, irritability, heat sensitivity, anxiety and erectile dysfunction, explains Mayo Clinic. Other common symptoms include increased heart rate, increased perspiration, frequent bowel movements, changes in menstrual cycles and vision loss. These symptoms vary greatly from person to person and can have a large impact on quality of life. Graves' disease most often affects women under 40 years old, but anyone can develop the condition.

Graves' disease is a disorder of the immune system that causes the body to produce too much thyroid hormone, says Mayo Clinic. Treatment for this disease focuses on reducing symptoms and reducing thyroid hormone levels. These treatments can include methods of destroying all or part of the thyroid gland, such as radioactive iodine or surgery. Other options include medications that block thyroid production. Treating eye bulging can involve surgery or corticosteroids.

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