Graves' Disease (cont.)
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What is Graves' disease?
With Graves' disease, the immune system makes antibodies that act like TSH, causing the thyroid to make more thyroid hormone than your body needs. This is called an overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism. An overactive thyroid causes every function of the body to speed up, such as heart rate and the rate your body turns food into energy. Graves' disease is one cause of overactive thyroid. It is closely related to Hashimoto's disease, another autoimmune disease affecting the thyroid.
What are the symptoms of Graves' disease?
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Most people with Graves' disease have symptoms of an overactive thyroid, such as:
Unlike other causes of an overactive thyroid, Graves' disease also can cause:
Symptoms of Graves' disease can occur slowly or very suddenly and are sometimes confused with other health problems. Some people with Graves' disease do not have any symptoms.
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