Graves' Disease - Causes

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What was the possible cause of your Graves' disease?

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What causes Graves' disease?

Many factors are thought to play a role in getting Graves' disease. These might include:

  • Genes. Some people are prone to Graves' disease because of their genes. Researchers are working to find the gene or genes involved.
  • Gender. Sex hormones might play a role, and might explain why Graves' disease affects more women than men.
  • Stress. Severe emotional stress or trauma might trigger the onset of Graves' disease in people who are prone to getting it.
  • Pregnancy. Pregnancy affects the thyroid. As many as 30 percent of young women who get Graves' disease have been pregnant in the 12 months prior to the onset of symptoms. This suggests that pregnancy might trigger Graves' disease in some women.
  • Infection. Infection might play a role in the onset of Graves' disease, but no studies have shown infection to directly cause Graves' disease.
Return to Graves' Disease

See what others are saying

Comment from: Nan_inthesun, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 05

Since I suffer from PTSD, it's conceivable that excessive stress kick started it, although there's no way to know for sure.

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Comment from: Artteacher, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 25

I was diagnosed with Graves' disease at age 29. No one in my family has ever had any thyroid issues. My diagnosis came a month after my mother lost a 3 year battle with breast cancer. My endocrinologist suggested I most likely developed this due to prolonged, high levels of stress. I had not felt well for months, and had extreme fatigue, and noticed my heart raced even when I had been lying down and resting for a while. I only went to my family doctor because my feet and ankles were very swollen and I had never had that happen before.

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