Health Tip: Things That Could Cause Graves' Disease

(HealthDay News) -- Graves' disease occurs when the body's immune system causes the thyroid gland to produce more of a certain hormone than the body can use.

Symptoms may include an enlarged thyroid, insomnia, nervousness, a sensitivity to heat, and uncontrolled hand movement. Some people with the disease have swollen eyes.

The National Women's Health Information Center says the following factors may contribute to Graves' disease:

  • Having a family history (genetic predisposition).
  • Being a woman and producing female hormones.
  • Experiencing extreme emotional stress or significant trauma may help trigger the disease in people who are prone to it.
  • Being pregnant, which affects the thyroid.
  • Having an infection.

-- Diana Kohnle

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