Similar to Hashimoto's disease, Basedow-Graves' disease is a chronic, autoimmune disorder in which the body's own defense system reacts abnormally to the thyroid gland, which in this case usually results in its increased function. It occurs about 8 times more often in women than in men.
Causes of Basedow-Graves disease
Although the underlying cause has not been fully elucidated, it is believed that genetic predisposition (carrying a certain HLA genotype and mutations of a number of genes such as CD40, CTLA-4, PTPN22, FCRL3, TSH-receptor gene, etc.), combined with disorders of the function of inflammatory cells (T-lymphocytes) and the effects of external factors (viruses, pregnancy, psychological stress and the use of some drugs) has a significant role in the development of this disease.
Simptoms od Basedow-Graves disease
The thyroid gland is completely enlarged with excessive production of thyroid hormones T4 and/or T3, which is manifested by a rapid heart rate, hand tremors, increased sweating, restlessness and nervousness, heat intolerance, weight loss, menstrual cycle disorder, rapid digestion and weight loss. A significant number of patients have pronounced skin changes and bulging of the eyeballs. The diagnostic procedure includes a specialist and ultrasound examination of the thyroid gland, determination of TSH, thyroid hormone and antibodies value. Sometimes thyroid scintigraphy and genetic testing can also be performed.
Treatment of Basedow-Graves disease
The principles of treatment of Basedow-Graves disease are based on the treatment of increased thyroid function, which lasts for months and includes drugs whose task is to normalize the level of thyroid hormones in the blood. It should also be noted that in some patients, the diagnosis of Basedow-Graves disease entails an increased risk of developing other autoimmune diseases (celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, autoimmune inflammation of the liver, autoimmune anemia, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.).