Graves' Disease is a type of autoimmune disease in which the immune system over
stimulates the thyroid gland, causing hyperthyroidism.
Over-activity of the thyroid gland is also sometimes called "diffuse toxic
goiter." The thyroid gland helps set the rate of metabolism (the rate at which the
body uses energy), and when it is over-stimulated, it produces more thyroid hormones than
the body needs. High levels of thyroid hormones can cause difficult side effects. This is
an extremely rare disease that tends to affect women over the age of 20. The incidence is
about 5 in 10,000 people.
An autoimmune disease occurs when the body's immune system becomes misdirected and
attacks the very organs, cells, or tissues that it was designed to protect. About 75% of
autoimmune diseases occur in women, most frequently during their childbearing years.
Symptoms of Graves' Disease
Diagnosis and Treatment of Grave's Disease