Graves’ Disease Symptoms
Graves’ disease is what’s called an autoimmune disorder. This means your immune system attacks a healthy part of your body by mistake. In Graves’ disease, the immune system attacks the thyroid, causing it to become overactive and produce more thyroid hormone than the body needs. This is called hyperthyroidism.
Graves’ disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in the United States.
While hyperthyroidism from Graves’ disease itself is not fatal, it’s a very serious condition. If left untreated, it can speed up your body’s metabolism and lead to other health issues, such as heart disease and weaker bones.
Graves’ disease affects your thyroid and can cause many different symptoms. Some common Graves’ disease symptoms include:
- Feeling tired
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Irritability and anxiety
- Frequent bowel movements
- Trouble sleeping
- Weight loss
- Sensitivity to temperature
Graves’ disease and eye changes
If you have Graves’ disease, you may also notice changes to your eyes. These changes to your eyes are actually not symptoms of Graves’ disease, but are symptoms of a separate condition called Thyroid Eye Disease (TED). Up to 50% of people with Graves’ disease will develop TED. Some common symptoms of TED are:
- Dry, gritty eyes
- Red, swollen eyes and eyelids
- Watery eyes
- Eye pain
- Sensitivity to light
- Bulging eyes
- Double vision
- Retracted eyelids (your eyelids can’t close properly)