Grave's Disease / Diffuse Toxic Goiter /Hyperthyroid goiter
Characteristics of Grave's Disease
Autoimmune stimulation of thyroid gland - antibodies against TSH receptors (TRabs) on thyroid follicular cell; binding to TSHR continuously activates the receptors in the absence of TSH, diffusely increasing follicular cell and follicle size and reproduction rate, leading to diffuse gland enlargement
High T4 and T3 levels
Low TSH levels - as pituitary feedback compensates for high T4 / T3 by reducing its TSH secretion; this is the most sensitive measurement and the first obvious test for Grave's.
Causes hyperthyroidism - excess TH secretion can also lead to Thyrotoxicosis
Diffuse goiter usually present - slight or several times larger than normal
Immune system lymphocyte presence
Graves Opthalmopathy in ~25% of cases - - some people have bulging eyes (Exopthalmos), eyelid retraction, inflammation in tissue surrounding eyes, double vision and sometimes even vision loss; may take years to heal;
Spontaneous remission of hyperthyroidism in 30-40% of cases
Pretibial myxedema in ~2% of cases - thickening skin with edema, painless lumps on lower legs
4-6 fold occurence in women - compared to men
Most often occurs in young, middle-aged adults - but can affect any age
Genetic - increased risk in those with HLA-B8 allele.
Low Dose Naltrexone could benefit some Grave's cases - an interesting therapy against autoimmune diseases
High dose iodine to satisfy whole body sufficiency - Dr. Guy Abraham, MD, is foremost in the field with other medically qualified researchers into iodine supplementation for many thyroid disorders.