Identifying the Symptoms of Graves’ disease in Patients of All Ages

Medical exam

Patients with Graves’ disease may suffer a wide range of symptoms. This autoimmune disorder affects the production of hormones in the thyroid, which regulate metabolism, mood, and energy levels. Graves’ disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism, or over-activity of the thyroid. When the thyroid is overproducing hormones , patients might notice a number of different changes in their physical appearance, mental state, and overall health. These symptoms may vary depending on the age of the patient, causing symptoms more similar to heart failure in older adults who develop Graves’ disease. This article will take a look at some of the symptoms seen in different age groups to help you learn if Graves’ disease may be a problem for your health.

Symptoms in Young Patients

Women over the age of 20 are the most likely to have Graves’ disease, though the disorder can also be present in men. Graves’ disease may also begin to develop before the age of 20 or much later in life. When symptoms do appear in younger patients, they typically include bulging eyes or swelling eyelids, weight loss, increased appetite, intolerance to heat, and irregular menstruation in women. Higher levels of thyroid hormones will also appear on a blood test.

Symptoms in Older Patients

Older patients may not immediately suspect Graves’ disease based on symptoms that appear, because they often include chest pain, memory loss, fatigue, and an irregular heartbeat. Because these symptoms are often associated with other conditions, it is important to have a blood test to measure thyroid hormones and speak with a physician about other possible diagnoses.

Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center is the only hospital in the Las Vegas area offering treatment for Graves’ disease, which may include radiotherapy, eye surgery, and medication. Our physicians at the Center for Graves’ Disease work closely with each patient to determine the right course of treatment on a case-by-case basis. You can find a physician for your care on our website or by calling our physician referral line at (702) 233-5300. 

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