Graves disease is an autoimmune disease that forces antibodies to attack their own body's tissues. Normally, the immune system protects the body from viruses and other germs. However, Graves disease confuses the immune system and makes the Thyroid gland produce too much thyroid hormone. Extra hormones lead to the metabolism becoming extremely active. The person can suffer problems such as an accelerated heartbeat, weight loss, heart failure, and high blood pressure.
Graves disease most often occurs in children and newborn babies. When not diagnosed early, it can be fatal for a baby. The doctor will want to know the health history of the baby. The doctor may also need to know the mother's health history. Then a patient undergoes a special examination and blood tests to check hormone levels.
Scientists still don't know ways to prevent the Graves disorder. Even women who are cured of the disease by Thyroid ablation are at risk for newborns with the disease.
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