What are the causes and risk factors of Graves' disease?

The cause of Graves' disease is unknown, but there may be something in the genes that may increase the risk for development of the disease. Graves' disease is not caused by vaccines, diseases, trauma or any other cause. A person cannot “catch” Graves' disease from someone else.

Graves' disease is a disease of the immune system. The same way that some people get autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or lupus, some people develop Graves' disease. The only environmental factor that plays a role in Graves' disease is smoking. Smokers are at a higher risk for developing Graves' disease because smoking inherently messes with the immune system.

Continue Learning about Graves' Disease

What are the symptoms of Graves' disease?
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Graves' disease is an autoimmune disease that causes hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), the sympt...
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How is hyperthyroidism treated?
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Hyperthyroidism treatment is usually determined by the cause of the increased thyroid hormone. Peopl...
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What happens if I have Graves disease and get pregnant?
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It is important to get checked out by doctors more often if you are pregnant. You will need to see b...
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How is Graves' disease diagnosed?
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Doctors can sometimes diagnose Graves' disease only on the basis of a physical examination and a med...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.