Graves' disease occurs 7 times more often in women than in men, and typically presents in women between the ages of 20-40.
This is an autoimmune disease where anti-TSH receptor autoantibodies (IgG) stimulate TSH receptors on the thyroid gland. Often, these anti-TSH antibodies are formed during stress (e.g. childbirth).
This is one of the most typical features of Graves' disease, where inflammation occurs in the periorbital fat and extraorbital muscles. Other complications include lid-lag (Von Graefe's sign) and upper eyelid retraction
Bulging or protrusion of the eyes (exophthalmos) occurs, giving patients with Graves' a characteristic look. Visible sclera in patients causes the appearance of a "stare."
Patients with Graves' disease often complain of hyperthyroid symptoms such as goiter, heat intolerance, weight loss, insomnia, hyperactivity, palpitations, diarrhea, and sweating.
As there is autoimmune activity on the thyroid, diffuse thyromegaly takes place, forming what is called a goiter. Goiters are key for suspecting thyroid pathology.
This is an infiltrative dermopathy, where a waxy, discolored induration of the skin occurs. Pretibial myxedema is highly associated with Graves' disease and occurs due to dermal fibroblasts.
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