ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Thyroid Issues Cause Graves Disease

Updated on July 22, 2019
elayne001 profile image

Ruth, a.k.a. Elayne Kongaika, was raised in the orchard town of Orem, Utah. She married a Polynesian and has had amazing travel experiences.


Graves' Disease

Having recently been given a diagnosis of Graves’ Disease, I thought perhaps it was terminal. Sounds pretty final, doesn’t it? Hopefully it is not a death sentence, but I have been studying this rather rare disease just to appease my curiosity.


The disease is named after Robert J. Graves, an Irish physician who first described it in 1835.

It is also known as Basedow’s disease, named after Karl Adolph van Basedow, a German who described it in 1840 without any knowledge of Dr. Graves.

In Europe it is more commonly known as Basedow’s, while in the United States is is more well known as Graves’ disease.

Like other autoimmune problems, Graves’ disease points to an underlying issue. The immune system causes trouble by attacking healthy tissues in your body. It creates antibodies causing the thyroid to make more hormone than your body needs. This results in hyperthyroidism. Graves’ Disease affects more women than men and is often hereditary in nature.

Symptoms can include

  • Anxiety, tremors, restlessness, irritability, insomnia
  • Chest pain, palpitations
  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
  • Weight loss despite increased appetite
  • Frequent stools
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Goiter
  • Prominent bulging eyes sometimes staring
  • Vision problems - eyes watering, inflammation of eye muscles, limited eye movement, protruding eyes
  • Sensitivity to heat
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Skin thickening may develop over the lower leg. It can cause patchy pink skin lesions.

Botched blood draw (Personal photo REK)
Botched blood draw (Personal photo REK)

Personally, my symptoms have included severe insomnia, anxiety, irritability, palpitations, eyes that appear to bulge out a little (puffy), watering eyes, sensitivity to heat, elevated blood pressure and fatigue. According to some people may experience only a few symptoms.

I first went to an eye doctor when I noticed watering and puffy eyes. He looked at my eyes, used an exophtalmometer to measure how much my eyeballs protrude, and then ordered a blood test. It came back saying I had hypothyroidism. I was surprised by that because no one has ever told me that before.

My eye doctor sent me to another doctor who specializes in diseases or conditions of the eyes and eye sockets. He is an oculoplastic, orbital, facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. Okay, that got my attention! He then suggested a CT scan of my eyes to see if there were any tumors present that may be making my eyes puffy and pushing my eyes forward (particularly my right eye).

I was given eye drops to keep my eyes moisturized and advised to use sunglasses when I am outside. Meantime I am waiting for the results of my CT scan and TSI. Just as a side note, I was told to fast before the CT scan because they put dye in your veins so the scan is more clear. When I left the lab, I was covered with colorful bandages up and down my arms and now I have bruises from the botched blood draw.


Just last year I was diagnosed with MTHFR A1298C, a DNA mutation. I wondered if these two could possibly be connected. Sure enough, there is quite a bit of research connecting the two.

Here is what I found: one in 13 people in the United States has some kind of dysfunction in their thyroid gland. This represents those that are diagnosed. It could be much higher because many times it is unreported or undiagnosed.

Many doctors aren’t ready to acknowledge the MTHFR connection. Dr. Ben Lynch studies MTHFR and related issues. He explains how low levels of thyroxine lead to low levels of vitamin B2, which results in low methylfolate levels. So, the two disorders are connected.

MTHFR renders the patient unable to detox and clear viruses normally. Interestingly, I had shingles two years ago and it was a difficult thing to overcome. I took early retirement and it has been a long painful road since then.

Have you know some one with both Graves Disease and MTHFR?

See results

The thyroid gland regulates metabolism in every cell in the body. if it is not working properly, homocysteine levels increase and the risk of cardiovascular disease becomes greater.

Hyperthyroidism can cause rapid heart rate, tremor and even heart failure. It is very important to try to find the right doctor who can help get it diagnosed and treated properly.

My family doctor said my labs were “fine” even though the numbers were out of range. But, thankfully, I have found two doctors that agree there is something “off” about my thyroid function and are willing to go further with it. Since I have both MTHFR and a thyroid problem, I plan to continue until I feel better.

© 2016 Elayne


Submit a Comment
  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    3 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Just saw I had comments to moderate. I appreciate your input and will get back to you individually.

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 

    3 years ago from England

    Hi, I have Graes disease too, even though I live in England I have never heard of the definition Basedows. And yes the shakes etc, its a pain isn't it? I wrote about what the Doc doesn't tell you about bad thyroids, its on the right of this page if you are interested. A horrible name for something that can be treated fingers crossed! interesting stuff, nell

  • lctodd1947 profile image

    Linda Todd 

    3 years ago from Charleston

    Very interesting article. My sister has had this problem and still takes medicine. She manages really well though and no larger issues have developed.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 

    3 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

    I have Hashimotos disease and take thyroid medication. After reading this informative hub, I feel I need more iodine. I wonder why my doctor fails to mention how important diet is? Thank you for addressing this topic.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)