Graves Disease By Nicholas Laskovski Graves Disease is a disorder that affects the thyroid gland and results in a dramatic change in the bodys metabolism. This paper will discuss the manifestations of the disease in the body, recent research on the disease, and how Graves disease can be treated. By way of background, Graves disease dates from the early nineteenth century. Robert Graves (1796-1853) was an Irish physician, born in Dublin. He studied medicine in Edinburgh but took his MB in 1818 from Dublin. After a few years of traveling through Europe, he returned to Dublin when he was appointed physician to the Meath hospital. He was an excellent diagnostician, best remembered today for his great description of Graves Disease (hyperthyroidism) (Chambers, pg. 620). The thyroid gland is a thin, butterfly shaped organ that is located in the lower part of the neck. It lies on the sides and in front of the windpipe, or trachea (drkoop.com). The picture below provides a graphic description of the thyroid. (Could It Be My Thyroid?) In the diagram, T3 and T4 portray hormones containing iodine. (T4 includes four iodines and T3 includes three). Of the two, T3 is the more potent. One role of the thyroid is to create hormones. When a person has Graves disease, the thyroid becomes overly activated, creating more T4 and T3 than the body needs. This overacting is called hyperthyroidism (drkoop.com). As a result, the metabolism of many organs within the body is affected, resulting in annoying symptoms and abnormal health effects (Could It Be My Thyroid?). Graves Disease is located on the fourteenth chromosome, or 14q31 (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.org). There have been many different opinions about the disease and many researchers have studied it. Among them, Bartels (1941), Martin and Fisher (1945), and Skillern (1972). It is the opinion of the majority, that Graves disease is inherit…
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