How Is Graves Disease Transmitted?

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Definition

  • Graves' disease is a type of autoimmune disorder, and it occurs when hyperthyroidism happens in your body. Hyperthyroidism is when your thyroid produces more hormones than your body can handle, and it causes an overactive thyroid gland.

    Graves' disease will cause many problems in your body, and you will experience serious issues with your metabolism, anxiety problems, fatigue, rapid heart beat, and tremors. Graves' disease can also cause significant eye and vision problems, and it is known to cause double vision, blurred vision and ulcers on your cornea.

    When these problems begin to persist, a doctor will recommend a series of different treatments. These treatments may include medications, radiation and surgery.

    The Mayo Clinic recommends that a surgery called thyroidectomy be preformed for patients suffering from Graves' disease. Thyroidectomy is when your thyroid is removed from your body. This type of surgery is suggested because Graves' disease is transmitted from a mother to child during pregnancy, and surgery can prevent this from happening.

Transmission

  • A mother will vertically transmit Graves' disease to a fetus during pregnancy. The disease is transmitted when the mother produces IgG auto antibodies in her body; they cross with the TSHR-expressing thyroctyes in the infant. The antibodies target them and take over.

    IgG auto antibodies are proteins that come from the immune system and are used against your own body's proteins. TSHR-expressing thyroctyes are cells in your thyroid gland that secrete and produce triiodothyronine and thyroxine. When this happens, it causes Graves' disease in the child's body. This happens in the womb for the fetus of an infected mother.

    Once the child is born, her IgG autoantibodies will begin to decrease, and the signs of Graves' disease will begin to go away. Doctors will treat babies diagnosed with Graves' disease by replacing normal plasma with the plasma containing antibodies.

Functions

  • When Graves' disease is transmitted during pregnancy, your body's immune system attacks your thyroid gland by mistake. Instead of destroying your thyroid gland, it stimulates it, and it then produces an excess amount of thyroid hormone.

    Your immune system is supposed to use antibodies and white blood cells to destroy any bacteria, viruses or antigens that enter your body. The thyroid in your body is part of the endocrine system, and it is a collection of tissues and glands that produce your hormones. When Graves' disease is transmitted, it affects these hormones and causes major complications in your body.

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