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Common signs and symptoms of Graves' disease include:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • A rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • A fine tremor of your hands or fingers
  • An increase in perspiration or warm, moist skin
  • Sensitivity to heat
  • Weight loss, despite normal eating habits
  • Enlargement of your thyroid gland (goiter)
  • Change in menstrual cycles
  • Erectile dysfunction or reduced libido
  • Frequent bowel movements or diarrhea
  • Bulging eyes (Graves' ophthalmopathy)
  • Thick, red skin usually on the shins or tops of the feet (Graves' dermopathy)

Graves' ophthalmopathy

About half the people with Graves' disease show some signs and symptoms of a condition known as Graves' ophthalmopathy. In Graves' ophthalmopathy, inflammation and other immune system events affect muscles and other tissues around your eyes. The resulting signs and symptoms may include:

  • Bulging eyes
  • Excess tearing
  • Dry, irritated eyes
  • Gritty sensation in the eyes
  • Pressure or pain in the eyes
  • Puffy eyelids
  • Reddened or inflamed eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Double vision
  • Limited eye movements, resulting in a fixed stare
  • Blurred or reduced vision (rare)
  • Ulcers on the cornea (rare)

Graves' dermopathy

An uncommon manifestation of Graves' disease, called Graves' dermopathy, is the reddening and thickening of the skin, most often on your shins or the top of your feet.

When to see a doctor

A number of medical conditions can cause the signs and symptoms associated with Graves' disease. See your doctor if you experience any potential Graves-related problems to get a prompt and accurate diagnosis.

Seek emergency care if you're experiencing heart-related signs and symptoms, such as a rapid or irregular heartbeat.

Jul. 07, 2011