Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Grave's Disease Anatomy

To better understand Grave's disease, it helps to understand the anatomy of the thyroid gland.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ located in the neck, next to the Adam's apple.

The thyroid gland is responsible for regulating the body's metabolic rate. This is accomplished through the production and release of thyroid hormone into the bloodstream. Thyroid hormones are normally present in the bloodstream in tiny quantities. Too much thyroid hormone in the bloodstream is called hyperthyroidism. When there is too little, the condition is referred to as hypothyroidism.

Inflammation or over-activity of the thyroid gland can cause swelling or goiter.

Last Updated: Mar 18, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Grave's Disease References
  1. Abraham P, Avenell A, Watson WA, Park CM, Bevan JS. Antithyroid drug regimen for treating Graves' hyperthyroidism. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Apr 18;(2):CD003420. [15846664]
  2. Holm IA, Manson JE, Michels KB, Alexander EK, Willett WC, Utiger RD. Smoking and other lifestyle factors and the risk of Graves' hyperthyroidism. Arch Intern Med. 2005 Jul 25;165(14):1606-11. [16043678]
  3. McKeown NJ, Tews MC, Gossain VV, Shah SM. Hyperthyroidism. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2005 Aug;23(3):669-85, viii. [15982540]
  4. Weetman AP. Grave's disease 1835-2002. Horm Res. 2003;59 Suppl 1:114-8. [12638522]
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