This condition causes the thyroid gland in the neck to produce too much thyroid hormone, and can eventually lead to goitre and bulging eyes.
Graves' disease is an auto-immune condition. The body’s immune system produces antibodies that attack the thyroid tissue, leading to the thyroid becoming overactive (hyperthyroidism). Symptoms include racing heart, sweating, weight loss, irritability, fatigue and sleep loss.
About 1 in 3 people who have had Graves' disease can develop bulging eyes, or exophthalmos. This is because the antibodies that attack the thyroid can also attack the muscles and tissues around the eyes. This is called Thyroid Eye Disease (TED).
It is also possible for people with Grave's disease to get a goitre, which is a swollen thyroid gland visible to others. Treatments involve reducing the activity of the thyroid gland with medicines, and sometimes surgery.
Follow the links below to find trusted information about Graves' disease.
Last reviewed: February 2018