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Details on Graves' Disease

Condition affects thyroid's hormone production

(HealthDay) -- The name sounds terrible enough: Graves' disease. But while the symptoms of the thyroid problem can be uncomfortable, the disease isn't deadly.

The East Texas Medical Center says the illness, which occurs when the thyroid gland produces too many hormones, can cause loss of weight, a rapid heart rate, an anxious feeling, sweating excessively, feeling hot and bulging and dry eyes.

The medical center says drugs can keep the symptoms in check until the disease runs its course. That takes about eight weeks. Unfortunately, the disease can strike again.

The cause of Graves' disease isn't known, but it is thought to be an autoimmune illness, in which the body erroneously sends antibodies to attack itself.

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