Graves’ disease is a type of hyperthyroidism, an autoimmune condition marked by increased thyroid hormones and decreased thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
Thyroid hormone is involved in a range of body systems and functions, including:
The cardiovascular system
The hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis
Nervous system development
It’s even important for good mental health.
Graves’ disease occurs approximately 5–10 times¹ more often in women than men and usually starts in 30- to 50-year-olds.
Men experience the same hyperthyroidism symptoms as women, along with other notable symptoms that usually relate to sexual dysfunction.
However, even though Graves’ disease is most common — and most often studied — in women, it should still be considered a possibility for men experiencing the symptoms described in this article.
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People with Graves’ disease may have some of the following symptoms:
Tachycardia (racing heart)
Tremors of the hands
Goiter (enlarged thyroid gland)
Menstrual cycle changes
Less common symptoms include:
Skin changes (especially thickening and patchiness over the legs and feet)
If Graves’ disease is left untreated, it can cause the following long term complications:
Heart-related issues such as stroke and heart failure
Loss of bone density causing osteoporosis
Discomfort of the eyes and changes to vision
Men experience specific Graves’ disease symptoms, including:
Development of breast tissue (gynecomastia)
Low sex drive
Graves’ disease is an autoimmune condition affecting 0.5%² of the US population, with women most commonly represented. Despite this, Graves’ disease also affects men and can have some detrimental symptoms, including symptoms common to both sexes as well as infertility and sexual dysfunction.
If you suffer from Graves’ disease and have been experiencing these symptoms, it’s vital to get treatment as there’s a good chance they can be resolved.