Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder. It causes hyperthyroidism, which occurs if the thyroid gland creates too much thyroid hormone in the body. Graves’ disease is one of the most common forms of hyperthyroidism.

If you have Graves’ disease, your immune system creates antibodies known as thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulins, which attach to healthy thyroid cells. They can cause your thyroid to create too much of the thyroid hormone.

Thyroid hormones are responsible for many aspects of the body, such as nervous system function, brain development, body temperature, and other important elements.

If left untreated, hyperthyroidism may cause weight loss, emotional liability, depression, and mental or physical fatigue.

Another symptom you may experience is known as Graves’ ophthalmopathy. This occurs when your eyes may seem enlarged as a result of the eyelids retracting. As a result, eyes may begin to bulge from the eye sockets. It is estimated that about 25 percent of people who develop Graves’ disease will also get Graves’ ophthalmopathy.

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