This disease condition which affects the thyroid gland produces a wide range of effects on the human body. This paper will encompass all the aspects of Grave's disease describing its causes and the body wide effects of this condition. Furthermore, for a proper understanding of the disorder it will also provide an account of the normal functioning of the gland.
Grave's disease has been given the name after the scientist Robert Graves who actually found out about this condition in 1835. This disease which is considered to be the most common reason leading towards hyperthyroidism has a genetic predisposition. That is the disease has a hereditary component associated and people within the same family have high chances of having the disease. Not only this, the disease also has a gender deviation associated with it. That is this disease is more commonly found in females than in males with the women being seven times more affected than the males. This disease occurs between the age groups of 20 and 40. According to statistics, in the United States 1.5 to 2.0 percent of the females suffer from the condition.
The gland that is affected by Grave's disease is the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland which is present in the neck. It lies in front of the trachea and immediately below the larynx. It has a normal weight of 15 to 20 grams in a normal healthy person. The thyroid gland has an outer covering of a capsule of thin connective tissue. The basic units of the thyroid gland are the thyroid follicles which are closed follicles. The follicles consist of a single layer of epithelial cells which are known as follicular cells or the principal cells. These cells which are cuboidal in shape form an outer boundary of the thyroid follicles and within them is enclosed a cavity which is known as the follicular cavity. This cavity contains colloid which is a gelatinous substance which consists of thyroglobulin. This thyroglobulin has the function of storing the thyroid hormones which are synthesized with in the gland. This function makes the thyroid gland distinct from the other glands because it is only this gland which has the capability of storing large amounts of hormones within the follicle. This stored amount is sufficient to meet the body needs up to two to three months in cases of deficiency. As the thyroid hormone is synthesized in the principal cells, they contain a large amount of mitochondria to provide for the energy requirements, ribosomes, rough endoplasmic reticulum for the synthesis of proteins and Golgi apparatus as well. The thyroid gland has a very rich blood supply and this gland is considered to have a blood supply five times more than its weight.
The basic function of the thyroid gland is the secretion of the thyroid hormones which are triiodothyronine T3 and thyroxine T4. Thyroid stimulation hormone TSH is a hormone of the anterior pituitary gland which binds to specific receptors on the thyroid gland and triggers the release of the thyroid hormones. The thyroid follicular cells have the function of the synthesis of these thyroid hormones which are stored in the colloid with in the thyroglobulin molecule and are released according to the stimulus and the needs of the body. The thyroid gland is very important because any alterations in the functioning of the gland disturb the synthesis of