Pediatric Graves' Disease

Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder, a disease in which the immune system attacks healthy organs or tissue (in this case, the thyroid). It is a major cause of hyperthyroidism in children and adolescents.


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What is Pediatric Graves' Disease?

The exact cause of Graves’ disease is unknown. As with all autoimmune diseases, it is believed that it may be caused by genetic factors or by a previous viral or bacterial infection. Graves’ disease is a lot more common in girls than in boys. 

Risk factors

What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Graves' Disease?

How is Pediatric Graves' Disease diagnosed?

There are several methods used for diagnosing Graves’ disease. Your child’s doctor may use a combination of these methods:

  • History and physical exam
  • Blood tests to check thyroid hormone levels
  • Radioactive iodine uptake test (a noninvasive test to determine how much radioactive iodine is absorbed by the thyroid gland over a period of time)

How is Pediatric Graves' Disease treated?

Treatment for Graves’ disease may include:

  • Anti-thyroid medication to slow the production of thyroid hormones
  • Radioactive iodine - a liquid that is absorbed into the thyroid and reduces the gland’s size and activity
  • Surgery to remove all or part of the thyroid gland

Pediatric Graves' Disease Doctors and Providers