Graves’ disease occurs due to an abnormally high production of thyroid hormones in the body, more commonly known as hyperthyroidism. It is an immune system disorder affecting a variety of body systems, but is rarely ever life-threatening. There are many conditions that lead to hyperthyroidism of which Graves’ disease is one of the most common.
Thyroid hormones affect many different areas which makes the symptoms of the disease quite varied from person to person. The most common treatment used to treat the condition in patients is to reduce or stop the overproduction of thyroid hormones, leading to lesser occurrence of symptoms and an overall improvement in the quality of life. If you or family member suffers from Graves’ disease, you may qualify for the Disability Tax Credit and other benefits in Canada.
Graves’ disease is caused by a malfunction in the body’s ability to fight disease and infection.
In unaffected individuals, the immune system produces antibodies to target a particular virus or bacteria or any other foreign substance. But in people with Graves’ disease, the body makes an antibody to a specific protein found on the surface of cells in the thyroid; a hormone-producing gland located in the neck.
The thyroid gland is controlled by the pituitary gland, at the base of the brain. The antibody linked to Graves’s disease actually mimics the action of the pituitary gland producing more thyroid hormone than needed, causing hyperthyroidism.
Common signs and symptoms of Graves’ disease include fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, irregular heartbeat, mild tremors in the fingers or hands, change in menstrual cycles, frequent bowel movements, heat sensitivity, reduced sex drive, bulging eyes and weight loss, even despite regular eating habits.
There are many other medical conditions that can cause similar symptoms to Graves’ disease. If you are experiencing symptoms it is best to consult with your physician for an accurate diagnosis.
Disability Tax Credits for Graves’ Disease
Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with Graves’ disease? You’re not alone, and help is available. If you live in Canada, you might qualify for the Disability Tax Credit under more than one category, including, but not limited to walking, dressing, feeding, vision, elimination (bowel and bladder functions) and mental functions. Request a FREE consultation with a HandyTax representative today!