What Are The Social Impacts of Graves’ Disease?

This week, Dr. Raymond Douglas’ Thyroid Thursday is dedicated to the families and friends of those with Graves’ disease (Thyroid Eye Disease). Dr. Douglas shares some stories on the social impacts of Graves’ disease on patients.

What does it feel like to have Graves’ disease?

Graves’ disease will affect how you feel every day:

  • You may lose hair every morning
  • You may have no energy or you may have too much energy and can’t sleep
  • You could be hot and sweating all the time or you might always be cold

And then, you get hit with the eye disease component as well. All of the sudden your facial appearance changes:

  • Your eyes bulge
  • Your eyes are uncomfortable
  • It looks like you are always staring at people
  • Your cheeks bulge and change your facial shape
  • Your eyebrows get heavy

However, no two patients are the same and these are just some of the possible side effects that lead to social impacts of Graves’ disease.

Patient #1

One of Dr. Douglas’ patients about 10 years ago was 35 years old and had a great job working every day in the software field. When he developed Graves’ disease, it completely disrupted his life. He couldn’t function – he could hardly get up every morning, his eyes began to bulge and they became crossed. It was so disruptive to his life that he lost his job and moved in with his mom. Six months after Dr. Douglas moved his eyes back and straightened his eyes, he was back at work and living a normal life again. This case study really shows the negative impact of the disease on quality of life.

Patient #2

A wonderful patient from Chicago had orbital decompression to move her eyes back five years ago. Dr. Douglas recently received a wonderful note from her about how wonderful her life is now after surgery. Instead of people staring at her eyes, she has the confidence to live a normal life. Everything Dr. Douglas does is for patients to have moments like these.

social impacts of graves' disease

Supporting Graves’ Disease Patients

Stories like this are just reminders of the need to always give these patients the support they need while they are dealing with this disease and the social impacts of Graves’ disease. If you or a loved one are suffering from the disease and would ever like to speak with one of our patients who has gone through this disease and had treatment with Dr. Douglas, just let us know and we can connect you with them.


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Posted in: Thyroid Eye Disease

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