Diagnosis of Graves Disease

Doctors generally perform a physical examination and study the signs and symptoms of the patient for the diagnosis of Graves disease. Furthermore, the doctor may also recommend additional laboratory tests to confirm the diagnosis. Some of the common tests for Graves disease include:
  • Physical Examination: The thyroid gland is examined to check for swelling and enlargement and the eyes for protrusion, irritation, and redness. The doctor may even check the patient’s blood pressure and pulse rate to check for increases in the metabolic rate.
  • Blood Tests: Very often doctors recommend blood tests for suspected cases of thyroid disorders. These blood tests help determine the level of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) that stimulates the thyroid gland. Certain other blood tests help identify the antibodies responsible for causing Graves disease.
  • Radioactive Iodine Test: The body requires iodine to produce the thyroid hormone. In this test, the doctor gives you a small quantity of radioactive iodine and then measures the amount of iodine in the thyroid gland with the help of a special scanning camera. This helps the doctor determine the rate at which the thyroid gland uses up the iodine. If the thyroid gland has a high uptake of this iodine, it indicates an overproduction of the thyroid hormone.
  • Imaging Tests: This is usually done in the case of Graves ophthalmopathy. A special x-ray, CT, or MRI scan will help the doctor make an accurate diagnosis.