ABBREVIATIONS & DEFINITIONS
Graves’ disease: the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in the United States. It is caused by antibodies that attack the thyroid and turn it on.
Hyperthyroidism: a condition where the thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism may be treated with antithyroid medications, radioactive iodine, or surgery.
Thyroid eye disease (TED): also known as Graves’ ophthalmopathy. TED includes inflammation of the eyes, eye muscles and the surrounding tissues. Symptoms include dry eyes, red eyes, bulging of the eyes and double vision.
Antithyroid drugs (ATDs): medications that block the thyroid from making thyroid hormone. Methimazole, carbimazole and propylthiouracil (PTU) are used to treat hyperthyroidism, especially when it is caused by Graves’ disease.
Radioactive iodine (RAI): this plays a valuable role in diagnosing and treating thyroid problems since it is taken up only by the thyroid gland. I-131 is the destructive form used to destroy thyroid tissue in the treatment of thyroid cancer and hyperthyroidism.
Thyroidectomy: surgery to remove the entire thyroid gland.
Agranulocytosis: a marked decrease in the neutrophil count, the most abundant type of white blood cells that causes a patient to be more likely to develop an infection. This is commonly associated with a fever and/ or a sore throat.
Goiter: a thyroid gland that is enlarged for any reason is called a goiter.
TSH receptor antibody (TRAb): antibodies often present in the serum of patients with Graves’ disease that are directed against the thyrotropin (TSH) receptor located on the thyroid cell. The antibodies activate the TSH receptor and stimulate the thyroid hormone production within the thyroid cells, thus resulting in hyperthyroidism.
Thyroxine (T4): the major hormone produced by the thyroid gland. T4 gets converted to the active hormone T3 in various tissues in the body.
Triiodothyronine (T3): the active thyroid hormone, usually produced from thyroxine.