Medical Surgical Thyroid #8

Question

The nurse is caring for a client with a new diagnosis of Graves’ Disease. The nurse analyzes assessment data and determines the client has which of the following physical findings that are characteristic of Graves’ Disease? Select all that apply.

Answers

  1. 10 pound weight gain in two months
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because weight loss, not weight gain is associated with Graves’ disease. Symptoms of Graves’ disease are the same as hyperthyroidism, which reflect an increased metabolism related to excess thyroid hormones. Other symptoms include tachycardia, heat intolerance, amenorrhea, anxiety, tremor, hypertension, irregular heart rate, palpitations, sweating, fatigue, diarrhea, protruded eyes (exophthalmos), and insomnia.

  2. Amenorrhea–reported 2 periods in six months
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because amenorrhea is a symptom associated with Graves’ disease. Symptoms of Graves’ disease are the same as hyperthyroidism, which reflect an increased metabolism related to excess thyroid hormones. Other symptoms include tachycardia, heat intolerance, weight loss, anxiety, tremor, hypertension, irregular heart rate, palpitations, sweating, fatigue, diarrhea, protruded eyes (exophthalmos), and insomnia.

  3. Reporting being “hot” all the time
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because heat intolerance is a symptom of Graves’ disease. Symptoms of Graves’ disease are the same as hyperthyroidism, which reflect an increased metabolism related to excess thyroid hormones. Other symptoms include tachycardia, amenorrhea, weight loss, anxiety, tremor, hypertension, irregular heart rate, palpitations, sweating, fatigue, diarrhea, protruded eyes (exophthalmos), and insomnia.

  4. Apical heart rate 122
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because tachycardia is a symptom of Graves’ disease. Symptoms of Graves’ disease are the same as hyperthyroidism, which reflect an increased metabolism related to excess thyroid hormones. Other symptoms include heat intolerance, amenorrhea, weight loss, anxiety, tremor, hypertension, irregular heart rate, palpitations, sweating, fatigue, diarrhea, protruded eyes (exophthalmos), and insomnia.

  5. Bulging of the eyes
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because exophthalmos (bulging eyes) is a symptom of Graves’ disease. This is called Graves’ ophthalmopathy or thyroid eye disease (TED) and is caused by buildup of adipose tissue and enlargement of the extraocular muscles behind the eyes. Oral or IV steroids is the treatment for Graves’ ophthalmopathy.

Overview

Graves’disease is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the thyroid and makes it produce excess thyroid hormone. Symptoms of Graves’s disease include tachycardia, heat intolerance, and amenorrhea.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Graves’disease is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the thyroid and makes it produce excess thyroid hormone. Symptoms of Graves’ disease are the same as hyperthyroidism, which reflect an increased metabolism related to excess thyroid hormones. Symptoms include tachycardia, heat intolerance, amenorrhea, weight loss, anxiety, tremor, hypertension, irregular heart rate, palpitations, sweating, fatigue, diarrhea, protruded eyes (exophthalmos), and insomnia. Hypothyroidism symptoms are mostly opposite of hyperthyroidism because this condition is associated with decreased thyroid hormones and decreased metabolism. These symptoms include bradycardia, sexual dysfunction, irregular uterine bleeding, cold sensitivity, weight gain, lethargy, dry skin, constipation, hair loss, and sluggishness.

Test Taking Tip

Hyperthyroidism places a client in a “hyper” or “increase” state, in general. Most metabolic functions are affected by the thyroid hormone, therefore the symptoms will increase metabolism so there will be weight loss, feelings of heat and sweating is increased, heart rate and blood pressure is increased and elevated, bowels are sped up and the client has diarrhea, and they are too hyped up to sleep, so anxiety, tremor, and insomnia occurs.

Video Rationale