Patient Care

New Graves’ Disease Support Group Debuts with Free Talk on May 11

Apr. 22, 2010

A new support group for individuals with Graves’ thyroid disease will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 11, 2010, in the third-floor conference room of the Flaum Eye Institute at the University of Rochester Medical Center, 210 Crittenden Blvd.

Steven E. Feldon, M.D., M.B.A., director of the Flaum Eye Institute and a specialist in orbital disease and neuro-ophthalmology, will discuss “What does Graves’ disease have to do with thyroid eye disease?” The talk is free.

The Rochester-area support group welcomes all patients with Graves’ thyroid disorders or eye problems, as well as their family members. It provides a forum to share feelings, concerns and information, and offers peer support and encouragement to patients to help them cope with their illness. Spouses and caregivers also can derive a better understanding of how to help their loved ones.

Graves’ is caused by a defect in the immune system that causes an overproduction of immunoglobulins (antibodies), which attack and stimulate the thyroid gland. This typically causes growth of the gland and an increase in production of thyroid hormones. Similar antibodies also may attack the cells behind the eyes and in the skin on the front of the lower leg. Graves’ disease affects two out of every 100 women and large numbers of men, as well.