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Neonatal Graves Disease (Hyperthyroidism)

Key Points About Graves Disease in Babies

  • Graves disease is an autoimmune disease. With Graves disease, antibodies cause the thyroid gland to make too much thyroid hormone. This is known as hyperthyroidism.
  • Excess thyroid hormone in the bloodstream leads to the body's metabolism being too active. It can cause problems such as low weight, fast heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart failure and other issues.
  • Graves disease in a newborn often occurs when the mother has or had Graves disease. Graves disease in a pregnant woman can result in stillbirth, miscarriage or preterm birth.
  • If not diagnosed shortly after birth, Graves disease can be fatal to a newborn baby.
  • With treatment right away, babies usually recover fully within a few weeks. However, Graves disease may recur during the first 6 months to 1 year of life.
  • Treatment may include medicine.
  • A pregnant woman who had or has Graves disease needs to tell her healthcare provider as soon as she knows she is pregnant. This is so the baby can be checked at birth and treated right away if needed.


Endocrinology and Diabetes

Learn more about the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes which is a nationally recognized leader in treating a variety of endocrine disorders.