What causes Graves' disease?

Unfortunately, scientists do not know the exact cause of Graves’ disease. We know that, somehow, the body’s immune system is tricked into targeting receptors on the thyroid gland, causing hyperthyroidism.

Research suggests that Graves’ disease may be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Genetic - A family history of Graves’ disease increases the chance of developing the condition, although its inheritance pattern is unknown.
Environmental - you are much more likely to develop Graves’ disease if you smoke.
Other people who have an increased risk include:

Individuals with other autoimmune diseases.
Women who have recently given birth or are pregnant.
Individuals under emotional or physical stress.