Hyperthyroidism Treatments

Endocrine Disorders, Featured Article, Thyroid Problems
on January 26, 2012

If you suffer from hyperthyroidism, fortunately it can be treated. Once a qualified physician has diagnosed you, you will need to partner with your doctor and devise an effective hyperthyroidism treatment that works for you. The good news is that once your thyroid hormone is normalized, you will feel like yourself again.

Deciding upon a treatment. The overactive thyroid condition is treated in several ways. The Mayo Clinic states that the appropriate approach for hyperthyroid treatment will depend upon several issues — age, severity of disorder and physical condition.

Hyperthyroidism treatment options. Once you have consulted with your doctor and decided on a treatment, you can expect one of these plans to be implemented:

  • Anti-thyroid medications — This type of medication lowers the thyroid gland’s ability to produce excess thyroid hormone. Once a medication has been selected, you can expect to feel better in six to 12 weeks. The treatment cannot be discontinued at that time, but must persist for about a year or longer. The expectation is that the over production of thyroid is eliminated permanently. Sometimes the treatment needs to be repeated if there is a relapse. The mediations used in anti-thyroid therapy are very powerful and can affect the liver. Propylthiouracil is generally used after methimazole fails due to the potential for liver damage and even death.
  • Radioactive iodine — The thyroid gland absorbs the dose of oral radioactive iodine. This medication causes the thyroid to shrink and thus produce less thyroid hormone. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism tend to lessen and normalize in about three to six months. If the gland ends up producing too little thyroid in the end, you may need to take a thyroid supplement.
  • Beta blockers — If you’ve ever heard of beta blockers before, it was probably in reference to high blood pressure treatment. This type of medication is used to slow the heart palpitations associated with hyperthyroidism. Beta blockers are not a cure, but a management tool to be used while working on a suppressing the excess thyroid treatment.
  • Thyroidectomy — If the other hyperthyroidism treatments are not effective or tolerable­, surgery to remove or reduce the thyroid gland may need to be performed. The surgery is used as a last line of treatment due to the risk of damage to the parathyroid glands and vocal chords. Once the thyroid is removed or reduced, you may have too little thyroid hormone and will need medication to normalize your level of thyroid hormone.