Hyperthyroidism affects millions of people all over the world. Today, there are three available treatments for the disorder. Antithyroid medications and radioactive iodine are two examples of treatment for the hyperthyroid patient. In severe and rare cases, surgery may be performed. Even if the symptoms do not bother you, visiting a health care professional is still necessary because of the unpredictable nature of the disease.
Factors That May Affect the Type of Treatment
The type of treatment may vary from patient to patient. The therapy depends on various factors which include the following: the cause of hyperthyroidism, your age, the level of thyroid hormones in your body, and the other medical conditions you are currently taking. More than one kind of treatment may be necessary to treat your condition.
It is also important to remember that each thyroid treatment presents different risks and benefits. You have to review everything in accordance with your doctors so the best treatment option can be given to you.
Primary Treatment for Hyperthyroidism
The first line of treatment used in a hyperactive state may be antithyroid medications or radioactive iodine therapy. The doctor usually manages the problem through various medications first. Radioactive iodine treatment will be decided later on.
• Antithyroid Medications
If the thyroid gland is swollen or if you are younger than 50 years of age, an antithyroid medication may be prescribed by the doctor. This is usually the first form of treatment recommended by doctors worldwide.
• Radioactive Iodine
This form of treatment is often recommended if you are diagnosed with Grave’s disease. If you are also older than 50 years of age, a Radioactive Iodine treatment may also be required. If the thyroid nodules are releasing too many hormones, this form of treatment may also be necessary.
Radioactive Iodine may not be used in the following cases:
- if you are experiencing thyroiditis or any other hyperthyroid state that is only temporary
- if you are younger than 20 years of age
- if you are breast feeding
- if you are pregnant or you wish to become pregnant in the next six months
Other Forms Of Treatment
If you are experiencing various symptoms, the doctor may provide medications to treat the manifestations. Anti hypertensive medications may be given if your blood pressure shoots up. You may also be given other medications to treat tremors and sweating if the condition is severe.
Ongoing Treatment for the Overactive Thyroid
During the course of treatment, you may be asked to repeat blood tests to examine the level of hormones in your body. T3, T4 and TSH levels will be constantly monitored to regulate your thyroid disorder. If the symptoms do not disappear after the first course of treatment, you may be advised of some other therapy to cure your disorder.
• If you are having Grave’s disease and the condition is worsening despite the aggressive thyroid medications, you may be asked to be treated with radioactive iodine therapy. This type of treatment will destroy your gland and will therefore eliminate the uncontrolled release of thyroid hormones.
• If radioactive iodine is contraindicated, you may be subjected to surgery.
Because anti thyroid medications are taken forever, you need to keep constant watch of hypothyroidism symptoms. If the suppression of the thyroid gland leads into a hypothyroid state, you have to stop taking the medications as prescribed by the doctor.
If you note any changes like weight gain, intolerance to cold, and fatigue, you are required to see the doctor for further evaluation.
Treatment for Worse Conditions
If your hyperthyroid condition is severe, you may be subjected to surgery. The doctor may remove the glands partially or completely depending on the doctor’s evaluation. Another treatment of radioactive iodine may also be required to destroy the gland completely.
If all the glands are targeted, you have to take lifelong medications after the surgery or the radioactive iodine therapy.
Home Treatment for Hyperthyroidism
The doctor may require you to do some home treatments together with the other therapies given. You also need to comply with the medications so maximum therapeutic effects can be expected.
If you are experiencing exopthalmus, you may need to apply eye drops as a treatment. You may also need to cover the eyes to prevent injuries.
It is important to lower stress as this can help alleviate anxiety. Avoiding caffeine may also be necessary to avoid nervous attacks. Smoking is also prohibited as the habit may cause a likely occurrence of Grave’s opthalmopathy.