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Hyperthyroidism - Topic Overview

If your symptoms bother you, your doctor may give you pills called beta-blockers. These can help you feel better while you and your doctor decide what your treatment should be. Hyperthyroidism can lead to more serious problems. So even if your symptoms do not bother you, you still need treatment.

Radioactive iodine and antithyroid medicine are the treatments doctors use most often. The best treatment for you will depend on a number of things, including your age. Some people need more than one kind of treatment.

  • Radioactive iodine is the most common treatment. Most people are cured after taking one dose. It destroys part of your thyroid gland, but it does not harm any other parts of your body.
  • Antithyroid medicine works best if your symptoms are mild. These pills do not damage your thyroid gland. But they do not always work, and you have to take them at the same time every day. If they stop working, you may need to try radioactive iodine.

After treatment, you will need regular blood tests. These tests check to see if your hyperthyroidism has come back. They also check to see if you are making enough thyroid hormone. Sometimes treatment cures hyperthyroidism but causes the opposite problem—too little thyroid hormone. If this happens, you may need to take thyroid hormone pills for the rest of your life.

Learning about hyperthyroidism:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

Living with hyperthyroidism:

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 10, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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