Hyperthyroidism - Treatment Overview
During and after treatment for
hyperthyroidism, you will have regular blood tests to
check your levels of
thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). You will also have
thyroid hormone tests to check your levels of
hormones called T4 and T3. These tests are a good way to know how well your treatment
is working. If your symptoms do not go away after your initial treatment, you
may need to repeat the treatment or try a different treatment.
- If you have
Graves' disease and have been taking antithyroid
medicine but your hyperthyroidism has not improved, you can continue to take
antithyroid medicine or you can try
radioactive iodine therapy.
- If you have
lots of side effects from antithyroid medicines and radioactive iodine is not
an option for you, you may need surgery to remove all or part of your thyroid
Sometimes treatment cures your hyperthyroidism but may
hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is the opposite of
hyperthyroidism—instead of making too much thyroid hormone, your body is now
making too little thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism is most common after
treatment with radioactive iodine. But it can also occur after surgery and
sometimes after taking antithyroid medicine.
Be sure to call your doctor if you start to gain weight, feel tired, or feel cold more
often than usual. These symptoms may mean you have hypothyroidism and you need
to take a different medicine called
thyroid hormone medicine. For more information, see
Treatment if the condition gets worse
radioactive iodine or
antithyroid medicines are not working
well, you may need:
- Another treatment of radioactive
- Surgery to remove all or part of your thyroid gland (thyroidectomy).
After treatment with radioactive iodine, you may develop
hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone). Call your
doctor if you have any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism such as gaining
weight, feeling tired, or feeling cold more often than usual. If you do have
hypothyroidism, you may need to take
thyroid hormone medicine for the rest of your life.
For more information, see the topic