Treatment for Hyperthyroidism

Michael Rosenberg
Michael Rosenberg

Specializes in translating complex information into readable, engaging content.


Hyperthyroidism is an increase in the concentration level of thyroid hormones in the body. Due to excessive production of thyroid hormones, a large amount of hormones is released in the cells of the body and causes many serious issues. The most common causes of hyperthyroidism are toxic adenoma, Graves’ disease, and toxic multinodular goiter. In the United States, the percentage of hyperthyroidism is 1.2% and the occurrence of subclinical hyperthyroidism is 0.7% and overt hyperthyroidism is almost 0.5%. There are different procedures for the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism such as measuring thyroid-stimulating hormone, total triiodothyronine, and free thyroxine level to determine the existence and the severity of thyroid hormone.  

There are different methods available for the treatment of hyperthyroidism. The type of treatment depends on the age and physical condition of the patient.


If hyperthyroidism is at the beginning stages, medicines are the best option for its treatment. The most common medicine that is used to treat hyperthyroidism is thioamides. It stops the excessive production of thyroid hormones. The patient has to take the medicine for 1 to 2 months to fully recover.


Beta-blockers are drugs that are used for the treatment of high blood pressure. These drugs have no effect on thyroid levels. Beta-blockers are used for hyperthyroidism because they can ease its symptoms, such as rapid heart rate, palpitations, and tremors. Doctors prescribe these medicines so that the patient feels better until the level of thyroid hormone becomes normal. However, beta-blockers are not suitable for asthma patients.


Surgery is not common as the other treatments but in the case of pregnancy, medicines and radiation are not good for a baby’s development. So, doctors consider it’s better to treat hyperthyroidism by surgery. The patients suffering from Graves’s disease need to remove thyroid glands by surgery. If a patient has hot nodules so for the treatment of hyperthyroidism it’s necessary to go for surgery. The surgeon removes the loop according to the location of hot nodules. 

Recovery time

In the past, after the surgery, the patient had to stay at the hospital for a long time. But now because of developing technologies, the surgeon discharges the patient after 24 hours of the surgery. Although it also depends on the health condition of the patient. Surgery will be mandatory if the thyroid gland of the patient is badly swollen, or the patient suffers from severe eye problems due to hyperthyroidism. The surgery can be more dangerous sometimes because it can damage parathyroid glands and the vocal cords. These glands help control the calcium level in the body. After surgery, patients can suffer from hypothyroidism.

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Treating the hyperthyroid with radioactive iodine

Radioactive iodine is the most effective way to treat hyperthyroidism. In this treatment, radiations are used to destroy the cells of the thyroid gland so they produce a less amount of thyroid hormone. Other than direct application of radiations, hyperthyroidism can be treated by taking the capsule or giving drinks that contain a low dose of radiations and these radiations are absorbed by the thyroid glands. Most of the patients recover from hyperthyroidism by just one dose. The excessive amount of iodine will disappear from the body in a few weeks or months.


This treatment takes almost one month to show its effect. So, for a short time, the patients have to take medicines like propylthiouracil or carbimazole. The dose of radiation that is used for the treatment of hyperthyroidism is very low, but the patient needs to take precautions after the treatment such as avoid prolonged contact with pregnant women and children. The best age to treat hyperthyroidism with radioactive iodine is 60 plus. 

Pros and cons

It is a safe treatment for adults and 70% of adults show positive results after the treatment. In some patients, radioactive treatment of hyperthyroidism leads toward hypothyroidism because the radiation might kill some part or all the thyroid glands. For women, it can decrease the chances of becoming pregnant or giving birth to a healthy baby in the future. The side effects of radioactive iodine also depend on the isotope that is used for treatment. The milder type of radioactive iodine that is used for thyroid scans is good because it does not kill the thyroid cells.

Antithyroid medicines

Antithyroid medicines are used to reduce the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. These drugs prevent the thyroid gland from producing an excessive amount of thyroid hormone. 


It is a long treatment that continues for at least a year. But the symptoms start to minimize within weeks to months. 


The medicines that are used for treatment are propylthiouracil and methimazole. But these medicines can cause serious damage to the liver and sometimes cause the death of the patient. In almost 3% of people, these drugs cause allergic reactions such as hives, and rashes and antithyroid drugs can lead to agranulocytosis in which the patient’s white blood cells decrease gradually.     

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Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism and Thyroid Tests


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