Several treatments are available for hyperthyroidism but it depends on the patient’s physical condition, age, etiology (cause) for the disease, severity and preference. The main approaches include:
- Radioactive iodine taken orally gets absorbed in the thyroid gland and shrinks it. The excess disappears in some weeks to months.
- Antithyroid medications prevent the thyroid gland from producing the hormones. These include methimazole and propylthiouracil. Symptoms usually start resolving within weeks to months of starting the medications. With these treatments, some get complete remission while some may have relapses.
- Beta blockers are used to treat the symptoms caused due to over sympathetic activity. These include tremor, palpitations and a rapid heart rate.
- Thyroidectomy (surgical removal of most of the thyroid gland) is done when other options are either not viable or are exhausted.