How to Treat a Hyperactive Thyroid
Hyperactive thyroid, also known as hyperthyroidism refers to the condition when excessive amount of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) are present in your body. The characteristic symptoms of hyperthyroidism include unexplained and sudden weight loss, irregular heartbeat, inflammation of the thyroid, anxiety, dry skin and hair and sleeping difficulties. To relieve these symptoms, it is important to suppress the over-production of the thyroid hormones. Read through the article to know the treatments for hyperactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism.
[Read: Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism]
Beta-blockers ease the symptoms of hyperactive thyroid such as weight loss, hypertension and abnormal rate of heart’s muscle contractions by blocking the effect of the excess thyroid hormones in the body. Within a few hours of taking beta-blockers, you may find relief in your condition. However, remember that beta-blockers do not cure the underlying cause of hyperthyroidism, but definitely improve the symptoms associated with it. While considering other methods of treating hyperthyroidism, your doctor may also ask you to go for beta-blockers.
Option#2 Anti-thyroid Drugs
Anti-thyroid drugs prevent the thyroid gland from secreting more of thyroid hormones. The commonly prescribed anti-thyroid drugs are propylthiouracil or methimazole. Condition of the patients with hyperactive thyroid may improve significantly after one or one and a half years of anti-thyroid drug treatment. Thyroiditis, in which the thyroid gland swells temporarily, also leads to the excessive secretion of the thyroid hormones. However, thyroiditis patients may have to take anti-thyroid drugs medications only for a few weeks until their condition improves.
Option#3 Thyroid Removal Surgery
Severe hyperactive thyroid gland that does not respond to other treatments may be removed surgically. The complete thyroid gland will be removed, and post surgery, you will be required to regularly take synthetic thyroid hormone (thyroid hormone replacement medication) so that your body meets the required level of thyroid hormones. Although, it is very rare but surgical removal of the thyroid gland is sometimes accompanied by numerous other health risks such as risk of neck tension, changes in voice and pain in the throat while swallowing food and liquids. According to the American Thyroid Association, less than one percent of the patients who undergo thyroid removal surgery experience any complication.
Option#4 Radioactive Iodine Treatment
Radioactive iodine destroys the cells that start secreting too much of T3 and T4 hormones. This treatment option might take several months before improving your condition, but usually a single dose is required. After treating thyroid, this medication will be excreted through urine. No severe health complication of this treatment has been reported.
Your doctor will choose the best treatment for you depending on your age, severity of your condition and general state of health.
Read more articles on Hyperthyroidism.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Nov 06, 2012
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