Hold control (command on a Mac) and press the + key as many times as necessary to increase the font size.
Hold control (command on a Mac) and press the - key to reduce the font size. - hide

Treatment Options



How is Graves’ disease treated?

Graves' disease is treated three ways. The choice of treatment varies to some degree from country to country, and among particular physicians as well. The decision should be made with the full knowledge and informed consent of the patient, who is the primary member of the treatment team. The selection of treatment will include factors such as age, degree of illness, and personal preferences. Generally speaking, from least invasive to most invasive, the treatments include:

  1. Anti-thyroid drugs, which inhibit production or conversion of the active thyroid hormone
  2. Total thyroidectomy, in which a surgeon removes the thyroid gland and renders it incapable of overproducing thyroid hormone
  3. Radioactive iodine (I-131), which destroys part or all of the thyroid gland and renders it incapable of overproducing thyroid hormone

For in-depth information on the three treatment options, please visit our patient education page.

Are there any alternatives for treating Graves’ disease?

There are a number of things that you can do to assist your body in healing. However, the state of science as we know it indicates there is no "natural" way to "cure" Graves' disease. For instance, although there are no specific foods that will change your thyroid function, the healthier, nutritionally dense foods you eat, the better your body will be able to fight against infection and further insult. Equally, many of the treatments like acupuncture, exercise, meditation, and various mind-body therapies may provide comfort measures and relief, but are not a substitute for standard medical treatment. Be sure to consult and collaborate with your physician when embarking on additional therapies. There are many studies of other auto-immune diseases that indicate that the more input and control a patient has in their care, the more rapid their recovery will be. It is of interest to all who are hopeful of more, effective additional treatment models in the future that the National Institutes of Health are trying to adequately research and evaluate the hard data of alternative therapies.

What are the complications with Graves’ disease?

Graves' disease usually responds to treatment, and after the initial period of hyperthyroidism, is relatively easy to treat and manage. There are some exceptions to this, and for some, treatment and subsequent stabilization are much more challenging, both to the patient and the treating team of physicians. The more serious complications of prolonged, untreated, or improperly treated Graves' disease include weakened heart muscle leading to heart failure; osteoporosis, or possible severe emotional disorders.

Recent News

Recent Forum Posts

  • high tpo and high antibodys?

    Aug. 21, 2017, 6:30 p.m.

    hi liz, isnt it weird i have graves and now my husband shows up with this?almost sounds like the Bush's.lol

  • high tpo and high antibodys?

    Aug. 21, 2017, 10:20 a.m.

    Thyroglobulin antibody could be Hashimotos or thyroid cancer.Thyroid peroxidase autoimmune or thyroiditis or...

  • high tpo and high antibodys?

    Aug. 21, 2017, 8:55 a.m.

    Hello everybody, admins delete this if not approbiate.I have a question.My hubby has been taking levo for...

  • After a long absence, back again!

    Aug. 19, 2017, 8:28 p.m.

    Hi emmtee, My doctor said that on one side there was very little of the thyroid left and what was there was...

  • After a long absence, back again!

    Aug. 19, 2017, 7:47 p.m.

    I'm glad you're doing well after your surgery. I've always wondered what happened to the thyroid after RAI....

  • After a long absence, back again!

    Aug. 19, 2017, 7:27 a.m.

    Hi everybody, TT is all done and I seem to be back to my old self, well aside from the rough gobs of glue on...

  • After a long absence, back again!

    Aug. 18, 2017, 10:35 a.m.

    Good luck! I'll be sending good thoughts your way on the 16th. All of you “old timers” were so...

  • Blast from the past

    Aug. 12, 2017, 5:34 p.m.

    Oh another thing, I too had RAI and my synthoird dose only changed 3 times in 7 years. The changes occured in...

  • Blast from the past

    Aug. 12, 2017, 5:30 p.m.

    I have found that diet plays a big part in how my eyes are from day to day and how I actually feel. ( I feel...

  • Eyelid retraction correction surgery

    Aug. 11, 2017, 3:04 p.m.

    Hi, I would like to get your blog link regarding your upper eyelid retraction surgery. I'm seriously...

  • Eyelid surgery a breeze

    Aug. 11, 2017, 3 p.m.

    I'm considering having my upper eyelid retraction corrected. I've gone to several oculoplastics and gotten...

  • Save the Dates: Patient Events in Baltimore (Oct. 8) and Boston (Oct. 14)!

    Aug. 10, 2017, 3:44 p.m.

    Save the dates - the GDATF is headed to the East Coast this fall to host two patient education events!...

  • After a long absence, back again!

    Aug. 9, 2017, 3:38 a.m.

    There are internal dissolvable sutures, the glue only holds together the superficial skin. I had glue, no...

  • After a long absence, back again!

    Aug. 8, 2017, 11:36 p.m.

    I'm glad you were able to meet with your surgeon. It sounds like you're getting good care. My surgeon used...

  • After a long absence, back again!

    Aug. 6, 2017, 2:06 p.m.

    Sending good thoughts and good wishes to you, Barbra - just like you have sent to so many of us here on the...

Questions? Problems? Please contact us at info@ngdf.org or 877-643-3123.

GDATF on Facebook

Support the GDATF and become a member today!

© 2017 Graves' Disease & Thyroid Foundation