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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

  • I hate Graves Disease

    July 28, 2016, 2:41 a.m.

    Thank you Kimberley and Emmtee , I can see that many people feel better after a thyroidectomy, I am so afraid...

  • I hate Graves Disease

    July 28, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

    After four years on anti-thyroid medication, I finally had a thyroidectomy last fall. It was something I'd...

  • TT and eye disease symptoms

    July 27, 2016, 4:57 p.m.

    Here is just one study, there are lots more. The Effect of Early Thyroidectomy on the Course of Active...

  • TT and eye disease symptoms

    July 27, 2016, 4:53 p.m.

    Hello - I'm aware of one study out of University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center that indicated that...

  • TT and eye disease symptoms

    July 27, 2016, 3:48 p.m.

    Hello all, I have head different opinions on this topic from different doctors. What have you heard and...

  • I hate Graves Disease

    July 27, 2016, 12:10 p.m.

    Sandy40 Thank you for your advise, I have asked multiple times, gone to several doctors and due to my age 40...

  • I hate Graves Disease

    July 26, 2016, 4:25 p.m.

    Thank you for your advise, I have asked multiple times, gone to several doctors and due to my age 40 they...

  • I hate Graves Disease

    July 26, 2016, 9:58 a.m.

    Sandy40 I am now considering extreme radical measures to deal with these hormones but I will give...

  • I hate Graves Disease

    July 26, 2016, 4:35 a.m.

    Sandy40, just my opinion, but if I had all those problems, thyroid would be gone! Post surgical...

  • I hate Graves Disease

    July 25, 2016, 11:28 p.m.

    Thank you Snelsen for your help and for sharing your journey with graves, well I know people from work that...

  • I hate Graves Disease

    July 25, 2016, 10:03 p.m.

    Sandy, I just logged in…was dealing with all of the when AzGravesGuy was active. So a big hello to him!...

  • I hate Graves Disease

    July 25, 2016, 6:13 p.m.

    Thank you all for your help, I have been told I am in between Hashimotos and Graves while I am taking...

  • I hate Graves Disease

    July 25, 2016, 2:19 p.m.

    AZGravesGuy is right. Not a lot of post thyroidectomy people on the boards because they have moved on with...

  • I hate Graves Disease

    July 25, 2016, 1:24 p.m.

    Hi Sandy, I hated my Graves' Disease too. Almost a decade lost to the physical and mental chaos it brought....

  • I hate Graves Disease

    July 25, 2016, 9:11 a.m.

    Hello and welcome - we have a number of regular posters here who have chosen surgery as their treatment...

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

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© 2016 Graves' Disease & Thyroid Foundation