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

  • New to Graves

    May 27, 2015, 3:39 a.m.

    Consider having a total thyroidectomy. There is less risk for causing eye problems and for me it was quick...

  • New to Graves

    May 26, 2015, 7:34 p.m.

    Thanks for the welcome Kimberly. We do have urgent care here but the wait times can be ridiculous. I did get...

  • Cancer and Graves Disease

    May 26, 2015, 5:07 p.m.

    Hello - If I was planning a visit to Arizona, I would *not* do it in the summer. People say “it's a dry...

  • Cancer and Graves Disease

    May 26, 2015, 3:08 p.m.

    Hi Kimberly, Hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. Thank you for the link. I am aware of...

  • New to Graves

    May 26, 2015, 12:54 p.m.

    Hello and welcome! We are fellow patients here, not doctors, but I would have the mass checked out just for...

  • 5:2 / Intermittent Fasting

    May 26, 2015, 12:49 p.m.

    Hello - I haven't seen much on this from credible sources, but this is an article from the UK's National...

  • Cancer and Graves Disease

    May 26, 2015, 12:44 p.m.

    Hello - I would use extreme caution before pursuing bee-venom therapy. Here is a link from a credible source:...

  • am I psycho need a mental ward...please help

    May 25, 2015, 7:07 p.m.

    Briefly.. to Kathy-good questions with complex answers. And with the usual reminder that we are fellow...

  • am I psycho need a mental ward...please help

    May 25, 2015, 11:06 a.m.

    I am so sorry to read, snelsen (Shirley), about what you have gone through. I guess my questions are, can...

  • New to Graves

    May 25, 2015, 9:15 a.m.

    I'm so glad to have found this forum. I am a Canadian who was diagnosed with graves about 5 weeks ago. I'm...

  • 5:2 / Intermittent Fasting

    May 24, 2015, 1:30 p.m.

    Hello! I am writing to ask if anyone else has noticed improved thyroid function with fasting. I have had...

  • Cancer and Graves Disease

    May 24, 2015, 1:27 a.m.

    Dear Shirley, Thank you so much for your attentiveness and sharing with me your medical challenges. I am so...

  • Cancer and Graves Disease

    May 23, 2015, 9:54 p.m.

    Holy Cow, Allie! Thank you for writing clarifications. I am s o glad you are being followed by end and...

  • Cancer and Graves Disease

    May 23, 2015, 6:36 p.m.

    I had several appointments last week with a Cardiologist assigned to my case via my Endocrinologist. They are...

  • Double Vision

    May 23, 2015, 5:30 a.m.

    Thanks, Liz. I'm one of those who has a really hard time with prednisone. Its been a real struggle. Neither...

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

GDATF on Facebook

Support the GDATF and become a member today!

© 2015 Graves' Disease & Thyroid Foundation