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

  • After Thyroidectomy

    April 20, 2019, 5:17 p.m.

    I had a total thyroidectomy 6 months after Graves diagnosis (5 years ago). The eye disease began after two...

  • After Thyroidectomy

    April 19, 2019, 9:34 a.m.

    Hello and welcome - you will hopefully get some responses here from those who have had a thyroidectomy, but...

  • After Thyroidectomy

    April 17, 2019, 3:33 p.m.

    Hello, I had the right side of my thyroid removed at the beginning of the month and my T3/T4 levels are still...

  • Graves antibodies, TED and levothyroxine

    April 10, 2019, 10:50 a.m.

    Hi. I have no idea how to reduce my high TSI antibodies and neither does my doctor. He said it’s simply proof...

  • Graves' Has Destroyed My Life

    April 2, 2019, 9:05 a.m.

    Liz1967 5 years post thyroidectomy, and two years post last of six eye surgeries on both eyes. Except for...

  • Graves' Has Destroyed My Life

    April 2, 2019, 8 a.m.

    5 years post thyroidectomy, and two years post last of six eye surgeries on both eyes. Except for some...

  • Graves' Has Destroyed My Life

    April 2, 2019, 4:23 a.m.

    Kimberly Hello - Sorry to hear you are going through this. We're fellow patients here, so all I can suggest...

  • Graves' Has Destroyed My Life

    April 2, 2019, 4:18 a.m.

    SueAndHerZoo I'm sure you'll get other responses but since I popped in here just because I haven't in so...

  • Graves' Has Destroyed My Life

    April 1, 2019, 11:15 a.m.

    Hello - Sorry to hear you are going through this. We're fellow patients here, so all I can suggest to you is...

  • Going off methimazole expectations

    April 1, 2019, 11:10 a.m.

    Hello - We don't have a group specifically for friends/family members, but if you would like to reach out to...

  • Graves disease relationship & depression

    April 1, 2019, 11:09 a.m.

    Hello and welcome - I'm sorry to hear that you are going through this, but glad that you found us. The good...

  • Graves' Has Destroyed My Life

    April 1, 2019, 8:58 a.m.

    I'm sure you'll get other responses but since I popped in here just because I haven't in so long, I thought...

  • Graves' Has Destroyed My Life

    April 1, 2019, 6:38 a.m.

    Is my scenario normal? I'd appreciate any comments or help or advice about where to turn. It has really...

  • Going off methimazole expectations

    March 30, 2019, 11:02 p.m.

    Hi, are there any support groups for spouses and family of patients of graves patients.

  • Graves disease relationship & depression

    March 29, 2019, 5:48 p.m.

    I am 69 years old & I was diagnosed by my Endocrinologist with Graves Disease on the 19th March this...

Questions? Problems? Please contact us at [email protected] or 877-643-3123.

GDATF on Facebook

Support the GDATF and become a member today!

© 2019 Graves' Disease & Thyroid Foundation