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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

  • What do you think of this theory?

    June 18, 2021, 4:39 p.m.

    (Edited) Hello - Thanks for being flexible on the username to help us avoid confusion with our other admin! I...

  • What do you think of this theory?

    June 17, 2021, 1:57 p.m.

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31482765/ 2019 study, another perspective on ATD treatment. Note especially...

  • What do you think of this theory?

    June 17, 2021, 12:32 p.m.

    Hi Kimberly—thanks for your reply June 11. Per your advice I’ll update my screen name, ellenb. Do I...

  • What do you think of this theory?

    June 11, 2021, 3:52 p.m.

    Hello and welcome! First, do you mind if we work with you to update your screen name to avoid confusion with...

  • What do you think of this theory?

    June 10, 2021, 6:39 p.m.

    Gianna— Hi, I'm trying to decide on treatment for Graves. Can you tell me— how was your...

  • What do you think of this theory?

    June 6, 2021, 10:10 a.m.

    Hi Sue, and hello everyone! This is my first ever post and I'm happy to be here! I was diagnosed with Grave's...

  • What do you think of this theory?

    June 6, 2021, 8:48 a.m.

    Thanks for the links, Kimberly….. I'll go check them out right now. Actually I don't have celiac...

  • What do you think of this theory?

    June 4, 2021, 4:59 p.m.

    Great to see you! I've not seen research on gluten intolerance and absorption, but there *have* been studies...

  • METHIMAZOLE long term??

    June 4, 2021, 11:47 a.m.

    Hi Conky, I have been on methimazole long term. I was diagnosed in 2013 and in 2019 my trabs was finally...

  • What do you think of this theory?

    June 4, 2021, 9:08 a.m.

    Wow - thank you for that info. I really know very little about mast cells and histamine but it's definitely...

  • What do you think of this theory?

    June 4, 2021, 4:03 a.m.

    This makes sense. Mast cells, which secrete histamine, affect T3 and gluten intolerance also has a histamine...

  • What do you think of this theory?

    June 3, 2021, 4:57 p.m.

    Been a looooooong time since I posted…. so grateful Kimberly is still here keeping this board alive!...

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    June 1, 2021, 6:45 p.m.

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    June 1, 2021, 6:41 p.m.

    Hello and welcome - hopefully, others will chime in here, and you might also check out our Facebook group,...

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    June 1, 2021, 6:36 p.m.

    Hello and welcome - I think the concern with soy is more about its impact on absorption when you take your...

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