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

  • Methimazole trigger Graves eye?

    Jan. 24, 2015, 4:37 p.m.

    I think, when TED diagnosed, I did have the antibody tests. But I did not care. TED is TED, and I realized I...

  • Methimazole trigger Graves eye?

    Jan. 24, 2015, 12:23 p.m.

    Sorry Snelson I didnt see your procedures initially at the bottom of your post. I am so sorry that you had to...

  • Just an update.

    Jan. 24, 2015, 8:36 a.m.

    Hi Shirley, To answer your question: No, I haven't gotten the immunization for Shingles yet. Darn it, I still...

  • Methimazole trigger Graves eye?

    Jan. 23, 2015, 12:58 p.m.

    Of the information I have read it seems like there is controversy with just about everything. i have seen...

  • Methimazole trigger Graves eye?

    Jan. 23, 2015, 10:35 a.m.

    Thank you Snelson for your story. Seems you have been through a lot as well. I'm glad your situation has...

  • Just an update.

    Jan. 23, 2015, 10:04 a.m.

    Thanks, Barbra, for the update - so glad that you are feeling well! A quick note about PMs - when you send a...

  • Just an update.

    Jan. 23, 2015, 8:17 a.m.

    Hi Barbra, Sue/zoo! I also think about Boomer now and then! I think I'll send PM to him, se how his world is....

  • Just an update.

    Jan. 23, 2015, 8:16 a.m.

    Hi Sue, I am happy that you are closing in on you target. That would be great. You are right, it is a bit...

  • Methimazole trigger Graves eye?

    Jan. 23, 2015, 8:12 a.m.

    Hi All, I am (again) super tired tonight. So just a word or two about my experience. Now it is morning, I got...

  • Methimazole trigger Graves eye?

    Jan. 22, 2015, 4:30 p.m.

    Thank you Scanders. So I'm not a complete idiot. Someone notify my wife immediately. For years my daughter...

  • Just an update.

    Jan. 22, 2015, 3:23 p.m.

    Hi Barbra - so thrilled to hear that you've found some normalcy and relief from the hell known as Graves...

  • Just an update.

    Jan. 22, 2015, 8:09 a.m.

    Just wanted to pop in and say HI. I have finally achieved lasting normal levels since March 2014. I feel...

  • Methimazole trigger Graves eye?

    Jan. 22, 2015, 7:57 a.m.

    Mforsberg21 Questions…How does Radioactive iodine treatment raise your risk for developing TED? If...

  • Angry: RAI Failed

    Jan. 22, 2015, 7:47 a.m.

    Hello - I'm sorry to hear that you had to go through this! There are a couple of methods of calculating the...

  • feeling miserable--hypo after RAI

    Jan. 21, 2015, 10:08 p.m.

    I know how you feel. I had RAI last May and I am being checked once a month or so because I feel so exhausted...

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