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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

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    March 8, 2019, 3:35 a.m.

    They still say further research is needed in that article. I hope someone's on it. haha

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    March 1, 2019, 2:39 p.m.

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    I did find this : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29780134 and this:...

  • Nails

    March 1, 2019, 11:25 a.m.

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  • Nails

    March 1, 2019, 8:17 a.m.

    Hello and welcome - hopefully, others here can chime in with their experiences. I do know that being hyper or...

  • Orbital Decompression

    March 1, 2019, 4:15 a.m.

    It is not as bad as you are anticipating. You might have two uncomfortable postop days. If you do not do it...

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    Has anyone had any trouble with the finger nails and toe nails. I had my thyroid removed in 2007 after a...

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    Feb. 28, 2019, 4:05 p.m.

    Hello - I've not had an OD, but we've heard many success stories from patients who have. Having an...

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    Feb. 28, 2019, 10:21 a.m.

    Hi all - I am getting ready to schedule the orbital decompression and I am scared to death - almost scared...

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    Feb. 25, 2019, 8:41 a.m.

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