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

  • Mood Swing

    May 17, 2019, 6:19 p.m.

    Hello - This video from Dr. Ira Lesser will hopefully shed some light behind the *why* of the mood issues....

  • Mood Swing

    May 15, 2019, 7:45 p.m.

    Hi all, I love being around people. I love to smile and being helpful as much as I could. However, often...

  • t3 and t4 in range, TSH low

    May 14, 2019, 4:32 p.m.

    I never had a normal TSH when I was on methimazole. When my T4 and T3 were in the normal range, it was always...

  • t3 and t4 in range, TSH low

    May 13, 2019, 12:03 p.m.

    There are lots of drugs beside anti-thyroid drugs that can cause hair loss. This article lists some of them,...

  • t3 and t4 in range, TSH low

    May 13, 2019, 8:41 a.m.

    Yes, I'm on methimazole. 5mg daily. I just hoped the hair loss would stop as my labs got more in range. The...

  • t3 and t4 in range, TSH low

    May 11, 2019, 6:06 a.m.

    Are you on methimazole? It is a drug and one of its side effects is hair loss, irregardless of thyroid...

  • t3 and t4 in range, TSH low

    May 10, 2019, 7:16 a.m.

    Hi all, Just wondered if anyone has had the same thing happen, t3 and t4 are both in range and have been...

  • Change in medication

    May 8, 2019, 9:34 a.m.

    Hello - I've not taken Cytomel (and am not a doc), but based on the prescribing info, it looks like the...

  • Change in medication

    May 7, 2019, 2:28 a.m.

    I am not a doctor, nor would I suggest ignoring your physicians advice, but in reviewing the warnings on...

  • Change in medication

    May 6, 2019, 5:21 p.m.

    So I have had Graves' disease since 2012 and it took about a year to find my sweet spot with a combination of...

  • Graves Disease and hair loss

    May 2, 2019, 6:26 p.m.

    Hello and welcome - We're fellow patients here, so can't give advice on medications. In general, the active...

  • Graves Disease and hair loss

    May 2, 2019, 11:14 a.m.

    Hi everyone, DX with Graves in November, on methimazole since December. all labs were within...

  • Thyroidoctomy after RAI ??

    April 30, 2019, 4:04 p.m.

    RAI can start the eye disease in some people. Yet sometimes the eye disease occurs after thyroidectomy, altho...

  • Thyroidoctomy after RAI ??

    April 30, 2019, 3:18 p.m.

    Thnx for ur reply So u think that thyroidoctomy for me now is useless ?? My thyroid now is dead and my...

  • Thyroidoctomy after RAI ??

    April 30, 2019, 8:30 a.m.

    You can have a thyroidectomy after RAI, and there is some suggestion of RAI after thyroidectomy. The object...

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