What is the treatment for Graves disease?

There are three treatments for Graves 'disease:

•Medicine. There are some medicines called antithyroid drugs that can lower the amount of thyroid hormones made by the thyroid, causing it to make, normal levels. A doctor must give these medicines to you. Some patients who take an acute thyroid drug for 1 to 2 years have a remission from Graves' disease; their thyroid function may remain normal even without medication.

•Radioactive iodine. The radioactive iodine damages thyroid cells, shrinking and eventually destroying the thyroid gland in order to reduce hormone levels. Like surgery, this condition usually leads to hypothyroidism, so that thyroid hormone supplement medication is needed for the rest of the patient's life.

•Surgery. All of the thyroid gland will be removed. In most cases, people who have surgery for Graves 'disease will develop an under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism, the opposite of hyperthyroidism), and will have to take thyroid replacement hormones for the rest of their lives.

After a diagnosis is made and a treatment is chosen, you should return to your doctor for regular follow-up visits every year to make sure that your thyroid levels are normal and for adjustments in your medicine dose if need be.

This answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center.

Continue Learning about Graves' Disease

How do I know if I have Graves disease?
Riverside Health SystemRiverside Health System
Your doctor will do a simple blood test that will be able to tell if your body has the right amount ...
More Answers
How can Graves' disease affect pregnancy?
William D. Knopf, MDWilliam D. Knopf, MD
After treatment with surgery or radioactive iodine, thyroid-stimulating antibodies can still be pres...
More Answers
What happens if I have Graves disease and get pregnant?
Riverside Health SystemRiverside Health System
It is important to get checked out by doctors more often if you are pregnant. You will need to see b...
More Answers
How does Graves' disease affect the skin?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
Graves' disease, the leading cause of hyperthyroidism, causes the skin to thicken and harden. The sk...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.