Hyperthyroidism is a condition categorized by overproduction of certain hormones created by the thyroid gland in your neck. This can leads to a host of health issues, like weight loss, dry skin, rapid heart beat, anxiety and other problems. Depending on your specific case, you may be able to manage your condition with non-surgical treatment options. Below, we take a closer look at some of the common nonsurgical approaches to treating hyperthyroidism.
Treating Hyperthyroidism Without Surgery
The goal of treatment is to help stabilize hormone production in the thyroid gland so that it produces the correct levels to regulate appropriate bodily functions. Here are some ways endocrine specialists work to stabilize hormone production.
- Hormone-Regulating Medications – Medications that decrease hormone production in the thyroid gland are the most common conservative treatment option for anyone dealing with hyperthyroidism. This is especially true for patients who are dealing with hyperthyroidism-related conditions, like Graves disease or abnormal thyroid nodules. These medications can help to effectively reduce and control the amount of hormones the thyroid produces. They are very effective, but they don’t work to curb the condition on a long term basis. In other words, these medications will help control thyroid hormone production for as long as you take them, but they won’t cure the condition. That being said, some people do experience a prolonged remission period after a year or two of treatment.
- Beta Blockers – Another common option instead of hormone reducing medication is a beta blocker. Beta blockers are another type of medication, but they don’t affect the levels of thyroxine produced by your thyroid. Instead, they inhibit the effect the thyroxine has on your body, which will work to resolve symptoms. This can help to lower your heart rate, calm your anxiety and nervousness and stabilize other bodily functions. They are typically used for conditions that cause temporary hyperthyroidism. For example, thyroiditis, which is categorized by inflammation in the thyroid gland and can lead to acute hyperthyroidism, may be managed with beta blockers to resolve symptoms while the inflammation, and in turn the hyperthyroidism, resolves on its own.
- Radioactive Iodine Ablation – Finally, if medications don’t provide the intended effect, your endocrine specialist may suggest radioactive iodine ablation. This treatment is typically reserved for more advanced cases of hyperthyroidism. Treatment involves taking a dose of radioactive iodine by mouth. Since iodine is a key component in creating thyroid cells, these cells end up absorbing the radioactive iodine, which leads to their destruction. This process helps level out the number of thyroid cells that produce thyroxine, again helping to resolve symptoms caused by hormone overproduction. Most people tolerate treatment very well and see a decrease in symptoms in as few as a couple of weeks.
For more information about nonsurgical hyperthyroidism treatment, or to talk to a specialist about your symptoms, reach out to Dr. Koeplin today.