The symptoms of hyperthyroidism can include neck swelling, difficulty swallowing, breathing, and vision loss. Adults over 60 may exhibit different symptoms than younger people, lose their appetite, and withdraw from social interactions. Some symptoms can even be mistaken for depression, dementia, or vision loss. To determine the cause of hyperthyroidism, a physician specializing in Hypothyroid Treatment Denver CO will use an imaging test or a radioactive iodine uptake test to assess thyroid function.
Treatment Options for Hyperthyroidism
The treatment choice for hyperthyroidism should be guided by a physician’s assessment of the patient’s overall health and symptoms. Selecting a treatment option is highly preference-sensitive, so discussing each possibility with your physician and determining which one is best for you is essential. In addition, patient education about the treatment options should be a high priority. While many studies have documented successful treatment of hyperthyroidism, there is still a lack of long-term outcomes.
The conventional treatment for hyperthyroidism focuses on suppressing the symptoms of this disorder and the underlying autoimmunity. While anti-thyroid medications can reduce the excess thyroid hormone’s risk of heart damage, they do not treat the underlying cause of hyperthyroidism. Instead, they work by controlling the production of thyroid hormones.
Radioactive Iodine Therapy
Patients undergoing radioactive iodine therapy should take several steps to prepare for the treatment. They should avoid taking public transportation after midnight on the day of the treatment. Instead, they should drive or arrange to have someone pick them up. They should also avoid prolonged contact with other tiny children. The radioactive iodine released from the treatment will leave the body through urine. However, sweat, tears, and feces can also excrete small amounts.
Although radioactive iodine therapy has been used since the 1940s, it is now the first-line definitive treatment for people with hyperthyroidism. Radioactive iodine works by killing the cells of the thyroid gland and reducing thyroid hormone production. It can even shrink the thyroid gland. The treatment is most effective when it targets thyroid cancer, so higher doses are used to treat the condition.
Treatment for Graves’ Disease
Anti-thyroid drugs, RAI therapy, and Thyroidectomy are the three main treatment options for Graves’ disease. Among these treatments, anti-thyroid drugs have the most remarkable success rate, but none offer a definitive cure. Although anti-thyroid drugs and RAI treatment are the most common treatments, surgery may be a more practical option for some patients. Thyroidectomies are a major surgical procedure, but there are minimal risks and follow-up.
The most commonly prescribed drugs for Graves’ disease are methimazole and propylthiouracil. Both drugs block the production of thyroid hormones. The thyroid produces both T4 and T3. T4 is converted to active T3 in the body by the enzyme thyroiditis. Prophylaxis is an alternative treatment for Graves’ disease. These two drugs work by blocking T4 production, which causes a temporary cure. However, these drugs can trigger various side effects, making them unsuitable for some patients.
After a thyroidectomy, the patient can typically return to daily activities, although the scar left behind from the surgery may be noticeable for up to a year. While the spot is unsightly, wearing sunscreen can minimize its visibility. Treatment options for hyperthyroidism after a thyroidectomy depend on the extent of the removal. For some patients, the remaining thyroid may take over the full function of the thyroid gland, requiring no additional medication.
Although a biopsy cannot determine whether a thyroid nodule is cancerous, the pathologist examining the tissue after the lobectomy can help determine whether or not a patient has thyroid cancer. If the nodule is benign, the patient may need another lobectomy. If the nodule is cancerous, treatment options for hyperthyroid after a thyroidectomy depend on the tumor’s location.