Hypothyroidism is treated with hormone replacement, using a synthetic thyroid hormone pill that aims to regulate thyroid hormone levels and normalise your metabolism. Do note that there may be some trial and error before arriving at the right dose. Your doctor will typically start you on a low dose, to be increased as necessary, if the symptoms persist or blood tests still show abnormal levels. You will be put on medication for life, and have to see your doctor regularly to check your thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels, to ensure that the treatment is not causing hyperthyroidism.
Treatment options for hyperthyroidism depend on your age, physical condition, and the cause and severity of your condition. These include:
These drugs gradually reduce the symptoms of hyperthyroidism by blocking the production of thyroid hormones. Symptoms usually improve within 6-12 weeks of taking the medication, and this may last for at least a year or longer.
Radioactive iodine treatment
For those who don't respond to anti-thyroid medications, radioactive iodine is taken orally and absorbed
by the thyroid. Symptoms usually subside within three to six months. This treatment causes thyroid activity to slow considerably and possibly permanently (hypothyroidism), and you may have to take thyroid supplements.
Removing your thyroid gland as a last resort. Risks include damage to your vocal cords and parathyroid glands - the four tiny glands located on the back of your thyroid gland that help to control the level of calcium in your blood. You may need life-long treatment with medication to keep your thyroid hormone level normal post-surgery. If the parathyroid glands are also removed, you'll need medication to keep your blood-calcium levels normal.
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