Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

The best treatment method for Graves' disease varies from patient to patient. The treatment procedures ranges from providing medications to surgery and the doctor may help in planning the treatment procedure best suited for a patient. Thus, if a person is diagnosed with Graves' disease, he should visit the doctor to get the best treatment.

What is the Best Way to Treat Graves' Disease?

With the advancement of medical research, today, there are various modes of treating Graves' disease. Some of the methods include-

Radioactive Iodine Therapy: One of the methods includes what is called the Radioactive Iodine Therapy. In this method a patient has to take radioiodine, which is basically radioactive iodine, orally. The main idea behind such a mode of treatment is that, the thyroid gland essentially requires iodine to function appropriately in order to produce the hormone. When the radioiodine goes into the system, it reaches the thyroid cells to destroy the hyperactive ones due to its radioactivity. This results in shrinkage of the thyroid glands reducing the symptoms of Graves' disease gradually over time.

Anti-Thyroid Drugs: When it comes to medications, the doctor may prescribe anti-thyroid drugs in order to combat Graves' disease. Some of the common anti-thyroid drugs include methimazole and propylthiouracil. Usually the former of the drugs is used most commonly because the latter accompanies with a risk of liver related diseases as side effects. For proper results such medications have to be continued for more than a year to witness results. Thus, a patient with Graves' disease who is asked to have these medications should be consistent as well as patient.

Beta Blockers: Sometimes doctors may take a different approach in treating symptoms of Graves' disease. Instead of using anti-thyroid medications, doctors are seen to use beta blockers. What beta blockers do is the work on blocking the effects, which the hormones produce in the body thereby reducing the symptoms. Thus, beta blockers successfully solve the problem of palpitations and irregular heartbeats, feeling of anxiety, muscular weakness and so on. Some of the beta blockers include atenolol, metoprolol, nadolol and so on.

Surgery: At times, doctors may ask the patient to go for a surgical procedure to remove a part of the thyroid in order to arrest its secretion. Such procedure is opted when medications fail to work and the symptoms cannot be controlled by any other means. However, the patient may have to take doses of hormones externally after the surgery to maintain the normal level of thyroid hormones.

Are Lifestyle Changes Important In The Treatment of Graves' Disease?

No matter whatever the treatment procedure the doctor plans for a patient with Graves' disease, the patient's physical and mental well being is important in reducing the symptoms of Graves' disease. Such a form of well being may be possible by bringing simple lifestyle changes like-

Starting to Have Nutritious Food and Exercise- Having a healthy diet and engaging the body in regular mild exercise may help the patient to witness improvement faster while being on treatment. Nutritious food brings back the lost energy in the body while problems of irritability can be solved with exercises as it helps release endorphins which help the patient to feel good.

Engaging in Stress Management Techniques- Stress may increase the symptoms of Graves's disease making it almost impossible to have improvement in the general health of a patient. Thus, a patient has to indulge in activities that help calm him and reduce stress. Such may include having a nice and warm bath, or meditation that helps one feel relaxed.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 21, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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