How are thyroid conditions treated?
If you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism you’ll normally be prescribed hormone replacement tablets called levothyroxine to take every day. You’ll have to have regular blood tests until your doctor is happy that your hormone levels are stable.
If your symptoms are mild, you may not need any treatment at all. You’ll be monitored by your doctor every few months just to keep an eye on your hormone levels. If they drop too far, you might be given levothyroxine.
If you’re diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, you’ll be referred to a specialist to plan your treatment.
You might be prescribed medication to stop your thyroid producing too much thyroxine or triiodothyronine, until your condition is well controlled.
You could also be given a type of medicine called a beta blocker to help you manage the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. These can include shaking and trembling, a rapid heartbeat and hyperactivity. You might need to take them until your hormone levels have stabilised.
There is another type of treatment called radioiodine treatment. This treatment uses radiotherapy to shrink your thyroid gland, which stops it from producing too much thyroid hormone. You’ll be given a drink or capsules. Sometimes a follow up dose is needed but this won’t usually be at least for six months to a year after you take the first dose.
You won’t be able to have radioiodine treatment if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and it’s not suitable for people who have certain eye conditions.