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What are the Different Types of Thyroid Treatment?

Article Details
  • Written By: M. West
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 16 June 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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Thyroid problems can be categorized as hypothyroidism, which is too little thyroid, or hyperthyroidism, which is too much. Thyroid treatment for hypothyroidism involves the prescription of a thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism is seen much less often, and the solution involves taking anti-thyroid medicine to limit the quantity of thyroid hormone produced by the body. Another thyroid malady is a nodule. Noncancerous nodules can be treated with a thyroid hormone, while cancerous nodules can usually be successfully treated with the appropriate intervention.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism usually manifest slowly over a period of time. Typical symptoms are weight gain, fatigue, and constipation. Decreased appetite, loss of sex drive, and muscle aches are also frequently seen. Signs of the disease that affect the appearance include hair loss, brittle nails, and puffiness around the eyes. People with this condition are likely to feel cold when others aren't.

Once diagnosed, the thyroid treatment for hypothyroidism is usually thyroid hormone medicine. The dosage in raised gradually until the blood range is within normal limits. It is usually necessary for the patient to remain on the hormone all of his or her life. People with this condition should have their hormone level tested at regular intervals in case the dose needs to be adjusted.

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Some symptoms of hyperthyroidism are opposite to those seen in hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism patients will manifest weight loss, rather than weight gain. They also may notice more frequent bowel movements instead of constipation. Other typical symptoms include nervousness, rapid heart beat, and increased sweating. Patients may notice that they feel hot when others aren't.

The thyroid treatment for hyperthyroidism may involve anti-thyroid medications such as propylthiouracil or methimazole, which hinder the thyroid gland's hormone production. Another approach is to use radioactive iodine, which will cause the thyroid gland to become smaller. Beta-blockers, which are medications used to treat high blood pressure, may be used temporarily to slow the rapid heart beat. In a few instances, the surgical removal of the thyroid gland may be an option for patients unable to take anti-thyroid medicine.

When a thyroid nodule is diagnosed, it will be evaluated to determine if cancerous cells are present. Evaluation methods may involve an ultrasound or a biopsy. If no cancer is detected, the thyroid treatment would be a prescription for thyroid hormone in order to reduce the size of the lump. If cancer is present, the appropriate thyroid cancer treatment will be initiated. Thyroid cancer can often be eradicated with medical intervention.

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