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Hyperthyroidism Treatment Guide: What Options Do You have?

An active thyroid can dramatically affect your quality of life if left untreated. It has a variety of causes and risk factors associated with it and impacts how the body uses energy. Many treatment methods can help those with hyperthyroidism.

Knowing the basics of hyperthyroidism can help you know the warning signs and seek appropriate treatment. Serious consequences, such as heart, bone, or eye issues, can occur without treatment.

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What is Hyperthyroidism? 

The thyroid, an organ of the endocrine system, is located in the front of your neck and produces two hormones. These hormones regulate how food is converted into energy, body temperature, heartbeat, and weight. Many thyroid disorders exist, but Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces more hormones than your body requires.

What causes Hyperthyroidism?

A photo of a woman below her mouth, focused on her throat while she is holding the sides of her throat with both of her hands.There are many causes of hyperthyroidism. Some of the more common causes of hyperthyroidism include:

  • Graves disease: An autoimmune disorder where your immune system attacks the thyroid, resulting in an increased production of hormones.
  • Nodules: Overactive thyroid modules are more frequently found in older adults and can contribute to an increase in thyroid production.
  • Inflammation: If the thyroid is inflamed, which can occur with certain medications or illnesses, it can cause hyperthyroidism.

Some less common causes of hyperthyroidism include consuming too much iodine from medical imaging or foods, noncancerous growths, or tumors in the testes/ovaries.

You may be at a higher risk of developing hyperthyroidism if:

  • You have a medical condition that affects your thyroid, such as lupus or type 1 diabetes
  • You take medication that is high in iodine
  • There is a family history of thyroid disease
  • You have been pregnant in the last six months
  • You are an adult over the age of 60
  • You use nicotine products

Hyperthyroidism Symptoms 

A tired woman with short hair falling asleep while resting on her hand and sitting on the floor.Symptoms of hyperthyroidism vary from person to person and may be affected by age. Older adults may experience loss of appetite or withdrawal from social situations, and many of these symptoms can be misconstrued as dementia or depression. Getting an accurate diagnosis from a physician is essential to rule out other disorders.

Common symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:

  • Quick or irregular heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • An enlarged neck, also known as a goiter
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Nervousness or irritability
  • Weight loss
  • Shaking
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sensitivity to heat
  • Eye irritation
  • Irregular menstrual cycles

Less common symptoms can include changes in the nails, weight gain, and hair loss. Seizures are possible if you have a severe case of hyperthyroidism.

How is Hyperthyroidism Diagnosed?

a needle filled with red blood that is injected into a patient's vein.If you suspect you have a thyroid issue, schedule an appointment to see your primary care physician. Often, symptoms can also be signs of another condition.

There are three main tests used to diagnose hyperthyroidism:

  • Blood tests: Used to determine if the thyroid is working properly by analyzing hormones. This can also be used to diagnose hypothyroidism, Graves disease, thyroid cancer, or Hashimoto’s disease.
  • Imaging tests: Your provider may choose to do an ultrasound, which uses sound waves to look at body tissues and turn them into images. Radiation is not used in this test.
  • Physical exam: Your physician will study any areas of pain or inflammation, particularly the neck, for any goiters.

What are the Treatment Options for Hyperthyroidism?

Treatments will vary based on what is determined to be the cause of hyperthyroidism. Your physician will first determine the cause and severity of your thyroid. There are three primary treatment modalities.


A few white pills spilled over next to a white unlabeled plastic bottle on a blue background.Common medications for hyperthyroidism include beta-blockers and antithyroid medications.1 Beta-blockers work by opening up the blood vessels and can reduce symptoms caused by hyperthyroidism, but they do not stop the thyroid from producing hormones. Antithyroid medications are also common and may include medications like Methimazole or Propylthiouracil. These act by telling the thyroid to make fewer hormones but are more likely to produce side effects such as allergic reactions. Although they may take time to work, they often assist with symptom management.

Radioiodine Therapy

Radioiodine treatment is common for hyperthyroidism and can be done as a capsule or a liquid. This treatment destroys the cells that produce thyroid hormones and does not impact other tissues. You may need several treatments to manage the condition, but often this is used in conjunction with medications to make treatments more comfortable. Radioiodine therapy may cause the individual to get hypothyroidism, but this is often considered a worthwhile approach since hypothyroidism is easier to treat. Radioiodine treatment is not used for pregnant or breastfeeding women.


Surgery is less common than other treatment methods but may be required for those who have difficulty taking medications or are pregnant. You may develop hypothyroidism after surgery, but this is more manageable long-term than hyperthyroidism. Two types of surgeries are commonly used; a total thyroidectomy and a thyroid lobectomy with isthmusectomy. The former makes a small incision in the neck and removes the entire thyroid gland, whereas a thyroid lobectomy with isthmusectomy will only remove half of the thyroid.

Hyperthyroidism Treatment at Home vs. a Clinic

IV therapy for home careSome physicians will do home visits for those who have issues with transportation and scheduling or simply feel too ill to leave their homes. Medical house calls can range from primary care, wound care, physical therapy, and more, which provides many options for those struggling to manage other comorbidities. It can also help ensure patients stick to their treatment plan.

Remember that not every visiting physician can do all the required treatments, which may mean the patient may be referred for imaging or lab work outside the home. In a clinic, most of the services can be completed on-site, and you may have more access to various staff members. If you feel at-home services are needed, speak to your primary care physician to find someone in the area who can help.


Proper management of hyperthyroidism can help you or your loved one avoid serious complications later on and increase your quality of life. The more you know and understand about this condition, the better you can make informed decisions regarding your health. While most patients will require long-term medications, this can help manage the symptoms and allow daily activities. Getting the proper care is a key step in the health journey and should be prioritized. If you have difficulty getting a physician, consider alternative options, such as in-home care. House-call healthcare professionals can often offer the same services and needs for those diagnosed with hyperthyroidism from the comfort of the patient’s home.

Schedule your at home Thyroid Test

An in-home test is the most convenient way to determine if your thyroid is functioning properly. One of our licensed nurses will bring your appointment to you. Once your results are in, we will help you understand them and recommend your next steps.

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Lab Testing - Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to do lab tests occasionally?

It is important to do lab tests occasionally because they can provide valuable information about an individual's health and help to identify potential health issues early on. Lab tests can measure a wide range of factors, including blood count, cholesterol levels, liver and kidney function, and hormone levels, and can provide insight into an individual's overall health and wellness. Additionally, lab tests can help to diagnose and monitor the progression of certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, and can help to identify any potential health risks or concerns. By doing lab tests occasionally, individuals can take proactive steps to maintain their health and wellbeing and reduce the risk of potential health problems in the future.

What does a routine blood test cover?

A routine blood test is used to check for a range of things, including your blood count and the levels of certain chemicals and substances in your blood. Blood tests can also be used to check how well certain organs, such as your liver and kidneys, are functioning.

How is a blood sample collected for lab testing?

A blood sample for lab testing is typically collected through a process called venipuncture, which involves inserting a small needle into a vein to draw blood. This is usually done on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand.

What is the cost of a lab test?

In general, the cost of a lab test can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars. It is always best to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider to get an accurate estimate of the cost of a lab test.

Read More: Lab Testing FAQ


[1] Geffner DL, Hershman JM. - Beta-adrenergic blockade for the treatment of hyperthyroidism. Am J Med. 1992 Jul;93(1):61-8. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(92)90681-z;