Treatments for Thyroid disorders
Treatments for Thyroid disorders:
There is usually no way to prevent thyroid disorders. However, with recognition and treatment, low levels or high levels of thyroid hormone can be returned to normal levels in the body. Treatments vary depending on the type of thyroid disorder, a patient's age and medical history and individual factors.
Hypothyroidism cannot be cured, and people with the disease have to take a thyroid hormone replacement medication called levothyroxine for the rest of their lives. However, if properly monitored this treatment is generally very effective in relieving symptoms.
Treatment of the life-threatening complication of Hashimoto's thyroiditis, called myxedema coma, may require intravenous thyroid hormone replacement medication, steroids and intensive monitoring in a critical care unit.
Graves' disease is treated with medications called beta blockers, which can minimize some symptoms, such as rapid heart rate and anxiety. Anti-thyroid medications are prescribed to decrease the overproduction of thyroid hormones. Graves' disease may also be treated with radioactive iodine. In this treatment, liquid radioactive iodine is swallowed, which acts upon the thyroid to control over-activity and overproduction of thyroid hormone.
Thyroid nodules that are not cancerous are treated by reducing the size of the nodule or treating it with radioactive iodine. If a thyroid nodule is malignant (thyroid cancer), the thyroid gland is removed in a surgical procedure and radioactive iodine is used to ensure any leftover cancer cells are killed.
Treatment List for Thyroid disorders
The list of treatments mentioned in various sources
for Thyroid disorders
includes the following list.
Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment
or change in treatment plans.
- Treatment of thyroid disorders depends upon the underlying cause of the problem, whether the patient is hyperthyroid or hypothyroid, the severity of symptoms, and the age and other health problems that the patient might have. Treatments include:
- Observation - mild abnormalities may resolve without therapy over a few months and tests should be repeated to monitor
- Cessation of drugs that may be causing the problem - eg lithium, amiodarone
- Iodine - for cases associated with iodine deficiency
- Thyroxine replacement therapy
- Surgery - rarely goitre may accompany hypothyroidism, and it is removed due to symptoms arsing from its size. The patient will still require treatment with thyroxine
- Glucocorticoid treatment for patients with other hormone deficiencies caused by pituitary or hypothalamic dysfunction that has also resulted in hypothyroidism
- Observation - for hyperthyroidism associated with sub-acute thyroiditis as recovery is usually spontaneous and definitive treatment ids usually not necessary
- Cease precipitating agents - amiodarone, IV contrast media, kelp. Hyperthyroidism from these may be self limiting
- Antithyroid drugs - carbimazole, propylthiouracil
- Iodine - used short term in Graves disease to prepare for surgery after control with antithyroid drugs
- Radioactive iodine - patient may need thyroxine replacement therapy after treatment
- Beta-blockers - used short term to control symptoms while other treatment modalities are put in place
- Surgery - for conditions such as toxic multi-nodular goitre. Thyroxine replacement therapy is needed after surgery if a total thyroidectomy is performed
Thyroid disorders: Is the Diagnosis Correct?
The first step in getting correct treatment is
to get a correct diagnosis.
Differential diagnosis list for Thyroid disorders may include:
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Curable Types of Thyroid disorders
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Hospital statistics for Thyroid disorders:
These medical statistics relate to hospitals, hospitalization and Thyroid disorders:
- 0.09% (11,469) of hospital episodes were for thyroid gland disorders in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
- 91% of hospital consultations for thyroid gland disorders required hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
- 20% of hospital episodes for thyroid gland disorders were for thyroid gland disorders men in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
- 80% of hospital episodes for thyroid gland disorders were for thyroid gland disorders women in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
- 19% of hospital admissions for thyroid gland disorders required emergency hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
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Hospitals & Medical Clinics: Thyroid disorders
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Medical news summaries about treatments for Thyroid disorders:
The following medical news items
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Discussion of treatments for Thyroid disorders:
Understanding Autoimmune Disease: NIAID (Excerpt)
The symptoms of
hypothyroidism are controlled with replacement thyroid hormone pills; however,
complications from over- or under-replacement of the hormone can occur.
Treatment of hyperthyroidism requires long-term anti-thyroid drug therapy or
destruction of the thyroid gland with radioactive iodine or surgery. Both of
these treatment approaches carry certain risks and long-term side effects.
Autoimmune thyroid diseases afflict as many as 4 out of 100 women and are
frequently found in families where there are other autoimmune diseases.
(Source: excerpt from Understanding Autoimmune Disease: NIAID)
Thyroid Disease: NWHIC (Excerpt)
Thyroid disease is generally easily and safely treated with medication
alone or with surgery and medication. It is important to monitor thyroid
levels regularly with your doctor. (Source: excerpt from Thyroid Disease: NWHIC)
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