Diagnosing which disease is affecting the functioning of your thyroid glands is essential in managing your symptoms and improving your overall health. You should consult an endocrinologist (a specialist in the endocrine system) if you notice any unusual or sudden weight gain, weight loss, fatigue, depression, and mood swings. The malfunctioning of your thyroid glands can affect your metabolism and other functions of your body and may sometimes even affect your chances of getting pregnant if you are a woman. Thyroid treatment for females may defer from that for males due to their different physiologies.
Here, you can find information on different thyroid treatments for different thyroid conditions.
- Thyroid treatment for different types of thyroid diseases
- Thyroid tumour
- Thyroid cancer
- Home remedies for thyroid
Thyroid treatment for different types of thyroid diseases
Some of the most common thyroid disease and their treatments are listed here:
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid glands do not make enough thyroid hormones, which play an essential role in regulating the body’s metabolism. People with this condition have symptoms like weight gain, depression, and tiredness; the symptoms may vary from person to person.
Hypothyroidism cannot be cured with surgery or drugs as of yet, and the patient has to take thyroid hormone replacement supplements for the rest of their lives. The most common drug used for this treatment is levothyroxine, whose side effects (rare) include nervousness or chest pain. You can consult your doctor if you have any side effects from the medicine to adjust the dosage or look for an alternate medication. Medicines you are currently taking for any pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes medication, antidepressants, birth control, or hormone replacement therapy and blood-thinning drugs, can affect how well the hypothyroidism medicine work; thus, you should inform your doctor about them.
In hyperthyroidism, the thyroid glands produce abnormal quantities of thyroid hormones that can interfere with the body’s metabolism and your overall health. An overactive thyroid gland can cause mood swings, difficulty sleeping, weight loss, and twitching. The treatment for hyperthyroidism (also known as thyrotoxicosis) includes the following:
a. Oral medication to limit the production of thyroid hormones
b. Radio-iodine treatment, a type of radiotherapy, to destroy some thyroid cells ultimately reducing its ability to produce thyroid hormones
c. Surgery to remove a part or all of your thyroid gland to reduce the production of thyroid hormones
Please note that all of these overactive thyroid treatments may not be suitable for every person with hyperthyroidism as each method has its own benefits and limitations. Your doctor will recommend you the best suitable treatment according to your medical history and current overall health.
If left untreated, hyperthyroidism can develop into a thyroid storm, a life-threatening disease. Patients with this disease need urgent medical attention. In this rare complication of hyperthyroidism, the thyroid glands release a large amount of hormones in a short amount of time. Thyroid storm treatment strategy is usually divided into the following four objectives:
a. To target thyroid hormone creation and release
b. To treat other systems of the body and limit or reduce the effects of excess thyroid hormones
c. To treat the cause of thyroid storm
d. To manage other symptoms and side effects
Thyroiditis causes the swelling or inflammation of the thyroid gland, which can cause them to produce abnormally high or low levels of thyroid hormones. Based on the cause and other factors, thyroiditis is divided into different types, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, De Quervain’s (subacute) thyroiditis, and postpartum thyroiditis.
Treatment for thyroiditis varies based on its type. For example, subacute thyroiditis usually subsides on its own, but you can take acetaminophen or aspirin for any pain resulting from the condition. It is recommended that you consult with the doctor before taking any new medication. The doctor may recommend some anti-inflammatory drugs such as prednisone or dexamethasone for a while. Treatment for Hashimoto’s thyroid may resemble the treatment for hypothyroidism—hormone replacement therapy.
If your thyroid glands develop non-cancerous or benign growth (nodules and adenomas) on their inner surface, it may cause hyperthyroidism. This thyroid disease treatment usually involves surgery to remove the overactive nodule.
Thyroid cancer is more likely to appear in people who have undergone radiation therapy to the head, neck, or chest, but it can also affect people with no known risk factors. Most thyroid cancers can be treated successfully with the help of the following thyroid treatments:
a. Surgery to remove the cancer
b. Radio-iodine therapy
c. External beam radiation therapy
d. Targeted drug therapy
e. Thyroid hormone replacement
The treatment for the cancer largely depends on the type of stage of the cancer.
Home remedies for thyroid
To better manage your thyroid, it is important to supplement the prescribed thyroid treatment with at home care. Your diet, physical activity, and other factors can make a large difference on your health. Please note that home remedies for thyroid cannot replace your treatment, they can only supplement it to improve your overall health.
The following ways can help you alleviate the symptoms of thyroid problems and heal fast:
• Manage stress is important as increased stress levels cause your thyroid glands to malfunction.
• A nutrition deficient diet can impact your thyroid health poorly and cause other problems.
It is important to ensure that you are consuming sufficient vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, vitamin D, protein, calcium, magnesium, and iodine as these can help your thyroid function well.
Can thyroid be cured completely?
Yes, it is possible to cure thyroid conditions such as hyperthyroidism, thyroid cancer, and more, but it depends on the severity of the condition. Thyroid diseases can be cured, but you may still need to counter the lack of thyroid hormone with thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
What is the best treatment for thyroid gland?
The treatment for a thyroid condition largely depends on what the doctor finds during diagnosis. Thyroid treatments include surgery, drugs, and radio-iodine therapy to name a few for different diseases.
When do you repeat thyroid function tests after treatment?
Depending on the thyroid diseases you are diagnosed with, your doctor will recommend an ideal timeline for repeating a thyroid function test, which can range from once in a week to in 3 months or more. As a general practice, you should consider repeating this test once every year if you have been diagnosed with a thyroid disease.
Can I feel better after thyroid treatment?
Yes, thyroid treatments are focused on eliminating the root cause of the disease and managing the accompanying symptoms. Hence, you should feel better once the thyroid treatment starts to kick in. If you have any confusion or think the treatment isn’t working, you should contact your doctors and take a second opinion from another specialist if you are still not sure.