Looking After Yourself

People with hyperthyroidism may experience many uncomfortable and sometimes distressing symptoms. These may include:

  • Weight loss
  • Heart palpitations
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability

Before and during treatment for hyperthyroidism, make sure your doctor knows which symptoms or problem are most bothersome to you.

How-To Information:

If anxiety or heart palpitations are troublesome, treatment with anti-adrenergic drugs, also known as beta-blockers, may calm these symptoms. If you already have heart disease, drug treatment with beta blockers may not be advisable. Be sure that your endocrinologist and other treating physicians are aware of your other medical conditions, if any.

During treatment for hyperthyroidism, there may be some restrictions imposed on your day-to-day activities, including those related to your:

  • Work
  • Leisure time
  • Recreational time
  • Travel plans

This is particularly true for people who choose radioiodine therapy or surgery.

Need To Know:

If antithyroid drugs or radioactive iodine is used,thyroid hormone levels are monitored to ensure that they are maintained within normal limits. The treating doctor will schedule laboratory testing and regular visits to complete these tests.

When treatment is complete, most people feel much better than before their treatment. They are able to do more and to enjoy the activities of their daily lives. Most find that, after appropriate treatment, there are essentially no treatment-related limitations on their activities of daily living.

The chance of developing hypothyroidism, or low levels of thyroid hormone, depends on the cause of the hyperthyroidism and its treatment. It is likely, in many cases, that hypothyroidism may persist and become a permanent condition. Fortunately, hypothyroidism is usually treated successfully with thyroid hormone supplementation. This is taken in the form of a daily pill.

Need To Know:

The possibility of lifetime hypothyroidism as a result of treatment for hyperthyroidism is real. Therefore, it is important to make a commitment to regular, lifetime follow-up care. This follow-up ensures that thyroid hormone levels remain normal. After thyroid hormone levels are normal and stable, it is possible that hormone levels may need to be checked only once a year.



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