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What are some treatments for thyroid problems?

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Quick Answer

Thyroid problems are generally treated with medication, although surgery may be required in some instances, according to MedicineNet. The treatment plan varies based on the type of thyroid disorder being treated, such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, goiters or thyroid nodules.

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Hypothyroidism, which occurs when the body fails to produce a sufficient amount of thyroid hormone, is usually treated through thyroid hormone replacement therapy, notes MedicineNet. The synthetic thyroid hormone is taken in the form of a pill. By contrast, hyperthyroidism, which occurs when the body produces too much thyroid hormone, may be treated with a medicine that decreases the production of thyroid hormone or prevents the thyroid from releasing the hormone from the thyroid gland. In addition, treatment for hyperthyroidism may require taking medications that control the increased heart rate that is sometimes associated with the disease.

When hyperthyroidism cannot be controlled using these medications, radioactive iodine treatment may be necessary, explains MedicineNet. This treatment, which is also called radioactive ablation, involves selectively destroying the thyroid tissue using doses of radioactive iodine.

Thyroid surgery is used for removing large goiters or thyroid nodules in some individuals and is generally recommended when thyroid cancer may be a possibility, reports MedicineNet. The thyroid can be completely or partially removed, depending on the treatment plan.

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