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What is the best way to cure an overactive thyroid?

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Quick Answer

The best way to cure hyperthyroidism depends upon the age, severity and physical condition of the patient, according to the Mayo Clinic. Options include radiation, anti-thyroid medications and thyroid gland surgery.

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Full Answer

Hyperthyroidism is an abnormal condition in which the body produces too much thyroxine, resulting in an accelerated metabolism, states the Mayo Clinic. Rapid weight loss, irregular heartbeat, sweating and nervousness are symptoms of the disorder.

Treating hyperthyroidism with radiation is generally a safe procedure, according to the Mayo Clinic. The radioactive iodine is administered in pill form, slowing down the activity of the thyroid. Replacement doses of thyroxine are sometimes needed to balance out the hormone level in the body, if hypothyroidism develops and too little thyroxine is produced.

Lowering the rate at which the body produces thyroxine by taking anti-thyroid medications improves the condition as early as six weeks from the first dose, says the Mayo Clinic. Lasting nearly a year, treatment may provide a cure for hyperthyroid for some patients. Other patients may experience a relapse or have side effects such as liver damage and skin rashes. Taking anti-thyroid medications can also make patients more susceptible to infections.

Having the thyroid gland surgically removed by thyroidectomy is an option for pregnant patients who cannot ingest medications. Patients choosing this option risk damage to the parathyroid glands, vocal chords or a calcium deficiency, says the Mayo Clinic.

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