Video:Overview of Treatments for Thyroid Diseasewith Dr. Mary Ann Block
There ares some common treatments for thyroid conditions that you will want to be aware of if you have thyroid disease. Watch this video from About.com to learn about the various options.See Transcript
Transcript:Overview of Treatments for Thyroid Disease
Hi, I'm Dr. Mary Ann Block, Physician, Author and Medical Director of The Block Center in Dallas/Fort Worth. I'm here for About.com. In this video, I'll talk about the most common treatments for different thyroid conditions.
What Is Hypothyroidism?
Let's start with hypothyroidism - when the thyroid is not making enough thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism is usually easily treated with thyroid hormone medicine: levothyroxine. It is one of the major hormones that the thyroid makes. It is called T4. The other major thyroid hormone is Liothyronine. It is called T3 and it is actually the active form of thyroid. Many doctors treat with both T4 and T3. T4 must convert to T3 for the thyroid gland to work. Usually you take a daily oral pill.
Treatment for Hypothyroidism
Now let's take a look at the most common treatment for hyperthyroidism: when your thyroid gland produces too much hormone. Propylthiouracil, also known as PTU, and methimazole, also known as Tapazole - are two medications that stop the thyroid from producing hormones. You usually have to take the medication for at least 1 year. Antithyroid medicine does not permanently damage your thyroid gland. Radioactive iodine treats hyperthyroidism by gradually shrinking and killing your thyroid. Since thyroid cells are the only cells in the body that can absorb iodine - this medication effectively attacks only the thyroid cells. Radioiodine usually can be taken by mouth, at home.
Treatment for Thyroid Nodules
And let's end with thyroid nodules. The majority of thyroid nodules are benign and don't require any intervention - but you should always check with a doctor, because some thyroid nodules are cancerous. That's why some nodules need to be removed surgically. And nodules that don't need to be removed need to watched closely, that means you'd need to have a doctor's examination and follow-ups every 6 to 12 months.If a nodule is causing hyperthyroidism, you might get treated for that with radioactive iodine to destroy the thyroid. Before you take any thyroid medicatioon, tell your doctor if you have any other serious diseases, a history of blood clots or heart problems, and any other conditions your doctor needs to know about.
For more on thyroid treatments, visit Health.About.com. Thanks for watching!