Doctor insights on:
What Happens If You Dont Treat Graves Disease
It varies: In some cases, the hyperthyroidism will get progressively worse and cause severe damage to the heart and other organs, and can even be fatal. Fortunately this is rare. More common are subtle effects on the brain causing irritability, poor concentration, poor judgment, and poor impulse control leading to trouble at work, and in getting along with others, including spouses and family members. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Graves' disease is an autoimmune disorder, meaning it is caused by antibodies directed against the thyroid. These antibodies "trick" the thyroid causing it to be stimulated into making more thyroid hormone than it is supposed to. That can lead to symptoms such as excess sweating, rapid heart rate, palpitations, tremors, frequent bowel movements and weight loss. In some cases prominence of the eyes can occur and be associated with blurry vision or diplopia. Anti-thyroid drugs or radioactive iodine ...Read more
Various ways: In your age group, the most common recommendation would be to take antithyroid drugs (methimazole) to control the hyperthyroidism. After 6 months, one could see if you have gone into remission so that you could discontinue the med. If if hasn't gone away by up to 2 yrs of treatment, we would recommend radioiodine treatment or surgery to ablate the thyroid. ...Read more
I-131 > meds > surg: Many people try the anti-thyroid meds first (ptu (propylthiouracil) or methimazole), but these only work long-term for a modest number of people. If someone has tried and failed one of those meds, then they become more open-minded to the i-131 (radioactive iodine). I-131 usually works well and has a low side-effect profile. Surgery is an option, but has risks, and almost no one actually chooses it. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
3 choices: The most common treatment is swallowing a pill with radioactive iodine to kill the thyroid. The least common treatment is surgery to remove the thyroid. After either of these, a person must take daily thyroid hormone forever. A third option involves taking pills to slow the thyroid down for 12-24 months and hoping that the thyroid works properly on its own afterwards. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
That depends: Really hard to answer. But thyroid storm is a complication which can occur under stressful circumstances like other illness and when graves untreated and is life threatening. Chronic uncontrolled graves will cause osteopenia, possibly cardiac arrhythmias, maybe liver trouble, and will likely only get worse without treatment. No cure for graves except ablation or surgery. Antithyroid rx temporary. ...Read more
Depends: Depends upon your physiologic reserve and how active the grave's disease is. Severe symptoms will usually drive patients to their doc before cardiovascular collapse ( thyroid storm). Young patients can tolerate a lot but if you have other underlying conditions you might not be so lucky. ...Read more
Was told I had Graves Disease 16 yrs ago and never had it treated and was told I am hypo shortly after & am on levo for 15 yrs, How is that possible?
Autoimmune: Graves' disease is autoimmune. The natural history of Graves' disease is it goes into remission in 30-50% of patients. Some of the patients with Graves eventually become hypothyroid. Lot of people have both Graves and Hashimoto's and the net effect is the result of interplay between stimulating and blocking antibodies. ...Read more
Standard therapy.: I have nothing against naturopathic medicine, but not for graves' dz. It should be evaluated by an endocrinologist, and then there are several standard, proven treatment methods that should be tried. Untreated graves' dz is bad for you, your heart and your bones especially, and it can make you feel tired and anxious. ...Read more
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