Originally published: 14.AUG.2020
Last updated: 06.OCT.2023

Medically approved by Kieran Fitzpatrick, Medical Writer

According to the American Thyroid Association, around 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease and nearly 60 percent aren’t aware [1]. Left undiagnosed and untreated, thyroid problems can lead to a whole host of complications. That is why if you are concerned about your thyroid health, checking in and finding the right treatment for you is a step in the right direction.

From diagnosis to medications and natural remedies, we are going to take you through what you need to know about treating the two most common thyroid problems: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

Related Article: What is the Function of the Thyroid Gland?

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What are the Most Common Thyroid Problems?

There are two main types of thyroid disorders: hypothyroidism which occurs when the thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones, and hyperthyroidism which occurs when the thyroid produces too much. Each of these can be caused by many conditions that impact thyroid function. Some include:

  • Thyroiditis refers to a group of disorders that cause inflammation in the thyroid gland.
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to create antibodies that attack thyroid cells.
  • Graves disease is an autoimmune disorder that can lead to thyroid overactivity (hyperthyroidism.)

How Thyroid Problems are Diagnosed and Treated

The symptoms of thyroid problems usually differ for each person. This is why if you are concerned about your thyroid health, it is likely that your doctor will recommend a blood test rather than relying on symptoms alone.

Thyroid blood tests are used to gain insight into how your thyroid is functioning. They will typically look at hormones such as thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (FT4), and free triiodothyronine (FT3), and antibodies such as Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TGAB), and Thyroid Peroxidase (TPEX). The results of these tests will help towards a diagnosis and will also help your healthcare provider find the right treatment for you.

See also: Living With Hypothyroidism

If you would prefer to initially screen your thyroid health from home, you can do so with LetsGetChecked’s range of Thyroid Testing options. Our dedicated clinical team will be available to offer support and you will receive accurate online results within 2-5 days of our lab receiving your sample.

Treatment Options for Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism doesn’t often show obvious signs or symptoms in the early stages. However, fatigue, weight gain, and sensitivity to the cold are generally the most common. If you are diagnosed with an underactive thyroid, treatment will usually involve taking daily medication.

The most common form of treatment for hypothyroidism is the thyroid hormone medicine levothyroxine [2]. It is taken orally to return hormones to a healthy level, you should feel the benefits within a few weeks - the dosage will depend on the individual.

Treatment Options for Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is associated with many symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), and nervousness or anxiety. If you are diagnosed with an overactive thyroid, there are several different types of treatment options to consider. The choice will depend on several factors including your age, medical history, and the underlying cause.

Some options may include [3]:

  • Anti-thyroid medication to ease the symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism. This treatment can last anywhere from 12-18 months and may be stopped or reduced if hormone levels have returned to a healthy level.
  • Radioiodine therapy to shrink the thyroid gland - this can help lessen symptoms within a few months.
  • Thyroid surgery (thyroidectomy) to remove some or all of the gland. This is not often used as a treatment option however in some cases it may be considered. If you undergo thyroid surgery, you will need lifelong treatment with the thyroid hormone medicine levothyroxine - the same medication used to treat hypothyroidism.

Are there natural remedies for thyroid problems?

The best treatment for thyroid problems is the treatment recommended to you by a healthcare professional. Once you begin the right treatment, you should begin to notice symptoms ease.

Of course as well as specific medical treatments, there are lifestyle changes you can incorporate to help support your thyroid health as well as your overall well-being, these include:

  • Getting good quality sleep
  • Exercising regularly
  • Following a balanced diet
  • Reducing iodine in your diet which can worsen hyperthyroidism

Remember, it is important to speak with your doctor before making any lifestyle changes or incorporating any new natural remedies into your everyday routine.

If you’re curious about your thyroid health, it’s possible to find out more by visiting your doctor’s office or taking a screening test from home with LetsGetChecked.

LetsGetChecked’s Thyroid Test will determine how your thyroid is performing by looking at thyroid-hormone levels including thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (T4), and free triiodothyronine (T3). TSH is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain and it controls the production of T3 and T4 from the Thyroid gland.

You should consider taking a test if:

  • Have symptoms of an overactive thyroid
  • Have symptoms of an underactive thyroid
  • Have a family history of thyroid conditions
  • Have an autoimmune condition such as coeliac disease or type 1 diabetes

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  1. American Thyroid Association. General Information/Press Room. Online: Thyroid.org
  2. Mayo Clinic. Hypothyroidism. Online: Mayoclinic.org
  3. Mayo Clinic. Hyperthyroidism. Online: Mayoclinic.org