How is thyroid disease treated?

The goal of treatment for any thyroid disorder is to restore normal blood levels of thyroid hormone.

Hypothyroidism is treated with a drug called levothyroxine. This is a synthetic hormone tablet that replaces missing thyroid hormone in the body. With careful monitoring, your doctor will adjust your dosage accordingly, and you'll soon be able to return to your normal lifestyle.

Hyperthyroidism, generally more difficult to treat, requires the normalization of thyroid hormone production. Treatment could involve drug therapy to block hormone production, radioactive iodine treatment that disables the thyroid, or even thyroid surgery to remove part or the entire gland.

The most popular treatment is radioactive iodine. This therapy often results in hypothyroidism, requiring the use of levothyroxine (synthetic replacement hormone) in order to restore normality.

Thyroid diseases are life-long conditions. With careful management, people with thyroid disease can live healthy, normal lives.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/30/2016.


  • Office on Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services. Thyroid disease Accessed 7/1/2016.
  • American Thyroid Association. Thyroid Information Accessed 7/1/2016.
  • Bauer DC, McPhee SJ. Thyroid Disease. In: Hammer GD, McPhee SJ. eds. Pathophysiology of Disease: An Introduction to Clinical Medicine, Seventh Edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2013. Accessed 7/1/2016.

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