• Talking to Your Doctor About Hyperthyroidism

    You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with hyperthyroidism. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.
    If available, bring all previous records of radiology (thyroid ultrasounds, nuclear medicine thyroid scan and/or uptake), lab tests of thyroid function, and treatments. Plan ahead to contact previous doctors to collect and gather this information to bring it with you. Bring a current medication list with name and dose.
    Here are some other tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
    • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
    • Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
    • Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
    • Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
    • How will hyperthyroidism and its treatment affect other medications I am taking, including over-the-counter medications and herbs?
    • How will hyperthyroidism and its treatment affect pregnancy and breastfeeding?
    • What are the chances that my children will get this condition?
    • What is the risk of developing hypothyroidism with each of the treatment options?
    • Will I gain weight?
    • What are the pros and cons of antithyroid medications, radioactive iodine treatment, and surgery?
    • What are the cure rates associated with each of these treatments?
    • What are the benefits and side effects?
    • How soon after I begin treatment can I expect to have a normal level of thyroid hormone?
    • What is the possibility of my thyroid returning to normal function and then becoming overactive again with each of the treatment options?
    • How often do I need to be seen for follow-up care after my thyroid hormone level is normal?


    American Thyroid Association website. Available at: http://www.thyroid.org/ .

    Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. 10th ed. McGraw-Hill; 2001.

    Mythyroid.com. accessed November 2009.

    Pearce EN. Diagnosis and management of thyrotoxicosis. Brit Med J. 2006;332:1369-1373.

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