Before covering the treatment of Graves disease, it is important to understand that Graves disease is not caused by the thyroid. The thyroid is actually the victim. Graves disease is caused by an out-of-control immune system which is producing antibodies to mistakenly attack and overstimulate the thyroid, causing it to produce ever increasing quantities of thyroid hormones. Whilst these hormones are required by the body to function normally, too many can cause a wide range of distressing and painful symptoms and problems.
There are three main conventional treatment pathways for Graves disease:
1. Anti-thyroid drugs (ATDs)
2. Surgical removal of the thyroid (Thyroidectomy)
3. The destruction of the thyroid via radioactive iodine (RAI).