Talking to Your Doctor About Hyperthyroidism
En Español (Spanish Version)

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.

General Tips for Gathering Information
You will need to allow enough time to obtain all previous records of radiology before meeting with your doctor. These records would include thyroid ultrasounds, nuclear medicine thyroid scan and/or uptake, lab tests of thyroid function, and treatments. Collect and gather this information by contacting previous doctors or places the testing and procedures were done and bring the records with you. Also be sure to bring a current medication list with names of medications and doses that you are taking.

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.
Specific Questions to Ask Your DoctorAbout Other Medical Problems
  • 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?
About Your Risk of Developing Hypothyroidism
  • What is the risk of developing hypothyroidism with each of the treatment options?
  • Will I gain weight?
About Treatment Options
  • 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?
About Outlook
  • How often do I need to be seen for follow-up care after my thyroid hormone level is normal?



References:
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.

Last Reviewed December 2013



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