The usual thyroid disorder treatment for hypothyroidism is thyroid hormone replacement therapy. With this treatment, synthetic thyroid hormone is taken by mouth to replace the missing thyroid hormone. Treatment is usually life-long. Most people who take thyroid replacement therapy do not experience side effects. However, if too much thyroid hormone is taken, symptoms can include shakiness, heart palpitations, and difficulty sleeping. Women who are pregnant may require an increase in their thyroid replacement by up to 50%. It takes about 4 to 6 weeks for the effect of an initial dose or change in dose to be reflected in laboratory tests. Diets rich in soy and high fiber can interfere with levothyroxine absorption. Medications and supplements also can reduce absorption. Thyroid disorders stemming from the over- or under-production of thyroid hormones, both conventional and alternative treatments offer varied methods to try to restore hormone levels to their proper balance. Conventional treatments rely mainly on drugs and surgery. Alternative thyroid treatments attempt to relieve some of the discomforts associated with thyroid problems, or to improve the function of the thyroid gland through approaches ranging from diet supplements and herbal remedies to lifestyle changes and special exercises. Surgery is usually reserved for pregnant women who can't take anti-thyroid medicine, or people with large goiters or cancerous nodules. Sometimes your doctor may recommend other medications to help control symptoms of hyperthyroidism, such as shakiness, increased heart rate, anxiety, and nervousness.
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