Natural Thyroid Treatment   Natural Endocrine Solutions

Is Hyperthyroidism Dangerous?

When it comes to hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease, there are basically two trains of thoughts regarding the how dangerous these conditions really are.  Many medical doctors will dismiss these conditions as not being too dangerous, as I’ve read numerous sources which claim that hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease are not life threatening conditions.  On the other hand, other sources say these conditions can indeed be life threatening if left  untreated.  So the question I wanted to answer here is “how dangerous is hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease?”

In most cases, primary hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease aren’t life threatening conditions.  But the reason for this is because the person who has either one of these conditions usually notices the symptoms before they become too severe, and as a result receive treatment, usually in the form of anti-thyroid drugs or radioactive iodine.  However, if someone has hyperthyroidism or Graves’ Disease and doesn’t receive any treatment, then the symptoms can eventually be severe enough to become life threatening.  After all, people can develop an extremely high pulse rate, and can even develop a condition called thyroid storm, which is considered to be an emergency situation.  Once again, this is rare, but it can happen, and so to dismiss Graves’ Disease and other types of hyperthyroidism as not being potentially dangerous conditions is a big mistake.

This presents a dilemma for a person who has hyperthyroidism or Graves’ Disease and is looking to follow a natural treatment protocol.  It usually takes some time for such a protocol to “kick in”, and so if someone has either of these conditions and is not currently taking the anti-thyroid drugs or a beta blocker, should they follow a natural thyroid treatment protocol and wait until they take effect?  Or should they “play it safe” and take the medication?

This obviously is a decision that only the person with the hyperthyroid condition can make.  This is also a big reason why I don’t think it’s a bad idea to combine different treatment options.  For example, someone who is interested in following a natural thyroid treatment protocol can always take the anti-thyroid drugs and/or a beta blocker to help manage the symptoms, and at the same time begin a natural thyroid treatment protocol.  Then after one or two months they can wean themselves off of the prescription drugs.  Once again, this isn’t a suggestion as to what you should do, as this is only a decision that you can make on your own.

Some people wonder why I personally didn’t combine treatment methods when I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, as I decided not to take the Methimazole and beta blocker that was prescribed to me, and I just began a natural hyperthyroid treatment protocol.  As I’ve mentioned numerous times in the past, I did consider taking the medication on a temporary basis, but I didn’t think my symptoms were too severe.  My pulse rate was consistently around 90-100 beats per minute, which is without question high (especially for me), but at this point it’s usually not life threatening.  On the other hand, for someone who has an existing heart condition, having a pulse rate this high can be very risky not to manage.  And since some people do have underlying heart conditions, I would never tell anyone not to manage their symptoms, regardless of their heart rate.

Truth to be told, I was taking a risk by not taking the prescription drugs, as there was no surefire way to predict whether or not something was going to happen to me.  Although I believe my heart is in good health, there have been many people who considered themselves to be in an excellent state of health as well, but then they shortly suffered a heart attack.  Heck, I thought I was healthy a few months before being diagnosed with Graves’ Disease!  This isn’t meant to scare anybody, as I just don’t want anyone to make their decision not to take prescription drugs based on what I did.  If you feel really strong about not taking drugs and decide not to take any medication, then that’s fine.  But once again, it’s a decision YOU need to make.

So I will conclude this post by saying that any hyperthyroid condition has the potential to be life threatening if the symptoms become too severe.  Although it’s very rare for people to die from hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease, there is always a risk involved if the person’s pulse rate is too high.  Because of this, there’s nothing wroing with taking anti-thyroid drugs on a temporary basis to manage the symptoms, and you can also begin a natural thyroid treatment protocol at the same time if your ultimate goal is to restore your health back to normal.  Just make sure you consult with a endocrinologist or another type of medical doctor regarding the anti-thyroid drugs, and a natural endocrine doctor with regards to the natural treatment methods.



  1. Andrea Williams says:

    What about the depression that can be caused by hypo? It could kill. I can NOT take SSRI medications anymore and my depression is debilitating.

  2. amanda says:

    Can you do an article on actual Natural remeides? What foods to eat and not eat, things like that. Maybe something on adrenals and how to know if that is waht is causing your Graves.

  3. Chita says:

    Thank you so much for this post, even though it is 2 years old. I was recently diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism and graves’ disease. I have chosen to go the natural route. I’m currently seeing an accupuncturist who has had success in treating Hyper/Graves’. I’d be interested in having a conversation regarding your current health and your road to remission.

  4. Moza says:

    I have hyperthyroidism too. I’m a 19 year old girl, and I stopped the meds for a while which made me in danger. I did eventually admitted into hospital and diagnosed with thyroid storm. So, I took my meds again. My place is usually around 120 or a bit more. Is that too much? Another question… Does untreated hyperthyroid lead to Graves disease. Please answer me :)

    • Dr. Eric says:

      Hi Moza,

      Even though I’m an advocate of natural treatment methods, I do think it’s important for people to manage the hyperthyroid symptoms, which I’ve mentioned numerous times in past articles and blog posts. So it’s fine to take the medication, although while one is doing this I feel it’s important to attempt to detect and correct the cause of the problem. A pulse rate of 120 beats per minute is quite high, and if the medication isn’t controlling this then your medical doctor should make the appropriate adjustments, which might mean increasing the dosage of the antithyroid medication, or perhaps adding a beta blocker if absolutely necessary. To answer your second question, most cases of hyperthyroidism are autoimmune. It is possible that someone who has a non-autoimmune case of hyperthyroidism can develop Graves’ Disease, but this usually doesn’t work in stages. In other words, someone usually develops Graves’ Disease right from the start.

  5. Moza says:

    Sorry I mean my pulse – HR. Sorry for the typos.

  6. Ann says:

    I’m pregnant and diagnosed that i have hyperthyrodism. Is it safe to take anti thyroid drugs? What about propanolol?

    • Dr. Eric says:

      Hi Ann,

      I can’t say it’s completely safe to take the antithyroid medication when pregnant, but everything comes down to risks vs. benefits, and in many cases it’s a good idea for women with hyperthyroidism to take the medication. Usually they will give PTU during the first trimester, and many times they switch to methimazole during the last 2 trimesters. Chances are propranolol won’t be prescribed, although these of course are questions you can ask your medical doctor.

  7. Sid says:

    My girlfriend has hyperthyroidism. Even her father has hyperthyroidism. She is supposed to take pills everyday but she doesn’t. Will it become dangerous later? Right now i don’t see any symptoms other than she is thin and doesn’t sleep much(about 3-4 hours a day).

    • Dr. Eric says:

      Hi Sid,

      The main concern is that unmanaged hyperthyroidism can lead to thyroid storm, heart arrhythmias, and other serious issues. This is especially true if she has very high thyroid hormone levels and/or an elevated heart rate.

  8. Alesha says:

    Hi, I’m 23 years old and recently found out my vitamin D level is a 16 and my calcium level is “slightly” elevated. The doctor told me absolutely no more calcium until she rechecks levels in 6 months. I read online though that 98.6% of people even if the level is slightly increased calcium levels and low vitamin d levels that people usually have parathyroidism. Should I wait to have it rechecked in 6 months or get another opinion?

  9. Lacey says:

    I had a baby and 5 months later I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease. I am taking propranolol. I am about to start methimazole. I am also breast feeding. Is it possible for these drugs to effect my baby through breast feeding? Is it possible for my hyperthyroidism to go away since it could be postpartum related ?

    • Dr. Eric says:

      Hi Lacey,

      Methimazole seems to be safe during breastfeeding if the dosage is 20mg or less, at least according to the literature. This doesn’t mean that taking a small dosage won’t pass through the breast milk, as both methimazole and propranolol will do this. Propranolol also seems to be safe for babies who are breastfeeding according to the literature. Obviously any drug taken while breastfeeding can affect the baby, but everything comes down to risks vs. benefits, and sometimes it can be challenging to know whether the benefits outweigh the potential risks involved. It is very possible for your hyperthyroidism to go into remission, although it might not do so on its own.

  10. Lacey says:

    Thank you for the response. I started methimazole. I am now feeling so tired and zombie like. I think my dose it too high. It’s 10 mg. I am still on propranolol. I have difficulty swallowing and shortness of breath. Do you think these symptoms will go away?

    • Dr. Eric says:

      Hi Lacey,

      10mg of Methimazole is a low dose, but of course everyone is different. And so yes, even with a lower dose it is possible that it is too high for you, and perhaps it is making you hypothyroid. Another possibility is that you’re having a negative reaction to the medication. Either way I would run this by the doctor who prescribed the medication.

  11. Shelbi says:

    I was diagnosed with graves Disease 2 months ago after dealing with a lot of stress in my life. Before diagnoses I felt as though I was going to die. My heart was pounding all the time with severe shortness of breath. My vision was very blurred and eventually I had double vision making it difficult to drive. My hair was falling out and very dry and brittle but the biggest issue was the lack of sleep. I remain with all these symptoms after taking 10 mg of methamazole but is less severe. I would like to know what I could take to sleep as I think I’m only getting about an hour a day if that. I am a nurse and am having difficulty functioning both at work and at home. I started taking Actalin which right away made me feel better but then I have been noticing areas of severe dry, itchy skin. Not sure if it’s methamazole or actalin causing this. I just want to feel better and get back to normal life but not sure if that will ever happen again. Please help..

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