This “Healthy” Drink Will Destroy Your Thyroid Gland (And It’s Linked to Breast Cancer!)

What is radioactive iodine?
Radioactive iodine (I-131) has been used to treat overactive thyroid disease (hyperthyroidism) since the early 1940s. It is an effective treatment and is now recommended as a first-line, definitive treatment rather than surgery. Radioactive iodine is absorbed by the thyroid gland and destroys thyroid cells. It has the effect of reducing the amount of thyroxine released by the thyroid gland and can reduce the size of the gland.

When is radioactive iodine treatment used?
Treatment of hyperthyroidism with or without antithyroid drugs, especially in patients with malignant nodular hyperthyroidism.

It is used to treat Graves’ disease when the disease is stable after taking antithyroid drugs, returns after stopping antithyroid drugs, or when patients cannot tolerate antithyroid drugs. Once diagnosed with Graves’ disease, patients can be considered for treatment at this stage early on

When the thyroid gland is enlarged, reduce the size of the gland

Radioactive iodine is also used in high doses to treat thyroid cancer.

Is radioactive iodine treatment safe?
Large follow-up studies have been conducted in many European countries and the United States for more than 70 years. These indicate that there is a very low risk of cancer with radioactive iodine treatment. For most patients, treatment for an overactive thyroid far outweighs the risk of cancer. Your healthcare professional can answer any questions you may have about the safety of treatment for your condition.

Is it possible to get pregnant after radioactive iodine treatment?
Men should avoid pregnancy for at least four months and women for at least six months after receiving radioactive iodine treatment. Your treatment center will provide more information on this. Since then, there have been no problems with childbirth or child development, and many people have become pregnant and had healthy children after being treated with radioactive iodine.

Who should not have radioactive iodine treatment?
Radioactive iodine treatment is not given to the following people.

Pregnant women – radioactive iodine passes through the placenta and affects the developing thyroid gland of the unborn child.
Breastfeeding mothers – radioactive iodine passes through milk to the baby’s thyroid gland.
Anyone who experiences frequent vomiting or incontinence
If steroids are not given at the same time in people with active thyroid disease, it can make the eye disease worse.
If the thyroid gland is overactive, radioactive iodine can cause high levels of thyroid hormone and, in very rare cases, cause a condition called thyroid crisis or storm. Therefore, your doctor will prescribe anti-thyroid medication to control the overactive thyroid before giving you radioactive iodine.

Are there any side effects of radioactive iodine treatment?
Sometimes the thyroid gland feels a little tender after the treatment. It usually goes away after a few days. A common long-term side effect of radioactive iodine therapy is thyroid underactivity (hypothyroidism), so regular thyroid blood tests 4 to 6 weeks after treatment are critical for early detection and treatment with levothyroxine. If you have thyroid eye disease, which can occur with Graves’ disease, it can sometimes be made worse by radioactive iodine treatment (especially in smokers). Tell your doctor about any eye symptoms that may be related to your thyroid. Your doctor may recommend ways to reduce your risk of eye disease, such as steroid tablets, early levothyroxine therapy, and smoking cessation. It requires an ophthalmologist’s examination.

Some patients who are treated with radioactive iodine to shrink the masses have a lower risk of developing Graves’ disease.

There is no risk of hair loss in patients treated with radioactive iodine in cases of overactive or enlarged thyroid gland.

How is radioactive iodine obtained?
A licensed physician will prescribe radioactive iodine for you. Your treatment will take place in a hospital, but you will not need to be an inpatient. Before giving radioactive iodine, the treatment and its effects will be discussed at the hospital, and permission for the treatment will be obtained. The dose is taken as a simple capsule swallowed with a mouthful of water or as a drink. As the gland must be functioning during this treatment, anti-thyroid tablets should be stopped at least one week before treatment and should not be taken for at least a week afterwards. You will be given instructions on when to stop taking the tablets.

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