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Before you start radioactive iodine therapy, there are definitely going to be some super important questions that you need to ask yourself. Let’s go through them all and really understand what it means to go through this treatment regimen.
1. What about hypothyroidism?
Are you going to be more likely to become low thyroid afterwards? Is the gland going to slow down to a good range, or is it going to simply shut down? That is actually a common consequence and an unfortunate side effect to this form of treatment.
2. Is there a risk for developing cancer?
Head and neck cancers and colorectal cancers are both potential consequences of this form of treatment. This is something that not enough people are educated on, and is frankly a risk when you go with this type of treatment.
3. What about my parathyroid glands?
Radioactive iodine therapy can actually cause damage to these glands dotting the sides of your thyroid. When they are not working correctly, they actually have the potential to stop your heart, so it is important to consider the potential damage and consequences of hurting your parathyroid glands when you undergo this form of treatment.
4. Will there by speech damage?
Due to the potential damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve, you run the risk of speech damage because of the brain’s connection to your tongue.
5. Will I be able to swallow?
This echoes back to the previous question, damage to the laryngeal nerve can also cause problems with swallowing.
6. Will treatment need to be repeated?
Is a single therapy adequate? There are many times where one therapy is not enough and it can take multiple times to take control of Grave’s disease.
7. How long do I have to stay away from loved ones?
There is a period of time where you are literally radioactive and it is not safe to be around other people – because you are potentially exposing them to radiation.
8. How do I have to eat before hand?
There are requirements for low-iodine diets that you have to be on for a couple weeks and they can often take some time before they are gotten right. If they are not done perfectly, the treatments can actually become less effective as a result.
9. Will I have nerve or muscle pain?
I have seen people with lasting complications of muscular contractions around their faces, due to nerve damage, where they are less able to control how their faces move.
10. Can I get better without this kind of treatment?
Does Grave’s disease require this type of treatment to be effective? Definitely not! Medical literature has shown that when Grave’s is managed effectively, 95% of people do go into remission. There are natural ways to cure Grave’s, which do not rely on these aggressive forms of treatment.
Keep these questions in the back of your head if you are considering this form of treatment, and stay up to date and informed about the effects different forms of treatment for Grave’s can have on your body now and in the long-term.
Graves disease is reversible for most and we can help.
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Dr. Alan Glen Christianson (Dr. C) is a Naturopathic Endocrinologist and the author of The NY Times bestselling Adrenal Reset Diet.
Dr. C’s gift for figuring out what really works has helped hundreds of thousands of people reverse thyroid disease, lose weight, cure diabetes, and regain energy. Learn more about the surprising story that started his quest.