Post count: 93172

    Your next option will most likely be the removal of the thyroid. This can be done two ways.

    First, the typical way, is to ingest a measured dose of radioactive iodine. Iodine is ONLY used in the thyroid, and it is very water soluble. So any that does not get taken into the thyroid is rapidly eliminated from the body. It has been used for over 50 years to treat hyperthyroidism, with good results, and no long-term adverse side effects to health. We do, typically, have to remain a distance away from small children and animals for a few days after the RAI. No picking them up, holding them against our chests, for example. We can usually be in the same room with them after a day or so, but not close. This is precautionary — like having the dental technician leave the room when the x-ray machine is turned on. The amount of radiation we could provide to the children would be small, and not all by itself detrimental. But radiation exposures accumulate through a person’s lifetime, and unnecessary exposures should be avoided.

    The second method of removal is surgical — general anesthetic, recovery period, etc., with the typical types of adverse consequences associated with surgery, plus the possibility of damage to the parathyroid glands and damage to the nerve that services the vocal chords. The rate of adverse consequences is reduced if the surgery is done by a skilled surgeon who does frequent thyroidectomies.

    There can be pros and cons to both of these methods of removal, but in general they are both safer than remaining hyperthyroid.

    Once enough of the thyroid has been eliminated, we typically go on a replacement hormone (like Synthroid). The replacement hormone works well — and we typically get our health back once the body has had a chance to heal.

    Good luck,
    Bobbi — NGDF Online Facilitator