Online Facilitator
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    (Edited) Hello – Thanks for being flexible on the username to help us avoid confusion with our other admin! I changed it to EB2021 – but can change it to something else if you have a preference.

    You hear different definitions of remission. The one from the American Thyroid Association is one year of normal levels with *no* medications – so that one wouldn’t apply with RAI. Another definition is undetectable antibody levels, which you could eventually get to with RAI, although antibody levels tend to spike in the months following treatment.

    I don’t know when the presenter was treated with RAI, but it was at least prior to 2009, when I first heard him give a lecture at a GDATF event. Back then, RAI was the front-line treatment for Graves’ in the USA. These days, ATDs are more commonly used in newly diagnosed patients. I’ve since heard him lecture several times, and he’s not suggesting ATDs are “better” – just providing info on options.

    All three treatment options have risks and benefits. The American Thyroid Association has a nice set of guidelines that include info on when patients might favor one treatment option over the others:

    Those who choose ATDs either want an opportunity to try for remission – or they choose to continue on a low dose of meds. (The risk of side effects is lower with a low dose, and with one exception – vasculitis – the first 90 days are the highest risk time for side effects.)

    Unless you have an obvious issue that prevents you from choosing one of the three treatment options (for example, docs will NOT recommend RAI if you are pregnant or of you have active, severe eye involvement) whatever choice you make in conjunction with your doctor is a valid one.