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  • Anonymous
      Post count: 93172


      No it is not unusual for a 62 year old woman to come down with GD. It is
      worth getting the labs confirmed (yes go for a second opinion) before going
      in for RAI or surgery.

      Ask your cardiologist to get with an endocrinologist to check on the possibility
      of using anti-thiroid Drugs (ATDs). Some percentage of folks do go into
      remission after a course of ATDs.

      RAI is not dangerous and it is safe for the heart and that may be why they want
      to do it without trying the ATDs first but it is only right to ask the question.
      Let us know how things work out.

      On-line Facilitator

        Post count: 93172

        Thanx for the rapid response Jake:
        Guess I should have been more thorough in my description of the situation.

        The diagnoses was made while she was hospitalized. The Endocarditis was the result of a serious bacterial infection. She was very ill & on massive amounts of antibiotic at the time of the diagnosis.

        She has been on ATD’s now for about a month but her Doc. began talking RAI the day he informed me of the diagnoses.

        It just seems to me that since she was basically asymptomatic prior to the bacterial infection & has no family history of Graves that the
        diagnoses should be viewed as tentative rather than a hard fact.

        Are you aware of anything in the literature that would indicate that elevated TH? seriously ill patients would be due to something other than Graves?

          Post count: 93172

          In Oct 97…My wife was diagnosed with GD.

          At the time of diagnoses she was suffering from Endocarditis.
          Hence treatment was delayed. She is now being strongly advised to undergo RAI therapy.

          My question: Should one be suspicous of a diagnoses of GD on a 62 year old female suffering from endocarditis?
          and would it be appropriate to ask for confirming lab work before proceeding with either surgery or RAU?

          My gut feeling is that it would be….but I don’t want to be viewed as challengeing the medics unneccesarily.

          Any & all opinions are welcome.

            Post count: 93172

            Since most of us are not medically trained here, your basic question (about endocarditis and Graves) is not one we can address. There is, however, absolutely nothing wrong with asking to see (and have the doctor interpret) any lab tests that they have which led to them telling you that she has Graves. You have questions. This is normal. But it is the doctors who need to give you the medical reasoning and explanations. Undoubtedly, BECAUSE she was sick, she was given a rather thorough battery of blood tests, and the doctors picked up on the thyroid problem, as well. This happens sometimes. So there should already exist tests that have been given that you could look at. As far as additional tests, if she was not given a thyroid uptake and scan, you could ask the doctor about having that done. In this test), she would be given a small amount of radioactive iodine (a different isotope than the one used for TREATMENT of Graves), and then, after a wait of a few hours to a day, the amount of iodine that her thyroid had consumed of this iodine could be measured. I believe that any 24-hour “uptake” of more than 35% is considered in the hyper zone, but this value may vary from one lab to another. Then, they use an imaging machine to take a picture of dispersal of the iodine taken in by her thyroid. This will show whether the iodine was taken up all over her gland (indicative of Graves) or only in certain specific areas (hot spots).

            If these two tests have been done, then your option would be to ask for a second opinion from another endocrinologist. Again, there is nothing wrong with checking out a diagnosis with a second opinion.

            Since being hyperthyroid puts additional strain on the heart by making it beat too fast and sometimes arhythmically (spelling???), it is very important that you resolve your questions about the diagnosis. She has already gone through the endocarditis, and Graves treatments have been deferred. You need to get an appointment and have your questions answered. If it is Graves, it needs to be treated sooner rather than later.

            Wishing you both good luck and good health.


              Post count: 93172

              Thanks Bobbi:

              Now I know what specific questions to ask. To the best of my knowledge the diagnosis was made on the basis of blod work alone under the conditions I described in the earlier post.

              We need to have a conference with the Dr. to get more info. I’ll let U know how it turns out.

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