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      I was diagnosed with graves disease about 4 years ago, and began taking antithyroid medications (I just can’t even make myself consider the radioactive isotopes)at the end of my pregnancy (about two years ago)I went into remission and stoped taking the medication. Everything was going well until about a year ago, I started having sympoms again, I had blood work done when I had my annual pap smear and the results comfirm that my thyroid is wacky again. I just can’t make myself go to the dr.

      I know I’m in some kind of denial, I hate the idea that I am sick, actually I ignore the fact that I am sick. But I just can’t make myself make a dr’s appointment.

      I’m not sure why i’m writing this maybe it is a call for help, maybe I just would like to talk to others that can’t accept the fact that they are sick.

      One more thing, the general practitioner that ordered the blood work told me that I was stupid (in so many words) for not radiating my thyroid. He said that by keeping it I am raising my risk for thyroid cancer etc… Has anyone else heard this?

      Thanks for listening, if anyone wants to respond, please e-mail me, I don’t know when I’ll ever be in this part of the web again.


        Post count: 93172

        Hi Christy,

        Denial was my easiest symptom when I got Graves’ Disease.
        When my heart started skipping is when I got to the doctor and
        asked for vitamims. The getting down to 98 pounds was not that
        bad a thing. LOL I did the RAI and I wish it came with a
        guarantee that I would not get the eye disease part but I did.

        Amazing how when I thought my heart was going is how I actually
        did make a doctor’s appointment and even with that idea in my
        head I still thought it was a simple fix. Yep, guess that is
        what true denial can do for a person. I even brought my kids to
        my doctor’s appointment with me. Dah?

        I feel that my overactive thyriod also effected my decission
        making abilities. I read the paper work the doctor gave me and
        still did what he suggested, getting the RAI. At least I am here
        to talk about it.

        Good Luck,
        Michele B.

          Post count: 93172

          Hi Christy,
          I feel your post is a cry for help and maybe support in helping you come to terms with this thing called “graves”. To ignore it will cause you to become very ill. You can cause yourself permanent heart damage, go into thyroid storm, etc. . Please do not be afraid to seek help. If you are unhappy with the GP maybe you could seek out a good endo in your area. If you need references please e-mail us and we may be able to help you in this area. Please send us the area you live in and type of insurance you have(i.e.;HMO, BC/BS, etc.). This info can help immensley.
          Please, don’t ignore your disease. We are all here to support and help you in whatever way we can!
          Good Luck and keep posting!


            Post count: 93172


            you sound just like me! My doctor took me off the ATD’s over the summer, and my thyroid immediately went hyper again, but I just couldn’t stand the thought of going back to the doctor (especially since I felt soooo much better off the drugs than I did on them.) I decided that I was going to hold off on going to the doctor again until January — when I could change my insurance and get out of my HMO. I figured in the meantime, I’d generally feel pretty good. I figured I’d easily lose some of the weight the ATD’s made me gain. It’s not that I didn’t intend to ever go to the doctor again — I just wanted a break.

            My boyfriend had a fit when I told him my plan. We argued about it for weeks. He said that it was obvious that the Grave’s was clouding my judgment and ability to take care of myself. I didn’t tell him, but I felt (and still feel) that he was over-reacting because his mom twice had cancer, and she was diagnosed very late both times because they didn’t pay attention to or follow up on minor symptoms. But I don’t have cancer, so I didn’t think we needed to act immediately.

            Anyway, he won the battle (I couldn’t stand the nagging). I’m back on ATD’s. I’m not happy about it. I’m considering RAI, but I hate the idea of destroying a part of my body. It seems that a lot of things I read treat RAI very lightly — as though taking thyroid replacement for the rest of your life is no big deal, and that you’re “normal” once you do the RAI.

            Two things the doctor told me have made me start considering RAI more seriously (although I still HATE the idea):

            — The doctor said that I also have Hashimoto’s, so that even if my Grave’s goes into remission, eventually the Hashimoto’s will take over, and I’ll end up on thyroid replacement anyway

            — He also said that hyperthyroidism is more likely to cause complications in other medical procedures than hypothyroidism. He said that if I was ever in an accident or something, the hyperthyroidism could really be a problem (I don’t remember all the details about what he said.)

            So maybe I’ll get RAI.

            Anyway, if I were you, I’d set some kind of deadline to make the appointment. Give yourself a little time to get used to the idea. But pick a date that will be the day that you make the appointment. Good luck.

              Post count: 93172

              Hi, Mag:

              I’m sorry to hear that your remission was all too temporary. If you don’t mind, I’ll address some of the issues you questioned in your post.

              As far as long-term use of ATDs goes, there are many countries in the world in which doctors DO use them. From my conversations with doctors, here in the U.S. , however, they have expressed a couple of other concerns, which we patients should consider.

              First, as we age (and you aren’t there yet if you have little ones), our liver and kidney function recedes. This is normal. This is why with elderly patients, doctors are finding, more and more, that a dose of needed medication has to be cut back over time. What was once tolerated, or what IS tolerated in younger patients is too big a dose for an elderly patient. They get more adverse side effects, because their livers (which are metabolizing the drugs) are not able to metabolize them as fast, or get rid of the waste products of that metabolization (which are sometimes toxic and are the cause of “side effects”) as quickly as a younger person would. So, over time, you might find that you cannot tolerate the dose of ATD you need, and you could be faced with having to do one of the other treatments. And you would be older when this happened, so it might be tougher on you. This is all “mights”, obviously, but it is one of the concerns. The replacement hormone used after both surgery and RAI is chemically identical to our body’s own thyroxine, so these types of side effect issues do not apply to it. It is natural for the body to metabolize this particular chemical. And any “side effect” issues that you read about in the drug manuals about replacement hormone have to do with getting too much or too little of it, which will give you hypo- or hyperthyroid symptoms, things which can be handled simply by getting the dose “right”.

              A second reason given to me is that in the admittedly rare situation in which a person on ATDs is seriously ill or injured, and cannot take medications by mouth, ATDs cannot be effectively administered. Apparently (and I do not understand why, but an endocrinologist said this) there is no effective way of getting the ATDs into us, if we cannot swallow them. Replacement hormone, however, CAN be administered intravenously.

              What both of these arguments tells me is that what our doctors here in the U.S. are doing is weighing odds, over time. They could be wrong for any individual patient: someone, say, whose thyroid dies before their livers become incapable of processing the ATDs, or someone who never experiences a life-threatening illness or injury where they would not be able to swallow pills could undoubtedly take ATDs, relatively safely, as long as there were no bad side effects. But they are weighing in on the side of caution — trying to find the safest choice overall — when they recommend removing the thyroid and using replacement hormone for the long-term.

              I do hope you are feeling better quickly. And keep that chin up.
              Bobbi — NGDF Asst. Online Facilitator

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