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  • Anonymous
      Post count: 93172

      I am new to the BB, but Old to the Tapazole and Hyperthyroidism, I am scared to death about the RAI I will be recieving Monday. So far I personally know two people who have had the RAI who have gained weight and lost there hair. Thankfully, their hair is growing back! But they have also been placed on Levothyroxin, and their Doctor’s keep changing their levels. These are both older woman whom have had children. But I’m curious to know if hair loss and weight gain have accompanied other RAI patients, and has RAI affected any women’s hopes for becoming pregnant, affected their pregnancy time-period or affected their children after delivery. I can’t seem to locate information on RAI BEFORE pregnancy, anywhere. Please answer.

        Post count: 93172

        Hi, Moni:
        Gaining weight MAY be a result of thyroid hormone levels going back to normal and/or going hypothyroid after a course of RAI. It is important to understand why, and then you can do something about it. First of all, since the thyroid controls metabolism levels, having too much hormone and a higher rate of metabolism usually means we can take in more calories than appropriate and not gain weight, perhaps even lose it. The opposite is also true. If our thyroid hormone levels are low, and the metabolism much slower, the same diet that caused weight loss or maintenance before, may produce weight gain. Secondly, being hyperthyroid may mean you have lost muscle mass, especially in your large muscles of the shoulders, upper arms and upper legs. Muscle mass burns more calories than flab does. So, when we regain normal thyroid hormone levels, we may have less muscle than we used to, and can not eat as much as we used to without gaining weight. The key here, is exercise, to rebuild the muscle mass.

        Hair loss: Going hypo can cause hair loss. The hair loss is temporary — once normal hormone levels return, the hair grows back. So follow your symptoms, and try to get bloodwork done if you think you are getting hypo well before your next scheduled bloodwork.

        There have been people post on this board about getting pregnant and having healthy babies after having had RAI. And I did read (but cannot find to quote it for you) that once you are balanced out on the hormone replacement, being pregnant, and having a healthy baby are the same as for someone who did not have RAI. There is no greater incidence of birth defects in Post RAI mothers than in the normal population.

        The balancing out on hormone replacement can take some time — and it varies from individual to individual. This is why the people you know keep having their dosages changed. It is very important to get the right amount, for the individual, and the changes between doses can be relatively miniscule. The rule of thumb is that it takes about six to nine months.

        I hope this information helps. Good luck with the RAI.


          Post count: 93172

          Thanks Bobbi. I am still a little afraid to take the RAI treatment. Is it true that you can’t be around people(adults and children) for 3-4 days after the treatment? I don’t understand how such a treatment can be safe for me but yet dangerous for those near me. Could you or someone please shed some light. Thankyou for your response. I really need the comfort.

            Post count: 93172

            Moni, when I had my RAI they told me not to spend the night with my spouse for 2 nights, and not to sleep in the same room with my one-year-old for 3 nights after that. They said to practice good hygeine, not to share food or eating utensils etc., as there is some I-131 in your saliva for a couple of days. I had the same confusion about the seeming contradiction of the RAI being harmless to other structures in my own body, but dangerous to those around me. But the most vulnerable thing about the people around you is THEIR thyroids. You and I may need to have some of our thyroid glands destroyed, but the public at large does not.

            The more I thought on it, the more I realized – compliance with their guidelines is 100 percent VOLUNTARY. No one made me sign anything saying I wouldn’t go to the movies, or board a plane for a six-hour flight, or do anything that would place me less than an arm’s length (considered safe distance) from anyone for a couple of hours. Come to think of it, when I go to the movies, who’s to say the person in the next seat didn’t get this treatment an hour ago? How would you ever know? No one from the EPA was trying to make me a Superfund site. I didn’t have to file an environmental impact statement before using the rest room. The NRC was not tracking my whereabouts.

            If the public at large was really in danger, I would have been kept in the hospital, with no visitors, and medical personnel would have worn protective clothing around me. I’d be dressed in disposable gowns, which would have been quartined after use and allowed to decay for a time before shipment to a landfill.

            Sorry to ramble on like this, but the bottom line is I don’t believe there is lasting harm, to you, your home, or your loved ones. Get the treatment you need. Take reasonable precautions. And don’t stress out too much.

            Good luck,


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