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  • Anonymous
      Post count: 93172

      Hi, Jonathan:

      I see two issues in the question that you asked. One has to do with long-term issues; the other has to do with a concept of general fluctuations in demand and need in the short-term.

      The long-term issues have to do with how much functioning thyroid tissue you have left after RAI. This can be miniscule, or it can be relatively significant. The natural course of the antibody attack on the thyroid will, most likely, cause our thyroids to burn out (making us hypothyroid) at some point in time, regardless of which treatment option we choose. So, if you have a fairly significant amount of thyroid left after RAI, you could, at some later point, need more replacement hormone than when you started out, as more of the gland is rendered inoperative. This is precisely why we have to have our thyroid hormone levels checked AT LEAST once a year. Obviously, if you start to feel symptoms of too little hormone, you could have your levels checked before that year was up. But, as an example, my mother has been on 0.1 mg of levothyroxine sodium for over twenty years. Recently, her dosage was increased to 0.125. But that was fairly long-term on one dosage need.

      Short-term fluctuations in need are taken care of by the fact thatT4, thyroxine, has a relatively long life span in the body — medically speaking, this life span is measured in half-life, which in the case of T4 is just a hair short of seven days. So, daily fluctuations in demand are “cushioned”, if you will. The T4 is there to be converted into T3 as needed, for a relatively long time. The vast majority of people are put on thyroxine replacement as a result. It is easier to provide a consistent dose of it, to fit the body’s ongoing needs. In short, once you get balanced out on the replacement hormone, you should not feel like a hormonal yo-yo from day to day or from month to month.


        Post count: 93172

        Thanks Jonathan–well said. You asked the question I’ve been trying
        to ask for some time, but couldn’t seem to find the right words. Isn’t it neat to have all these people respond–just to help others? I go in for my RAI this Wednesday. Good luck to both of us!

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