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  • Anonymous
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      I was reading through Pam’s message, and one of the statements has given me pause. Will the autoimmune problem still be with me, once the thyroid is gone? As I understand it (and I admit I’m not a doctor or scientist), there are a LOT of autoimmune diseases. Graves is very specific in that it attacks the thyroid. Your immune system sees the thyroid as an alien invader, like a virus or a transplanted organ, and creates a chemical that very specifically attacks that bit of tissue called the thyroid. If the thyroid is gone, then, WHY would those chemical antibodies still be produced? Or is production of these antibodies lowered? I guess my logic in opting for RAI was that if the thyroid scars over, and ultimately disappears (according to my endo this happens after RAI), then there should be no “trigger” for the autoimmune response of Graves. Who knows?

      I have to admit, up front, that I respond to medications differently than some people. I can’t even take the non-steroidal anti-inflammatories that are all the rage these days, with doctors. So my response to PTU may just have been the fact that my body didn’t like it. So I have to work with that, and others of you may not. With respect to PTU, however,it DOES matter how you take it. It is not like methimazole (Tapazole, etc.) which has a longer half-life and only has to be taken once a day. PTU is only potent for eight hours, so if you are lackadaisical about how you take it, it will not be as effective as it should be. And if you discover that you have missed a dose, you need to double up the next time you take your pills.


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        To Bobbie: I have graves disease and did radioiodine treatment a year ago this month. My endocrinologist told me that the RAI only takes care of your hyperthyroid problem. Your hyperthryoid problem is only a SYMPTOM of graves disease not the cause of it. I believe there will contine to be antithyroid antibodies in your system, however, they just can’t attack your thyroid any
        And yes, you are right, there are many, many autoimmune diseases out there, and your family members, related by blood, have a higher incidence of these.
        This is one aspect of my autoimmune disease that worrys me. Some other autoimmune diseases that are common are diabetes, ms, lupus, crones disease, (I think).
        Anyone who has children should keep an eye on them for thyroid problems.

        There is a great book called “Your Thyroid” that is very, very informative and one of the best books on thyroid problems that I have read. I can’t remember the author right now, but if anyone wants it, I’ll get it.

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          Lynn’s right, the cells which produce the antibodies will still be around
          so you are still capable of producing
          anti-self antibodies, although they may be expressed at a lower level and
          you may not have any effcts from them.

          Don’t worry too much about the hereditary aspect, this is a multifactorial
          disease which has a genetic susceptibility part, but also requires
          environmental triggers like certain kinds of infection or stress, so you
          should be aware of family history, but it does not mean you will get the

          Hope this helps,

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